CATEGORY: Business Performance Management
REVIEWER: Aaron Leaman, performance metrics analyst for PNC Bank.
BACKGROUND: PNC Financial Services Group is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing regional banking, corporate banking, real estate, finance, private banking, asset-based lending, asset management and global fund-processing services. PNC Bank's National Financial Services Center, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the hub responsible for all customer inquiries and transactions.
PLATFORMS: WebFOCUS is running on Windows NT Servers.
PROBLEM SOLVED: We needed to provide a more responsive and comprehensive performance monitoring system for the call center so that managers can have accurate information about the number and types of calls, abandon rates and spike periods in order to predict trends, set schedules and forecast events. Our primary mission for improving performance management was to translate raw call-center data into intuitive, easily accessible reports that allow managers and agents to monitor and manage call-center performance. The reporting data was scattered among many different applications and databases and different people were doing different types of analysis, which produced conflicting numbers from different sources. PNC's service levels ebb and flow continuously, necessitating real-time monitoring. We needed a better reporting solution ideally with built-in analytics. We envisioned a Web-based business intelligence (BI) solution that could simplify data access and distribution while streamlining the creation of custom reports for managers and financial services consultants (FSCs) and WebFOCUS was the answer to our vision.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: First, we installed WebFOCUS on the call- center network. Most of the source data resides in flat files on the mainframe, while other data is drawn from Infoman, VSAM and DB2 files. Next, we installed WebFOCUS ReportCaster to simplify the process of distributing specific reports to specific groups and individuals. ReportCaster gives PNC Bank exceptional control over reports. The content, timing, frequency, format and even the method of distributing reports can all be easily managed and customized to meet individual needs. With WebFOCUS, we have peace of mind that information is helping improve overall corporate performance. One of the principal benefits of WebFOCUS is the rapidity with which the call center can now respond to changing call volumes, assessing trends and making forecasts that allow them to be more accurate and timely in creating schedules. FSCs have their own personal Web pages where they can gauge their performance against PNC's incentive plan.
STRENGTHS: WebFOCUS is extremely flexible on the back end, in terms of all the different data sources it can access a definite advantage over other BI solutions. It also has the business intelligence on the front end to rapidly distribute information in a highly accessible format, which is critical for our users.
WEAKNESSES: Some of the display/formatting options are limited, which requires us to redesign our HTML pages to fit specific report layouts. It can also occasionally be difficult to debug lengthy amounts of code, but this is a problem with nearly any system.
SELECTION CRITERIA: WebFOCUS was the most comprehensive solution. Additionally, when we considered its rapid development capabilities and broad data access abilities against other BI tools, WebFOCUS was clearly the best Web reporting solution for performance management on the market.
DELIVERABLES: A wide variety of reports are now created and distributed at the manager level, middle-manager level, team level and individual-agent level. Security constraints ensure that users only see information they are authorized to view. In the distribution of call-center schedules alone, WebFOCUS has proven to be a remarkable solution, eliminating paper costs, making report distribution instantaneous and reducing staff overhead. WebFOCUS has already paid for itself in terms of time and cost savings, and increased efficiency for our agents, their supervisors and corporate management. We are saving 50,000 pages of paper annually. Additionally, our two-person scheduling team has reduced the amount of time we spend distributing the schedules by approximately 20 percent.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Because the product was so intuitive and easy to use, we didn't require much assistance from Information Builders; however, they were very accessible and quick to respond to any questions we did have.
DOCUMENTATION: WebFOCUS has clear instructions and documentation for anyone that is using the product.
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