REVIEWER: Tracy Rock, senior business analyst for KAR Holdings Inc.

BACKGROUND: KAR Holdings Inc. is the holding company of seven automotive remarketing and finance companies, including ADESA, a leading provider of wholesale used-vehicle auctions, and Automotive Finance Corporation, the premier capital funding source for the used-vehicle industry.

PLATFORMS: Chicago Business Intelligence Group’s Frogpoint is hosted as a service accessed via a Web browser.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We were at the beginning of a new data warehouse initiative, but our project didn’t have the core mechanisms in place to perform all of the necessary functions, such as capturing requirements, designing source-to-target mappings and building report specifications. Additionally, we were looking for a collaborative environment to facilitate project communication, track tasks and provide workflow.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Frogpoint has created a centralized repository to capture and manage our project collateral. The tool is organized in a manner to lead a user through his or her project methodology from planning stages through delivery. Our project managers can capture project plan, resource and status information. Business analysts record interviews, requirements, issues and tasks associated with their project. With Frogpoint, we no longer need to worry about where to find our project collateral, what format to put it in or losing requirements that get pushed into future releases/projects. The linkage between the business interviews, requirements, issues, tasks and design specifications gives you a quick answers to where project documents are, where the requirements come from, what the status of them is and how to build them.

STRENGTHS: Frogpoint is definitely a business intelligence (BI) project in a box. We didn’t need to spend the first few weeks of the project establishing templates, communication mechanisms and project repositories. Frogpoint provided us with a central repository where all project data is stored. It also helped to guide our project because its functionality is built around a methodology for implementing BI solutions.

WEAKNESSES: The report design module could be a little more robust with its formatting capabilities. We’ve requested some additions to this module, which should be available in a future release. We initially had some difficulty understanding the difference between a feature and requirement and the relationship between the two.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Many of the other products available provide a single function, such as issue trackers and requirement trackers. There are also workflow engines, project management tools and software development lifecycle tools. Frogpoint takes the best of these and consolidates them into a single cohesive platform. Additionally, we were not aware of any other products in the market that provide the BI and data management design functionality.

DELIVERABLES: Frogpoint produces reports for each module, which includes project issues, tasks, status reports, interviews, requirements, features, releases, data sources, data mappings, data flows, report designs, bugs and test cases. Frogpoint also generates Microsoft Project plans from all work items that are tracked within the application. Additionally, Frogpoint produces analytical reports that give concise overviews of project status. These reports provide project manager and program office summaries that answer questions like “Is the project on track?” and “Are we ready for project deployment?” Specifically, the gap analysis reporting tracks project items and identifies if anything has fallen through the cracks during the project lifecycle. Frogpoint also produces project templates and deliverables. This helps to minimize the time normally spent creating documents and shuffling around spreadsheets.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Pre-implementation, Frogpoint staff provided us with a thorough demonstration of its functionality so the team members were comfortable with the tool. After we were online, Frogpoint support responded quickly to any questions or issues that would arise and exceeded the expectations set in the support agreement. Unlike other vendor tools we’ve dealt with, I didn’t have to navigate through endless prompts or wait on hold for ridiculous periods of time before talking to a support person.

DOCUMENTATION: All of the documentation is online within the application.

Frogpoint
Chicago Business Intelligence Group, Inc. (CBIG)
5600 River Road, Suite 800
Rosemont, IL 60018
(800) 334-2078
http://www.frogpointsoftware.com/

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