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Cognos migration success story for auto parts company

NWS

Leading retailer and distributor of auto parts successfully migrates from Cognos Impromptu 7 to Cognos 8

CUSTOMER:

A leading provider of communications, high-speed Internet and entertainment services in small-to-mid-size markets delivering advanced communications services through its broadband and fiber optics network in more than 33 states.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Migration of IBM Cognos Impromptu 7 to IBM Cognos 8 BI
  • Improved performance and efficiency
  • Migration of Catalogs and Reports
  • IBM Cognos 8 BI Training

CHALLENGES

Our customer was interested in eliminating inefficient, error-prone reporting and the resolving of numerous performance issues that were inherent to their existing Cognos Impromptu 7 reporting solution. Their legacy solution…

  • Used a client based tool that made data integrity maintenance difficult and at times, unresponsive and unable to address data validation;
  • Used a database based security model that is difficult to manage and maintain;
  • Had existing Impromptu reports using hot files, macros, and Excel files for reporting;
  • Structure, data and formatting relative to producing reports was overly complex;
  • Was error prone as many existing Impromptu reports contained numerous errors as a result of incompatibility; and
  • Incorporated existing Impromptu reports which had many limitations in terms of report format, report data and report output.

SCOPE

The scope of the project covered a wide spectrum of functional areas and included:

  • Installation, configuration and performance tuning of Cognos 8.3 to requirements;
  • Migration of existing reports and catalogs to reap the benefits of new Cognos 8;
  • Ensuring the accuracy of the administrative aspects relative to migration and consistency of user access and security with that of existing systems in order to minimize downtime;
  • Resolution of security issues resulting from a client based impromptu solution to that of a web based Cognos 8 solution;
  • Providing training to end users for a seamless transition from Cognos Impromptu 7 to that of Cognos 8.3;
  • Additional functionality gained by the business without compromising its data integrity;
  • Fine tuning performance while addressing data validation;
  • Delivery of a Cognos based security model complete with the training of the users to ensure adaptation of change; and
  • The leveraging of more advanced functionality found in Framework Manger and Report Studio.

SOLUTIONS

The Customer chose PREDICTif for migration of their existing IBM Cognos® Impromptu 7 to that of IBM Cognos 8. PREDICTif demonstrated the necessary depth of experience in designing, building and delivering scalable BI solutions the customer required in a solution provider.

The PREDICTif team, comprised of IBM Cognos Certified consultants, used PREDICTif’s proprietary methodology to deliver the project, in three main phases we refer to as: Foundation, Implementation and Evolution.

The Foundation Phase established the readiness of people, infrastructure and process to ensure both PREDICTif and customer teams were immediately productive at the inception of the project. The Implementation Phase delivered the solutions that met the business objectives of the project. The Evolution Phase ensured customer’s self sufficiency post production.

Foundation Phase

  • Reviewed the existing process and collected existing reports, data sources, and information needed for the process as a part of Discovery Stage;
  • Generated a detailed Migration plan after numerous planning sessions with the customer;
  • Provided foundational training of Cognos 8 to customer’s personnel to ready them for the participation in requirement gathering, design workshops and testing; and
  • Installed and configured Cognos 8 and made all the needed integrations to dependent data sources within DEV, TEST and PROD environments.

Implementation Phase

  • Applied PREDICTif’s best practices in all designs of reports, metadata and data models to achieve consistency and meet industry standards;
  • Completed the migration of all the catalogs and reports that are free of functional errors, ambiguous relationships and loop joins;
  • Created many reports from scratch as those reports lost the formatting and data formats post migration to guarantee end users the exact same report formats;
  • Validated all the reports manually with the Impromptu reports for consistency in report data, report formats, and report output;
  • Produced numerous reports of medium to high complexity which included calculations, data based on numerous groupings, multiple prompts, filters, conditional formatting, charts, various associations, master-detail relationships, date-time calculations, and heavy formatting;
  • Created an efficient security solutions for user access that leveraged Cognos 8 security features; and
  • Worked with customer’s personnel throughout the projects to ensure knowledge transfer to the customer.

Evolution Phase

  • Created custom training materials on Report Studio and Cognos Connection as well as administered classroom training sessions to power users and end users to ensure a smooth transition from Cognos Series 7 to Cognos 8; and
  • Produced detailed documents for new report authoring and overall system support and maintenance to guarantee customer self sufficiency post production.

RESULTS

PREDICTif successfully delivered a solution that met the required functionality and training requirements for the Customer’s self sufficiency.

  • Produced a successful migration of all Models and Reports from Cognos Impromptu Series 7.1 to Cognos 8.3 as well as a user-friendly, refined Framework Manager Model that enabled customer personnel to create ad-hoc reports more easily;
  • Completed deployment of all reports under budget, ahead of schedule and exceeded customer’s expectations;
  • Established an efficient approach for providing access to each user based on roles and groups in Cognos 8;
  • Provided end users the required visibility into their data and a more efficiency related to creating the required reports; and
  • Enabled end users to query and build reports, create ad-hoc reports and use various other functions built into Report Studio.
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phone +1 713.457.7474
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