REVIEWER: Sigal Schleifer, data warehouse manager for Visa Israel / Cal Online.

BACKGROUND: Cal, founded in 1978, is the distributor of Visa, MasterCard and Diner's Club cards in Israel. Known for its use of advanced technology and superior customer support, Cal offers its credit services to more than 50,000 businesses nationwide. Cal delivers the most diverse package of services and credit card options to individual credit holders in Israel. Cal is a member of the Visa International, MasterCard, Europa and Diner's Club families. Ownership of Cal is divided among Bank Discount, The First National Bank, The Fishman Group and Harel HaMishamar.

PLATFORMS: Panorama NovaView BI Platform was installed in a Windows environment ­ Windows 2000 / Microsoft SQL Server 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Panorama NovaView was developed and implemented as a corporate executive information system (EIS) to quickly gather and disseminate information. It was paramount that the user interface be intuitive, user-friendly and rapid to respond. Cal needed a solution to better inform the executive team to streamline their decision making and achieve results in maximizing their work processes. Cal needed an analysis solution that would standardize the information for managers and executives across the enterprise to make better-informed decisions. Panorama's BI solution produces timely and accurate reports on all aspects of the company's performance.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Our executives and management team use Panorama's NovaView BI Platform to make better business decisions that generate results. The prepared views display large amounts of data in an informative, legible and standardized manner, while highlighting exceptions. Internal analysts use the advanced slicing and drilling capabilities to prepare customized reports on demand. Complex and time-consuming reports can now be completed in minutes. With Panorama NovaView, all of our critical business intelligence is amassed within one source, freeing the Cal team member from flipping through multiple applications and reports to make decisions. Additionally, the flexibility of the Panorama solution allows each executive to retrieve the data applicable to the decisions s/he must make. Tools such as drill through to the cell level allow an executive to view an opportunity or trend from the macro and micro level, whereas the parameters mechanism empowers analysts to fine tune parameters in which the data has been converted into the Panorama charts and tables.

STRENGTHS: Panorama's intuitive, easy- to-use graphical user interface enables complete flexibility in sorting, filtering and slicing the data. The robust functionality has endless possibilities for analyzing data. The implementation of the Panorama solution into Cal's IT system has been smooth. The software is user-friendly and attractive; we have found that a click of the mouse quickly completes a complex analysis of data. As we work in an environment wherein privacy is key, each Cal team member has access to in-depth and relevant information in accordance with a controlled and secure access system easily monitored by the Panorama system administrator.

WEAKNESSES: We find that when working online, Panorama cannot be beat. But at times when creating reports for print distribution, team members would like more design options. Cal is investigating the new report integration tools offered by Panorama.

SELECTION CRITERIA: For Cal, choosing Panorama was an easy decision for various reasons. No other product on the market today matches Panorama's graphical user interface and the level of in-depth analysis possible. Panorama offered the most user-friendly and intuitive software. The Panorama Web solution integrated smoothly with our existing IT network. Cal has developed a long and satisfying relationship with Panorama. We have been happy with previous versions of their software, and impressed with their Support Center and the cooperation we have received from the development team.

DELIVERABLES: Cal uses a large array of charts and tables, divided by business unit, with each department accessing their own custom-built views for information.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Working with the Panorama software has another added bonus ­ the Panorama Software Systems team. Cal has found when an issue arises and we need support, we have access to the Panorama Support Center and their development team. The Panorama team response is always swift and on the mark.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was geared to analysts and programmers; therefore, users who are unfamiliar with query tools may need additional guidance.

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