Wednesday Feb 26, 2014

Oracle repeats as BI and Analytics Leader in Gartner MQ 2014

For the 8th consecutive year, Oracle is a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform. Gartner declares that “the BI and analytics platform market is in the middle of an accelerated transformation from Business Intelligence (BI) systems used primarily for measurement and reporting to those that also support analysis, prediction, forecasting and optimization.” Oracle offers all these wide-ranging capabilities across Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, Advanced Analytics and Real-Time Decisions.

Gartner specifically recognizes Oracle as a Leader for several key reasons. Oracle customers reported among the largest BI deployments in terms of users and data sizes. In fact, 69% of Oracle customers stated that Oracle BI is their enterprise BI standard. The broad product suite works with many heterogeneous data sources for large-scale, multi-business-unit and multi-geography deployments. The BI integration with Oracle Applications, and technology, and with Oracle Hyperion EPM simplifies deployment and administration. Not cited in the Gartner report is that Oracle BI can access and query Hadoop via a Hive Oracle Database Connector eliminating the need to write MapReduce programs for more efficient big data analysis.

“The race is on to fill the gap in governed data discovery,” professes Gartner. In this year’s MQ, all the Leaders have been moved “westward,” to the left, to open up white space in the future for vendors who address “governed data discovery” platforms that address both business users’ requirements for ease of use and enterprises’ IT-driven requirements, like security, data quality, and scalability. Although in Gartner’s view no single vendor provides governed data discovery today, Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.1, which became available in November 2013 after Gartner conducted the MQ report, is a complete enterprise data discovery platform that combines information of any type, from any source, empowering business user independence in balance with IT governance. Users can mash-up personal data along with IT-provisioned data into easy to use visualizations to explore what matters most to them. IT can manage the platform to meet data quality, scalability and security requirements. Users can benefit from additional subject areas and metadata provided by integration with Oracle BI.

Gartner additionally cites other Oracle strengths such as more than 80 packaged BI Analytic Applications that include pre-built data models, ETL scripts, reports, and dashboards, along with best practice, cross-functional analytics that span dozens of business roles and industries. Lastly, Oracle’s large, global network of BI application partners, implementation consultants, and customer install base provide a collaborative environment to grow and innovate with BI and analytics. Gartner also cites the large uptake in Oracle BI Mobile enabling business users to develop and deliver content on the go.

Tuesday Dec 10, 2013

Oracle Business Intelligence Applications: Deliver Value through Rapid Implementations by Will Hutchinson

During the last half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, Simon Miller and I wrote a book on release 7.9.6.x of Oracle BI Applications.  In this book we cover how to justify the purchase of BI Applications, what a typical project looks like, the architecture of the product, and overviews of the subject areas. We did not cover 11.1.1.x because it was not shipping when we wrote the book. We do not cover the material covered in the documentation. After all, why would you pay money to read what you can get for free?

Last month, Simon and I participated in a webinar sponsored by KPI Partners. The people at KPI Partners were pleased with the attendance, with over 120 people attending. The webinar talked discussed

  • Why people should care about the book
  • The Oracle BI Applications architecture
  • Setting user expectations
  • Building your team
  • Using a trusted advisor
  • The audience we wrote it for
  • What you will learn

 

I urge you to go to KPI Partners website and listen to the webinar. It will help you understand what our book is about and whether it is appropriate for you. Here’s a link.

http://www.kpipartners.com/oracle-bi-applications-delivering-value-through-rapid-implementation

Will Hutchinson
Master Principal Sales Consultant – Analytics, Oracle Corp.

Will Hutchinson has worked in the business intelligence and data warehousing for over 25 years. He started building data warehouses in 1986 at Metaphor, advancing to running Metaphor UK’s sales consulting area. He also worked in A.T. Kearney’s business intelligence practice for over four years, running projects and providing training to new consultants in the IT practice. He also worked at Informatica and then Siebel, before coming to Oracle with the Siebel acquisition. He became Master Principal Sales Consultant in 2009. He has worked on developing ROI and TCO models for business intelligence for over ten years. Mr. Hutchinson has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Monday Oct 28, 2013

Guest blog: A Closer Look at Oracle Price Analytics by Will Hutchinson

Overview:  Price Analytics helps companies understand how much of each sale goes into discounts, special terms, and allowances. This visibility lets sales management see the panoply of discounts and start seeing whether each discount drives desired behavior. In Price Analytics monitors parts of the quote-to-order process, tracking quotes, including the whole price waterfall and seeing which result in orders. The “price waterfall” shows all discounts between list price and “pocket price”. Pocket price is the final price the vendor puts in its pocket after all discounts are taken.

The value proposition: Based on benchmarks from leading consultancies and companies I have talked to, where they have studied the effects of discounting and started enforcing what many of them call “discount discipline”, they find they can increase the pocket price by 0.8-3%. Yes, in today’s zero or negative inflation environment, one can, through better monitoring of discounts, collect what amounts to a price rise of a few percent. We are not talking about selling more product, merely about collecting a higher pocket price without decreasing quantities sold. Higher prices fall straight to the bottom line.

The best reference I have ever found for understanding this phenomenon comes from an article from the September-October 1992 issue of Harvard Business Review called “Managing Price, Gaining Profit” by Michael Marn and Robert Rosiello of McKinsey & Co. They describe the outsized impact price management has on bottom line performance compared to selling more product or cutting variable or fixed costs. Price Analytics manages what Marn and Rosiello call “transaction pricing”, namely the prices of a given transaction, as opposed to what is on the price list or pricing according to the value received. They make the point that if the vendor does not manage the price waterfall, customers will, to the vendor’s detriment. It also discusses its findings that in companies it studied, there was no correlation between discount levels and any indication of customer value. I urge you to read this article.

What Price Analytics does: Price analytics looks at quotes the company issues and tracks them until either the quote is accepted or rejected or it expires. There are prebuilt adapters for EBS and Siebel as well as a universal adapter. The target audience includes pricing analysts, product managers, sales managers, and VP’s of sales, marketing, finance, and sales operations. It tracks how effective discounts have been, the win rate on quotes, how well pricing policies have been followed, customer and product profitability, and customer performance against commitments.

It has the concept of price waterfall, the deal lifecycle, and price segmentation built into the product. These help product and sales managers understand their pricing and its effectiveness on driving revenue and profit. They also help understand how terms are adhered to during negotiations. They also help people understand what segments exist and how well they are adhered to.

To help your company increase its profits and revenues, I urge you to look at this product. If you have questions, please contact me.

Will Hutchinson
Master Principal Sales Consultant – Analytics, Oracle Corp.

Will Hutchinson has worked in the business intelligence and data warehousing for over 25 years. He started building data warehouses in 1986 at Metaphor, advancing to running Metaphor UK’s sales consulting area. He also worked in A.T. Kearney’s business intelligence practice for over four years, running projects and providing training to new consultants in the IT practice. He also worked at Informatica and then Siebel, before coming to Oracle with the Siebel acquisition. He became Master Principal Sales Consultant in 2009. He has worked on developing ROI and TCO models for business intelligence for over ten years. Mr. Hutchinson has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Tuesday May 21, 2013

A Closer Look at Oracle Business Intelligence Applications Release 11.1.1.7.1

The entire business analytics team is very excited about the new release of Oracle Business Intelligence Application (11.1.1.7.1). The new release has been designed to add new in-memory analytic applications, significantly expand functional content across existing front and back-office Oracle BI Applications, re-architect the solution to leverage the power of Oracle Data Integrator, and introduce new out-of-the-box tools to increase productivity and drive down Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Here are some great resources for learning more about the new release:

Product Information 
What's New in Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) Applications 11.1.1.7.1
Oracle Indirect Spend Planning 
Oracle Student Information Analytics
Oracle BI Applications for your Business Role/Industry/Product Line 

Blogs
Oracle Data Integrator Joins Oracle BI Applications 
Introduction to the BI Apps 11.1.1.7.1 – Release Overview
The ALL-NEW Oracle BI Apps... now with ODI (11.1.1.7.1)
What's New And What's Improved In The New Version Of Oracle BI Applications
Introduction to the BI Apps 11.1.1.7.1 – Use of ODI11g for ETL 

On-demand Webcast
Reduce Spend and Increase Profitability with Oracle’s new offering for indirect spend planning

Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Breakthrough Strategies for HR Success

Aberdeen Group’s recent  study “The HR Executive‘s Agenda” shows organizations using workforce analytics experienced a 14% year-over-year improvement in revenue per employee compared to just 5% for those companies that did not.  Is your organization using analytics  to effectively manage its employees and improve performance?  We often hear from organizations that the key drivers for adopting an analytics-based approach to HR include:

  • Lack of accurate view of workforce profile
  • Measuring the effectiveness of HR
  • Aligning talent management with corporate strategies
  • Understanding the voice and sentiment of the workforce from topics and themes hidden in unstructured content

Join us on for a Webcast to find out how Oracle Business Analytics helps organizations of any size meet key HR challenges and  gain a 360-degree view of critical HR information within the enterprise and beyond.

Event Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Event Time: 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET

Register Now 

Monday Feb 11, 2013

You’ve never seen a BI solution with an ROI like this!

"BI helps you make better decisions.” That’s how the value of BI is often described. But is that good enough to justify a substantial investment in BI solutions? Certainly not! What customers are looking for is tangible proof that BI solutions help improve business processes, cut down costs, increase revenue and profitably. To demonstrate the quantitative and qualitative benefits of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, Oracle recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study to determine the Total Economic Impact of Oracle BI Applications.

Oracle BI Applications drastically reduces the time it takes to deploy BI by delivering pre-built analytics for ERP and CRM systems. Oracle's ERP Analytics, help front line managers improve cash flow, control expenses, manage headcount and employee performance, stream-line spend and supply chain operations, and track the financial performance of major projects. Oracle's CRM Analytics provides fact-based insight into the entire sales process and into product demand, customer price sensitivity, and overall pricing. Lastly, Oracle’s Industry Analytics enables businesses take advantage of industry specific analytics to streamline their operations, offer better services, and increase profit margins

A total of four interviews were conducted for this study, involving representatives from the following companies: a power management company, a plumbing hardware company, a software company, and a US city school district system.

The study found that the companies realized the following key benefits*:

Significant ROI** – experienced a three-year risk adjusted return on investment of 97 percent with a 20-month payback period;

Lower procurement spend – realized five percent lower procurement costs in the first year and increased to seven percent in the second year;

Accounts payable savings – achieved savings of more than $1 million per year by the third year;

Lower inventory working capital – experienced 15 percent reduction in inventory for the affected product categories over three years;

Increased gross sales and prices – increased gross sales by 0.4 percent in affected parts of the organization and increased average sales price by 0.3 percent over three years.

IT and business labor savings – achieved efficiencies in both the IT and business sides of the organization;

To learn more about the findings of the study, download a copy of the study here or watch the replay of The Total Economic Impact of Oracle Business Applications Webcast here.

* Source: “The Total Economic Impact of Oracle Business Intelligence Applications," a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Oracle, October 2012.

** Composite organization achieved this return.

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