REVIEWER: Glenn Kretkowski, manager, Information Systems, Hologic, Inc.
BACKGROUND: Hologic is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic and medical imaging systems dedicated to serving the health care needs of women. Hologic has more than 1,600 employees in the U.S. and Europe and over $500 million in annual revenue.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Sun 4800 running Solaris 8 with plans to move to a Sun E2900 running Solaris 10.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Many groups within Hologic depend on timely reporting to make critical decisions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The organization required a scalable reporting and publishing solution capable of generating and delivering information to employees, customers and business partners securely and in the appropriate format.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Oracle BI Publisher, formerly Oracle XML Publisher, enables Hologic's employees to use familiar tools such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word and Excel to more easily develop and tailor reports. Oracle BI Publisher is used to pull data directly from our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Oracle E-Business Suite, and generate email reports to deliver to a wide range of internal and external constituencies. We can schedule reports to run daily or weekly and email them to a customized distribution list. This implementation has significantly increased productivity while reducing the support costs associated with third-party software. Our service organization relies on easily accessible and readable information. Management needs to see daily notes and changes to customer service requests of our most critical customers and/or our most important product lines. We've created an Oracle BI Publisher report that outputs all pertinent changes to these service requests from the previous day. Oracle BI Publisher sends them via email to management every morning. In addition, we redid the print purchase orders (PO) report in Oracle BI Publisher to automatically send PO's to vendors via email without any additional manipulation.
STRENGTHS: Oracle BI Publisher is intuitive and makes it easy to develop and customize reports. It was an extremely trouble-free exercise for our IT staff to convert existing reports to Oracle BI Publisher and produce new Oracle BI Publisher reports from scratch. We are able to reuse our Oracle BI Publisher rich text format layout templates from already created reports, which has significantly reduced IT staff's report development time. Additionally, the majority of report development takes place offline without being connected to our Oracle Database, so there is no impact on our transactional system.
WEAKNESSES: The few challenges that we've experienced have mostly been related to user inexperience with a new tool. We've been able to overcome those, especially because the tool supports Adobe, Excel and Word. The version of Oracle BI Publisher that we originally implemented did not have support for printing a fixed set of text on the back of every page of our POs and statements outlining our terms and conditions. We are looking forward to upgrading to the latest release that has support for this.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Oracle BI Publisher was highly recommended by independent consultants and other Oracle applications users. Due to its integration with the Oracle E-Business Suite, it will help us eliminate some third-party solutions, increase our productivity and reduce our support costs.
DELIVERABLES: We have used the tool to develop new layouts for Oracle seeded reports, migrated reports originally produced in Oracle Reports and Oracle Discoverer, and created reports from scratch. Two new reports include daily order line change and recent order report, which shows recent order history and also is emailed to a distribution list.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Approximately 98 percent of our Oracle support came from the documentation provided and from Oracle MetaLink, Oracle's support site.
DOCUMENTATION: The instructions for implementation and report and document creation are simple and straightforward. The demos, samples and how-to documents also gave us a very good head start to develop both simple and complex report outputs. We implemented Oracle BI Publisher ourselves.
Oracle BI Publisher
500 Oracle Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065
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