REVIEWER: Jeff Way, IT director for Global Imaging Systems.

BACKGROUND: Global Imaging Systems, a Xerox company, is a provider of office technology solutions, selling and servicing digital automated office equipment, network integration solutions and electronic presentation systems. The company executes a highly successful acquisition strategy in the fragmented office imaging solutions industry, acquiring over 80 U.S. businesses to date.

PLATFORMS: Datawatch Corporation’s Monarch Data Pump was installed on a Windows 2003 server, with a Pentium 4 dual core processor, 200GB storage and 4GB RAM.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We actively pursue an acquisition strategy with a highly decentralized business model. Each acquired core business continues to manage its own billing, service and sales operations, etc. using its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. We must easily consolidate the results of all 23 core businesses (with 23 separate ERP systems) to enable timely financial and operational performance reporting. Monarch Data Pump automatically mines, customizes and exports the data from each core business with no new programming and no need for database connectivity. Monarch Data Pump has drastically reduced the complexity of our enterprise data acquisition and consolidation.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Monarch Data Pump uses existing report output (text or PDF) as a source of live, actionable data. Our core companies each produce ERP reports numbering in the hundreds on a regular basis, with the print files directed to network folders monitored by Monarch Data Pump. Monarch Data Pump then launches a series of processes which identify, parse and transform the report-based data into customized data tables. Monarch Data Pump then exports these tables to a SQL Server database for consolidated financial/operational reporting and for benchmarking each core business compared to its peers to ensure maximum efficiency.

STRENGTHS: Monarch Data Pump can also directly access databases, but the compelling value for our company is Monarch Data Pump’s ability to transform existing report output into customized data for SQL Server without programming. Also, as Global Imaging Systems acquires more core companies, we can easily integrate newly acquired company results into our Monarch Data Pump system by simply leveraging existing ERP reports. Most of our core companies use a specialty ERP system designed for the office imaging solutions industry. If a newly acquired company is using a completely different ERP system, that’s no problem: using Monarch Data Pump, we simply create a new set of reusable templates to mine and customize the report-based data to match our consolidated data structure. Because we are leveraging existing reports as our data source, we don’t have to delve into the structure of the ERP databases themselves, nor do we have to perform and maintain several hundred database-to-database mappings. This saves a huge amount of IT time and resources. Monarch Data Pump’s “report mining” approach to programming-free extract, transform and load (ETL) will easily accommodate our company’s future acquisitions.

WEAKNESSES: At present, it is not possible to replicate a set of existing Data Pump processes within the administrator user interface. Datawatch has provided a separate script that provides this functionality.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We were already active users of Monarch, the desktop report mining solution from Datawatch, enabling individual users to transform ERP reports into customized data for export to Excel, etc. without programming. We concluded Monarch Data Pump was the enterprise-level step up from desktop Monarch, fulfilling our enterprise data ETL needs without programming. We evaluated database-to-database ETL solutions, but they could not match the simplicity of Monarch Data Pump.

DELIVERABLES: Monarch Data Pump automatically mines and customizes data mined from hundreds of existing ERP reports, delivering the final data to a SQL Server database to facilitate timely and effective financial and operational performance reporting.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We are highly satisfied with Datawatch pre- and post-installation support. An initial Web training session answered our questions. The annual Datawatch User Conference enables us to learn new best practices with Monarch and Monarch Data Pump.

DOCUMENTATION: Monarch Data Pump documentation was clear and concise.

Monarch Data Pump
Datawatch Corporation
Quorum Office Park
271 Mill Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
(978) 441-2200
http://www.datawatch.com/

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