Challenge: Enhance enterprise and IT service management with flexible, on-demand analytics and visualization.
Solution: Seamlessly integrate Pentaho solutions to generate near-real-time insight into process performance.
USU is one of Europe’s largest vendors of IT and knowledge management software. Headquartered in Möglingen, Germany, USU delivers award-winning software solutions to automate service and support processes for companies in a wide range of sectors all over the world.
Chief Solutions Architect at USU GmbH, Thomas Jungbauer elaborates, “We digitize and automate our customers’ service management processes to help them increase transparency, boost efficiency and cut costs.”
To deliver even greater value to customers, USU wanted to make its software solutions even smarter by enhancing their built-in analytics capabilities. The aim was to provide more flexible reports and visualizations that would support on-demand ad hoc analysis and forecasting of process performance. The company wanted to empower its customers’ business users by enabling them to build these reports and visualizations without needing the help of technical experts.
“We listen to our customers and are always looking for ways to improve our solutions,” says Jungbauer. “In a highly competitive market, we realized we could gain an advantage by helping our customers gain greater insight into their processes and find new ways to optimize performance. And to maximize adoption, we knew it was vital to make all these new analytics capabilities as easy to use as possible.”
The key to providing the new analytics features quickly was to find a comprehensive data integration, data analysis and front-end data visualization solution. USU began looking for a solution from a single vendor that would be easy to integrate into its software portfolio.
After a thorough vendor evaluation process, USU selected Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho suite as the foundation for its new analytics features. USU chose Pentaho Data Integration as its back-end extract, transform, load (ETL) tool, and Pentaho Business Analytics to power ad hoc analysis and reporting.
“Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho platform ticked all the boxes, covering everything from data integration to user-friendly dashboards,” comments Jungbauer. “We were also impressed by the level of customization available. We were able to adapt the look and feel of the user interface very easily, so that it fits into our product portfolio and reflects the USU brand.”
Working together with Hitachi Vantara, USU integrated advanced analytics features from the Pentaho suite into its Valuemation Analytics solution for IT and enterprise service management. USU used its experience and deep knowledge of IT service management best practices and standards such as ITIL v3, COBIT and ISO 20000, to ensure that all relevant information is captured.
Important metrics on business process performance include cycle time, the number of created support tickets, response times, solution times and error frequency. Seamless integration with Pentaho Business Analytics lets customers monitor and analyze these metrics in near real time. Interactive data visualizations and self-service analytics features make it quick and easy for customers to monitor their service performance.
USU GmbH Director, Peter Stanjeck remarks, “Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho suite enables us to offer customers cross-system analysis for their entire IT infrastructure and service processes in our Valuemation Analytics platform.”
Following positive feedback from customers, the company also decided to integrate Pentaho into its software license management solution, Aspera SmartTrack. Both the Valuemation and Aspera SmartTrack solutions include dashboards tailored to the customers’ roles and responsibilities.
USU has successfully added engaging analytics features to its solution portfolio by integrating Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho platform.
Jungbauer notes, “Most medium and large enterprises already use analytics tools in most areas of the business. But when it comes to IT and enterprise service management, there’s often a blind spot. Companies lack the dynamic reporting that they need to generate new insights into where the problems are and how they can improve.”
He adds, “By building our Valuemation Analytics solution and our Aspera SmartTrack Software Asset Intelligence dashboard on the Pentaho platform, we can give customers exactly what they need: the freedom to analyze their data dynamically and closely align their metrics to their business targets.”
By gathering and integrating data from disparate systems across the IT and other enterprise processes, the Valuemation and Aspera SmartTrack solutions deliver a single, 360-degree view of operational data. The self-service analytics features empower all users — regardless of technical ability — to analyze data in more detail.
“You don’t need to be a data scientist to use our Valuemation and Aspera SmartTrack solutions,” says Jungbauer. “The drag-and-drop user interface of Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho platform is very simple and intuitive. Business users can click together complex data queries and quickly visualize the results using the Pentaho platform.”
Using Valuemation Analytics and Aspera SmartTrack, IT and other departments are much better equipped to identify and resolve issues and potential bottlenecks in enterprise business processes. The solutions from USU save time and effort, enabling departments to process requests from the business faster and streamline operations. Data-driven insight helps USU’s customers make smarter decisions to manage their enterprise processes more effectively, helping their businesses to run better.
Says Jungbauer, “Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho platform has helped us to raise the bar for enterprise service and software asset management. We have improved our product portfolio by integrating Pentaho and adding new, flexible analytics features to Valuemation and Aspera SmartTrack.” He concludes, “Based on our positive experience so far, we are excited to see what our partnership with Hitachi Vantara will bring in the future.”
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