Clarity Performance Management

REVIEWER: James H. O'Connor, senior integration design engineer/OLAP supervisor for Adelphia Communications Corp.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1952 in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, as one of the first community access television (CATV) companies, Adelphia Communications Corp. has grown into the nation's fifth largest cable television provider. Adelphia has more than 12,000 employees and provides cable and Internet services to more than five million customers across the U.S.PLATFORMS: Windows NT is OS on Dell servers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As one of Clarity's first customers, we asked Clarity to assist us in creating our first corporate budget application in 1999. Clarity created a Budget Web approach for Adelphia. The Web product Clarity created evolved and became known as Clarity Performance Management (CPM). Adelphia had hundreds of users located throughout the USA. We needed to provide our users connectivity to our budget. We wanted an end user reporting tool which the users could own and support.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Clarity provided Adelphia a Web solution that allowed near real-time access for our users. Clarity created a centralized Web budget application which permitted our users Web updating capabilities. Clarity also provided us with Web reporting for our budgeting application. Clarity included the budgeting reporting in their CPM product. We asked if they could provide a drill-back to detail budget function for us, and Clarity also provided it within their CPM product.

STRENGTHS: Clarity's CPM product significantly increased our user networking utilization and improved our users' response time. Since the budget endeavor, we have implemented Clarity's CPM product within our other Essbase OLAP solutions. We have more than 1,500 CPM users connected to more than 15 different OLAP integrated solutions. Clarity's CPM product is an end-user tool which removes the need for IT to write reports. The users have complete control over their reporting needs. People are able to access information that is consistent and accurate. The IT department gave people the option to schedule delivery of reports, making it easy for everyone to be updated.

WEAKNESSES: While the CPM product addresses multidimensional reporting and relational detail reporting, we would like it to provide relational ad hoc reporting.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We had looked at Crystal and Brio reporting tools, but we felt a customized Web OLAP solution would better address our unique Web reporting needs. We had used Clarity in the past. We were comfortable working with Clarity - they know our business, and we came to depend on their insight.

DELIVERABLES: CPM provides all our OLAP Web reporting and provides data entry to our OLAP solutions. Prior to deploying Clarity, people would pull information from the data warehouse into spreadsheets. Because there was no way to control the process centrally, the inevitable result was disparities in the numbers and the familiar "dueling spreadsheets" problem. This no longer happens. Using CPM, the financial reporting group develops report templates that give all users the ability to view and analyze the data consistently. The adoption of CPM enabled Adelphia to go from no budget to managing its budgeting process well. The annual budget preparation cycle is comparable to other companies its size, but it takes less time to complete. Adelphia has been able to improve the efficiency of its IT organization in both their reporting and budgeting processes. On the reporting side, it has centralized development and maintenance of reporting and budgeting templates. Financial managers and even some operating managers that had been creating their own reports no longer need to spend time developing templates and wrestling with data transmission and receipt issues.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Clarity has always been responsive and supportive to meeting Adelphia's needs. Because Clarity has acquired comprehensive knowledge about Adelphia's way of doing business over the past seven years, we have had outstanding support from Clarity. Clarity has earned the users' respect by understanding the user needs and by working closely with them in delivering and meeting their expectations.

DOCUMENTATION: Clarity's provides documentation which meets both IT and user needs. It is both clear and concise and complements their terrific implementation support.

Clarity Performance Management
Clarity Systems
2 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M2N 5Y7

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