CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

REVIEWER: Walter Cromer, director of IT technology and services for CTI Molecular Imaging, Inc.

BACKGROUND: CTI Molecular Imaging, Inc. is a leading supplier of products and services for positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging technology used in the detection and treatment of cancer, neurological disorders and cardiac disease. PET's whole-body imaging capability helps physicians improve their ability to determine the location, extent and stage of cancer, neurological disorders and cardiac disease.

PLATFORMS: Sun SPARC and Solaris 8.

PROBLEM SOLVED: CTI needed to improve and replace many of its IT systems to keep up with its rapid growth and provide users with a high level of service. CTI's IT department serves many employees all over the world that need to access data contained in the Oracle applications database. These business users typically asked IT for reports on order management and units shipped so they could make timely, data- driven business decisions. When CTI implemented Oracle11i in one of its pharmaceutical subsidiaries, it decided it needed an immediate solution to get business data out of Oracle in a timely and very flexible manner. Due to the fast pace of company growth, the pressure was on to find an out-of-the-box solution for extracting the data from Oracle.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Noetix comes out of the box with established Oracle11i data views, thereby eliminating development work for CTI. Noetix has significantly reduced the need for IT to constantly develop and modify reports, enabling business users to ask their own questions.

STRENGTHS: The product has an easy-to-use, Web-based interface that users can quickly grasp. Data is easily exported to Excel and can be refreshed from within Excel without having to login to Noetix. This allows business users to work with a program that is familiar to them and have fast and easy access to their information. The database views provide users with very simple-to-use access to the data. Though there was minimal time for CTI to prepare for the Noetix integration, the IT department was able to hand it off quickly to the pharmaceutical unit's 30 business users with minimal required training. IT then asked the business users to troubleshoot any problems. In less than a week, CTI's business users were generating their own reports without the help of IT.

WEAKNESSES: Noetix does not have any native graphing tools; however, with the capability to export to Excel, users can create charts and graphs easily using a tool with which they are familiar.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The primary driver for choosing Noetix was the preexisting set of database views from Oracle11i and the myriad of preexisting, easy-to-modify reports. Noetix was the only solution CTI found that could immediately integrate with Oracle11i and allow our business users to access data and create reports. After witnessing the Noetix demo and evaluation copy, we were impressed by the extreme ease of use and the way Noetix interfaces with Microsoft Excel –­ a business tool our users are familiar with and know how to use.

DELIVERABLES: Today, Noetix handles the majority of business user report requests at CTI's pharmaceutical unit, eliminating the time business users had to wait for IT to deliver those reports. Noetix enables them to access information in real time so they can communicate crucial information to customers about amounts of pharmaceuticals shipped and estimated time and date of arrival. CTI has several other manufacturing and service organizations that will be using Oracle and Noetix later this year.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Noetix has been very responsive to our questions and support needs both pre- and post- implementation. Our experience has been very favorable; and, most importantly, this solution has fully met our expectations.

DOCUMENTATION: We found the documentation to be thorough. We especially like how Noetix automatically creates online documentation that is customized to our particular Oracle11i implementation. This is another example of the ease of use of Noetix.

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