CATEGORY: Business Intelligence
REVIEWER: Ed Smith, manager of financial systems for Sabre Holdings.
BACKGROUND: As a world leader in travel commerce, Sabre Holdings knows the travel industry. By merchandising and distributing travel through online and offline points of sale, providing a complete software portfolio for hundreds of airlines and supplying technology solutions across the industry, the companies of Sabre Holdings serve travelers, corporations, travel agents and travel suppliers around the globe.
PLATFORMS: Windows NT/2000 environment with Hyperion Essbase.
PROBLEM SOLVED: We use Hyperion Essbase for financial reporting - 250 users have access to the system at any given time, with approximately 70 concurrent users during peak periods. During the month-end close, we need to be able to look at our financial data several times a day, but it was taking nearly 20 hours to build the cube each time we wanted to run a single report. The problem was exacerbated by the fast growth of our data every month. We were facing a substantial investment in additional storage and CPUs just to keep up.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We implemented HyperRoll to speed up our Hyperion Essbase reporting environment, and the results have been remarkable. We were able to reduce our cube build time from 20 hours to just 80 minutes. Additionally, because HyperRoll's aggregation technology dramatically reduces Essbase's dependency on CPU-intensive summary tools such as Dynamic Calc, we were able to obtain these results using four fewer CPUs. HyperRoll's architecture also reduced the amount of storage needed to support our Essbase cube by 90 percent. Additionally, we've been able to add a lot more detail to our analysis. We are now able to look at financial data multiple times a day during the close, which has made a substantial impact on our visibility into the business and our ability to make decisions based on up-to-date information.
STRENGTHS: Beyond the performance improvements, HyperRoll was easy to integrate into our existing database infrastructure and did not require extensive installation downtime or application re-tooling. Moreover, HyperRoll is completely transparent to our Essbase users. We installed HyperRoll on our existing database server, and it was then accessible as just another database table through standard queries.
WEAKNESSES: HyperRoll's documentation was somewhat limited, but this has not been a major issue.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We didn't evaluate other products. Our only other option for speeding up reporting was to add more hardware and storage and try to tune the system.
DELIVERABLES: HyperRoll takes input data from an Oracle database, aggregates this data and delivers it to our Essbase reporting environment for product, customer and geographic profitability analysis.
VENDOR SUPPORT: HyperRoll provided excellent support. The implementation took approximately five days and was executed without any interruption in our normal activities.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was somewhat limited; however, HyperRoll's support was sufficient to get us up and running quickly. The software is easy to use and doesn't require extensive documentation.
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