arcplan's dynaSightREVIEWER: Thomas M. Wolf, IT management consultant, Information Data TET for CUNA Mutual Group.
BACKGROUND: The CUNA Mutual Group is the leading provider of financial services to credit unions and their members worldwide, offering lending, protection, financial, employee and member solutions through strategic partnerships, technological innovations and multiple service channels. Pioneers of the credit union movement established the CUNA Mutual Insurance Society in 1935. It is the parent organization of all the companies that together form CUNA Mutual Group.
PLATFORMS: CUNA Mutual's servers are running Windows 2000, and the developers and clients are using Windows XP.
PROBLEM SOLVED: CUNA Mutual Group decided to implement arcplan's dynaSight analytic platform for CUNA Mutual's sales and marketing service center. dynaSight provides a front-end reporting platform usable by end users to display consolidated data from various back-end systems, providing our employees across the organization with timely and accurate information. This significantly improved the progressively more complex analysis and strategic planning and budgeting processes of its finance department.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The solution was implemented within six months of signing the contract - much faster than expected. CUNA Mutual attributes this to the platform's flexible and rapid development environment. This environment, unlike hard-core programming, makes for swift change-ups and enhancements, improving self-service. This front-end tool does not require that an IT person be involved. In addition, the solution is easily and readily used by staff. Because all users log onto a common Web page and a dynamically built list of reports is displayed based on their ID, it's seamless and secure. CUNA Mutual estimates it will realize $1,300 in cost savings per user. In addition, IT costs are down, and paper savings are in the thousands of sheets, as managers no longer need to print lengthy reports each day. Because financial reports that once took days to print and post are now accessed online, it saves analysts from needing to do the clerical work.
STRENGTHS: The main strength of dynaSight is the ability to make one report present data from many different data sources at the same time. This ensures consistency and quality in one centralized reporting environment. This integration also offers a solution that will grow and change as we do.
WEAKNESSES: The main weakness of the arcplan tool is needing to run under the JAVA client. This makes it more difficult for us to interconnect to other non-arcplan Web pages.
SELECTION CRITERIA: CUNA Mutual's systems consist of a large IBM mainframe with IBM DB2, Hyperion Essbase and Microsoft SQL Server. We needed a reporting software solution which connected the data from all of these systems on one report. When searching for the right front-end application, the selection team evaluated a number of solution providers. The arcplan solution appeared to be one offering the functionality, continuity and integration CUNA Mutual sought in a Web-based platform. The proof of concept, including a fast drill-down to IBM DB2 from Hyperion Essbase, sealed the deal.
DELIVERABLES: CUNA Mutual currently uses dynaSight for our internal summary financial reporting, and to present the department and solution group financial data as well. arcplan is also used for the sales and marketing call center statistical reporting at the individual and team levels.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Support has been great. During the initial installation, only one call to the support desk was required to get the software installed and running. When issues or questions arise, the support Web site sets the resolution process in motion. We are very satisfied with the responsiveness of arcplan's support team.
DOCUMENTATION: The installation documentation provided enough information to quickly install the software and become productive right away. arcplan's repository of customer solutions, arcplan Bridges, also provides sample code and ideas so that the technical users do not have to reinvent the wheel with each application. It provides a good first stop when searching for solutions to issues or when looking for design ideas.
West Valley Business Center
900 West Valley Road, Suite 204
Wayne, PA 19087
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