Achieve a BI migration reducing the associated security and data loss risks, and the welfare of the organisation and the users is maximised.
Maybe that is our higher purpose. When you add a level of automation and efficiency to any complex system, a rebound effect can occur which mitigates the efficiency. In our case a large scale SAP BI 4.1 to 4.2 migration. Manual processes take time. And it is eventually a costly human resource. Save 60-100 person-days during that migration without a rebound effect, and you reach the end of the project on time, and on cost. Xoomworks BI understands complexity. SAP business Intelligence tools were designed to produce data and information from complex systems. SAP is itself a complex system, (we have already seen how BI on BI is a useful service to measure the performance.) From it, business has security, stability, and a consistency of data.
The rebound effect in this Century is a term used within energy policy. In simplest terms it states that an increase in energy efficiency leads to an increase in energy use. Make a fuel efficient car and people drive more. That increase supposedly mitigates the efficiency gains. It is not easy to quantify and prove a causal relationship but as an intuitive principle, it is appealing. If the rebound effect does exist, understanding the effect on welfare is as important. There is a case to be made that mitigating the rebound may also hurt the eventual welfare of, and the utility to the end user.
In our scenario when we saved person hours and improved efficiency from technological improvement, we didn’t have any rebound. Our migration tasks had a definite end point, and using GB&SMITH’s software suite solved problems and increased the speed. The saved time wasn’t then used up by something else to equal the same time; the savings were permanent. That applied to changing connections in bulk, changing security rights, user aliasing, regression testing the content. The validations are then re-usable for the necessary future upgrades.
Our Demand – Classic Marketing
Philip Kotler the classic marketing scholar of the late 20th Century clearly defined supply-side and demand-sided market strategies. He saw it regarding how a company would approach the customer, i.e., The source of revenue. Segment the markets, differentiate the products, identify the lifecycles. Xoomworks BI was a customer; we had a need for a service and product that would allow us to complete our SAP projects successfully. The 360Suite software suites from GB&SMITH filled our demand and exceeded it. Xoomworks BI and GB&SMITH share Business Objects as a common ancestor; we have worked within it and around it. GB&SMITH’s software is now an integral part of our workflow.
An Example – 1 week sounds good – Momentum is king
Kotler could not have foreseen how dynamic and disruptive the technology sector would become. How quickly a demand could be satisfied. Speed is everything today, momentum is the key, lose the momentum and someone else will gladly take your place. And I don’t mean speculative start-ups, they don’t have a revenue stream or customer relationships, they may disrupt with a news release but they cannot replace.
Within one week GB&SMITH added a new functionality in their 360Suite when we presented them with a challenge. During the large SAP migration, the physical file servers were changing. We had the need to point all the 500 plus schedules to a new physical location. Using the CMC in SAP would be a long, manual process. That is a drain on the human resource and not an optimal use. GB&SMITH by creating a new functionality allowed us to update the destination output value in one action. Without this quick adaptation, we would have to open every publication and change the destination manually.
I found it satisfying that with the person-hours saved, the increase in efficiency occurred without a rebound effect. The tools we required, served up quickly, hit the spot.
A Further Example – The Self Service Conundrum
An enormous amount of data is being generated by individual users, not all useful to the enterprise. Self-service as a trend should help users embrace enterprise-class BI. That level is scalable while the homegrown desktop tools used for their simplicity are not scalable. With a scalable and standardised BI tool, the theoretical one version of the truth can be customer centric as opposed to serving the individual user. It has been the argument of complexity that has stopped many users from relying on the enterprise version of BI.
In one survey, only 15% of respondents said they relied solely on enterprise BI. 43% answered they used more enterprise BI than home grown. Added together 40% used an equal amount of more homegrown than enterprise BI. Add to that the increase in self-service BI and you have a huge increase in user generated content. During our migration project, we didn’t want to migrate the old and the redundant reports. There was no clear ownership to many of the reports. A level of automation was required to clean the user inboxes, GB&SMITH’s suite provided the tools required. Consequently their solution saved man hours, future processing power and speed.
Migrations present as many opportunities as problems to solve. Seen as a fresh start to implement new processes, anything that will make the transition easier for the users will only help the change management cause to aid adoption of the BI platform. The agile solutions we are seeing will speed up the development of agile BI. As a result business and tech users can both concentrate on the customer.
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