REVIEWER: Jeff Anderson, senior manager of e-business for Otis Elevator.
BACKGROUND: Otis Elevator Company, with headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut, is the world's largest company manufacturing, installing and servicing elevators, escalators, moving walkways and shuttle systems. Otis has more than 60,000 employees and revenues exceeding $6 billion. Otis products are installed in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
PLATFORMS: Compaq Servers running Windows NT.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The Otis Elevator Company Web site is available in 26 languages and 51 countries and receives about 1,800 visits per day. We have pushed the envelope in offering sophisticated personalization options on the Web site including computer-aided design drawings of elevators, allowing users to manipulate those drawings while on the site to fit customers' unique requirements for a particular hoistway. As a result, Otis captures an enormous amount clickstream data from the Web site. We realized this information could be used to get a better picture of how the Web site is servicing our community and, more importantly, give us an accurate snapshot of our global user and prospect community. In March of 2000, we started thinking about pulling together a solution that would allow us to capture and analyze clickstream data. All of our data was in different formats in different places. We needed a way to transform this data into useable business information.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Otis Elevator Company uses Cognos Business Intelligence to place the rich clickstream data into multidimensional online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes, allowing for sophisticated analysis of the volumes of data collected 24x7. The clickstream data is captured from Microsoft NT server log files. The log files are parsed by a solution called NetTracker from Sane Solutions. The information is then stored in Oracle8i relational databases. From the databases, Cognos PowerPlay pulls the information into the multidimensional cube allowing Otis to then slice and dice that information. Without Cognos OLAP functionality, this simply was impossible due to the sheer volume of this data. Now teams within Otis can collect and analyze powerful demographic and customer information. This information about our customers is critical for worldwide headquarters and regional managers to better target their communications to existing and prospective customers. The Web-enabled Cognos solution allows rapid and easy access to reports and cubes which our highly distributed teams require. There is much more functionality available to us in the Cognos solution, including Cognos Visualizer, which will allow very powerful, multi-metric displays of our business information.
STRENGTHS: One of the key strengths of the solution is its ease of use. It is all point and click. We have a global mandate and need to get all of our regional managers up and running on the Cognos solution. The ease of use is critical to our strategy. The power and sophistication of the analysis is another key strength. We believe Cognos PowerPlay offers an unparalleled depth of analysis.
WEAKNESSES: There is no current ability to parse the log files within the Cognos solution. We use NetTracker from Sane to accomplish that.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Based upon an exhaustive competitive search, we chose Cognos PowerPlay to be the multidimensional OLAP tool that would drive the analysis of our clickstream data. We fundamentally believe that Cognos provides the depth of analysis and sophistication we require. The breadth of the Cognos solution also influenced our decision. In choosing Cognos, we recognized we had a solid migration path Cognos can grow with our deployment as we require additional functionality.
DELIVERABLES: We are able to create comprehensive Web-based reports for the regional managers. This information gives them an accurate snapshot of their customer base. Regional managers are also able perform their own analysis with the multidimensional cube to slice and dice data.
VENDOR SUPPORT: One of the biggest issues for a leading company of our size is accurately defining the project at the beginning. Cognos professional services really shepherded us through the process of defining the dimensions and measurements of the cubes. From there, the project was pulled together by our information technology people with a lot of help from Cognos professional services to assemble the cubes.
DOCUMENTATION: The ease of use of the Cognos products extends to the support and documentation required. Response to the documentation has been favorable. I believe a user could, with even limited hands-on training, run the product solely with the documentation.
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