BACKGROUND: Adaptec Inc. manufactures and develops hardware and software that help make the movement of data between computers and the rest of the world fast and easy. Based in Milpitas, California, Adaptec makes business solutions that move data between computer types (such as portable, desktop, workgroup and enterprise) to peripherals (such as RAID, disk drives, recordable CD drives, scanners, printers or optical drives), using high-performance, industry-standard technologies as well as emerging technologies. A public company since 1986, Adaptec's annual revenues approach $700 million dollars.
PLATFORMS: The typical Seagate Info user at Adaptec is running Windows 95 on a Pentium 233 with a minimum of 32 megabytes of RAM. Adaptec uses SAP R/3 as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on an Informix database of 90 gigabytes. Adaptec expects to deploy all 250 users of Seagate Info worldwide by March 2000, using a wide area network on Dell 4300 servers in Milpitas and Brussels, Belgium, and HP NetServers running Microsoft IIS4. Seagate Software's integration with Dell and HP has provided a robust cost-effective platform for Adaptec.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Adaptec was looking for a way to improve its reporting capabilities from its SAP R/3 ERP system. There was an increasing demand from end users to access data from SAP and other database systems without having to depend on the company's business information solutions group (BISG). Adaptec users wanted to retrieve and analyze data on their own; and as Adaptec had multiple database systems, they required a business intelligence solution that would integrate with all of them. Seagate Info's enterprise reporting suite provided Adaptec with the solution they desired. Seagate Info enabled end users to create simpler reports on their own, while allowing the BISG programmers to develop more complex reports.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Seagate Software has met Adaptec's need for an enterprise reporting product that would work with their multiple database systems, especially a SAP R/3 system. Adaptec currently uses all major SAP R/3 modules and has implemented Seagate Info to report from the sales and distribution, financial, manufacturing and materials management modules. Deployment of Seagate Info began in late 1998 with Adaptec's technical team and has since expanded company-wide to include business analysts and "super users" identified within the organization. Seagate Info's scalability has allowed Adaptec to make this progressive deployment possible.
STRENGTHS: Seagate Info's unique ability to seamlessly integrate with multiple database systems including SAP is one of its greatest strengths. Seagate Software's SAP solution supports cross-module reporting, and there are plans to continue enhancing their product's implementation with SAP in the future. Its scalability allowed Adapatec to evaluate the product progressively throughout the enterprise, starting with the technical team and expanding to business users.
WEAKNESSES: Adaptec's implementation could have been quicker if Seagate Software had provided canned "Info Views" for the various modules. An Info View is a Seagate Info object which contains predetermined linking of database tables. By having canned Info Views, the users could have begun writing reports "right out of the box."
SELECTION CRITERIA: Adaptec chose Seagate Info for its low cost and its unique ability to seamlessly integrate with SAP and all of Adaptec's other database systems which include Oracle, Informix, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server and Lotus Notes. As well, Adaptec's end users selected Seagate Info as the easiest business intelligence tool to use with the best-of-breed reporting technology available.
DELIVERABLES: Seagate Info is currently producing ad hoc reports from an SAP database with more than 10,000 entries, some of which have hundreds of fields. Adaptec's reports range from two to 300+ pages in length. Many reports have been developed for each of the SAP modules.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Seagate Software has provided solid sales and technical support for Adaptec. Seagate Software's future plans to expand their implementation with SAP will work well with Adaptec's future data warehousing initiatives.
DOCUMENTATION: Seagate Info includes comprehensive documentation on all aspects of the product. Background information on business intelligence is required for understanding complete product functionality. This information is included in Seagate Info marketing collateral.
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