REVIEWER: David R. La Rue, director enterprise business intelligence and Web marketing, SIRVA Inc.  

BACKGROUND: We are one of the world's largest relocation and moving solutions companies, spanning more than 175 countries.SIRVA conducts more than 300,000 relocations per year, transferring government and corporate employees along with individual consumers. Our brands include Allied, DJK Residential, Global, northAmerican, SIRVA Mortgage, SIRVA Relocation and SIRVA Settlement, among others.

PLATFORMS: Microsoft Windows.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to selecting BusinessObjects Data Integrator software, we faced two major challenges as a result of our company’s rapid growth through acquisitions. We had accumulated a large variety of back-office systems with different business rules. In addition, we faced inconsistent data definitions as well as an array of data sources. BusinessObjects Data Integrator helped us consolidate various disparate legacy and distributed systems data sources and types into a consistent and validated target repository. We gained a consistent way of viewing the metrics between each of our brands and a holistic perspective across the whole business with access to timely, dynamic and accurate information.

STRENGTHS: One of the strengths of BusinessObjects Data Integrator is its integrated tool set, which includes BusinessObjects Web Intelligence tools, Crystal Reports and the ability to integrate into an application via Web services created by Business Objects. In addition, the comprehensive nature of the solution allows multiple team members to manage the ETL process at any stage. Another main strength is the ability to accelerate and simplify development efforts by building and managing data integration jobs within a single graphical environment. The drag-and-drop user interface allowed us to quickly build jobs that profile, validate, audit, cleanse, transform and move data. And, the smart documentation capability saves us from having to manually document our work.

WEAKNESSES: We feel that our version of BusinessObjects Data Integrator software is lacking enhancements that we had to purchase separately. The newest version of BusinessObjects Data Integrator software provides a more robust offering of data quality, data auditing and data processing tools, and we plan to transition onto this updated version.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Deciding that the optimal solution would be a sophisticated BI data warehouse, we evaluated four top BI vendors through two stages of evaluations. As part of the evaluation process, we developed a scorecard based on our organization’s desired strategic and operational goals. The scorecard included the following categories: reporting, data access, formatting, accessibility, completeness of the toolset, industry acceptance, existing experience and support.

DELIVERABLES: Our Business Objects solutions have yielded several quantifiable benefits. We anticipate a reduced dependency on existing reporting tools and the associated costs of licensing by consolidating to one set of rules and tools. We eliminated the time used to reconcile disparities in data due to subtle differences in the sources. Overall, this program is projected to improve service quality and agent retention, resulting in a 0.5 percent increase in moves in 2011 and 1 percent in 2012, equaling $1 million in incremental revenue. After transitioning all of our quality-related information to the data warehouse from a custom application, we have seen product and data usage increase dramatically. Our reputation is driven by the quality of products and data that we provide – and by our customers recommending us to others. We have already seen a very nice increase in our net promoters scores for both our Allied and northAmerican brands. (“Net promoter” is an industry standard method of determining the ratio of customer “promoters” to “detractors” of a brand.)

VENDOR SUPPORT: The implementation of the Data Integrator software occurred in two locations, with the first execution experiencing some hiccups that were resolved fairly quickly. Business Objects supported us throughout the entire ownership transition, providing great assistance. Furthermore, we find that Business Objects is committed to developing an industry-leading toolset; their technical sales staff and corporate support staff solicited our feedback in consideration of developing new features.

DOCUMENTATION: We feel the documentation was sufficient, and whenever a question arose, we were able to address it immediately using online guides and posting boards.

BusinessObjects Data Integrator Software
SAP Business Objects
3030 Orchard Pkwy
San Jose, CA 95134
(408) 953-6000
http://www.businessobjects.com/

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