REVIEWER: Koen Dehaen, Business Systems Marketing Manager for British American Tobacco.
BACKGROUND: Formed in 1902 as a joint venture between the UK's Imperial Tobacco Company and the American Tobacco Company, British American Tobacco (BAT) has become a £23,984 million company. We are now the world's second largest quoted tobacco group. BAT has leadership in more than 50 markets and, including associates, employs almost 97,000 people worldwide.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: HP Proliant DL580 G2, Windows 2003 Server (Standard Edition), 4GB RAM, Dual 3GHz Intel P4, MSA5000 HP Disk Cabinet 2.6TB includes development environment.
PROBLEM SOLVED: BAT operates under tremendous market pressure driven by changing consumer trends as well as intense competitive and industry volatility. To ensure alignment with local market trends, while addressing country-specific regulatory requirements, we manage operations on a local level, often by country. In the midst of rising competitive pressures and a company-wide SAP rollout, BAT Belgium and sister company STC announced plans to merge in early 2005. STC sold different products, followed different business models and operated in a slightly different market. They also had an array of disparate SAP systems, custom-built data warehouses and source systems. Our executives needed to make sure they could get access to the information they needed about the merged operations.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: BAT Belgium's business intelligence (BI) platform now delivers accurate, integrated insight into the company's merged operations as well as the competitive market environment across manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Within just two months, we produced consolidated management reports to make better business decisions and quickly react to market demands. Through the Kalido-based initiative, BAT Belgium cut maintenance costs by 50 percent and delivered consolidated reports on the merged company 10 months earlier than anticipated with a traditional architecture. We are now armed with a change-ready data warehouse that we plan to extend, adapt and roll out across different divisions.
STRENGTHS: BAT Belgium's volatile business environment demanded a flexible information architecture to effectively integrate the merging companies' data. Kalido helped us overcome the difficult challenge of merging the outdated data warehousing platforms on a very short time scale because of its change-ready, iterative-build approach. In addition, Kalido enabled us to accommodate rapidly changing business needs as business managers and executives were still in the midst of defining a new working environment, business structure and plan as a result of the merger.
WEAKNESSES: Kalido's integration with Business Objects helped us roll out the new BI platform in a fraction of the time and cost of other potential solutions, but greater integration between the two would be helpful.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We reviewed several options and expected to deliver the first consolidated report within two months. Kalido was chosen as the best fit for the company's requirements. Serving as the lynchpin for the overall BI initiative, Kalido's active information management software enabled the rapid data warehouse development needed to quickly adapt to BAT's evolving business environment.
DELIVERABLES: Based on 1.3TB of data from two different custom-built Oracle data warehouses and numerous SAP feeds, Kalido now provides more than 150 business users unparalleled insight into sales operations from manufacturer to retailer, dramatically improving brand management and profitability capabilities. We can now re-create historical views of business performance and view data in relation to actual or potential business change. We've also used information driven from the Kalido application to change the structure and terms of retail contracts.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Kalido's support enabled our team to rapidly produce varying iterations of the data warehouse to meet business users' changing needs. Knowledgeable, friendly consultants helped us every step of the way.
DOCUMENTATION: Kalido provided comprehensive documentation that was easy for our team to understand and implement.
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