Challenge: Needed a user-friendly business analytics solution that would complement their own technology.
Solution: Pentaho provides an easy-to-use business analytics platform.
INFORM uses Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho Business Analytics to provide transparent, real-time insights.
INFORM GmbH, based in Aachen Germany, specializes in software for intelligent planning and scheduling decisions in six different business areas. In the field of aviation, the company has more than 20 years of experience creating IT solutions specifically geared towards optimization of planning and control processes.
INFORM needed an embeddable analytics platform to complement its own platform GroundStar, a real-time business intelligence application (GS BIS). The platform needed to integrate easily into the GroundStar suite and be adaptable to its clients' various IT environments. Other crucial criteria considered was ease of use, data visualization, ad-hoc reporting and analysis, and role-based security.
GroundStar, INFORM's range of aviation products, is a software solution for resource optimization. It is used by more than 75 organizations at 165 airports worldwide. GroundStar meets the requirements of companies involved in airport operations. GroundStar consists of several modules that can be used as integrated systems or independently and connected to existing computer systems. The accompanying administrative processes, such as contract preparation, definition of the service catalog, service entry, quality management and billing, are part of the solution. Central modules include GS Planning, GS Rostering, GS RealTime, and GS CRM.
GS RealTime enables real-time control and optimization of personnel and equipment in time-critical work environments with online interfaces to the flight plan information system, as well as the generation of orders for ground handling based on current flight plan data. An expansion module from GS RealTime is the GS Business Intelligence System, GS BIS for short.
Before the introduction of GS BIS, INFORM used a Business Intelligence solution from Hyperion. However, with the introduction of GS BIS, the company was looking for a more complete, comprehensive business analytics solution that could easily be embedded in the existing GroundStar Suite. It had to provide extensive customization capabilities to accommodate the diverse system environments of GroundStar customers.
The solution also needed to be easy to use and able to provide adequate visualization capabilities, ad hoc reporting and analysis capabilities, with role-based security permissions.
INFORM utilizes Hitachi Vantara's Pentaho solution. They use the reporting feature, especially the ad hoc reporting capabilities. The easy use and implementation of Pentaho made it an ideal solution for INFORM. Also, Pentaho software offers real-time reporting, and the support and training is excellent. Pentaho dashboards provide predefined KPIs and visualizations for specific processes.
To implement GS BIS, INFORM opted for an OEM partnership with Pentaho, as it best met the requirements for open and flexible architecture, visualization capabilities, and ease of use.
Particularly important for GS BIS are the following Pentaho Business Analytics components:
GS BIS is connected to the GroundStar RealTime system, which accesses data from two Oracle schemas: on the one hand on daily operational data, and on the other hand on historical data. Depending on the time period and configuration, the data volume amounts to 10GB to 90GB. The system environment differs from customer to customer. In most cases, however, the systems run under Linux or Windows. GS BIS is currently in use by around 30 customers.
Hitachi Vantara's solution offers transparent data that enables customers to meet service-level agreements. The easy-to-use dashboards and reporting enable business users to drill down into details in real time, especially important in the time-critical ground-handling environment. Additionally, the software aids INFORM's own sales process as the data visualizations show potential new customers how they can reduce their costs by using GroundStar. INFORM is utilizing Pentaho Business Analytics and Pentaho Data Integration with 30 clients.
"While GS RealTime helps our customers to settle in real time, to optimize resources and personnel, Pentaho makes the data visible and brings transparency into the business. From that, it is not just our customers who are complainant, but Pentaho also supports our own sales process." – Jann Pehle, INFORM GmbH
Transparency of data helps to meet service levels. Aircraft handling at airports is a time-critical work environment. While GS RealTime helps customers optimize resources and staff in real time, Pentaho makes this data visible and brings transparency to the business. Visualization of KPIs and ad hoc reporting with a variety of scenario options support compliance with service levels.
Pentaho's web-based interface makes it easy for GroundStar users to create ad hoc interactive reports, or visualize KPIs in dashboards. This allows business users to understand the current situation in detail at any time and to react quickly if necessary. The latter is particularly critical in aircraft handling, where external factors such as weather or delays have a major impact on tight margins in the industry.
In addition to the results for GroundStar customers, Pentaho also supports INFORM's sales process by making the cost reduction that GroundStar offers its customers visible and understandable.
Pentaho's architecture makes it easy for INFORM to integrate the solution into its GroundStar suite and tailor it to the different system environments and needs of its customers.
As an OEM partner, the company has access to support and training offers that they enjoy. Fast help and support are also provided by the very lively user community.