Digital Mall Alicornio Africa

Susan Andre 2004

Aicornio Africa and Digital Mall to deliver cutting edge new bi service based on cutting edge asp model.

Digital Mall in collaboration with Alicornio Africa (previously Sagent Southern Africa), announced a new service for Information Integration, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing based on an Application Service Provider (ASP) model.

This service enables organisations to gain access to a Business Intelligence (BI) infrastructure and world-class technology at an affordable price, which is a fully managed solution with all configuration, maintenance and monitoring done by Digital Mall.

According to a report published by Gartner Research in June 2003, BI based practices such as Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Analytical Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will become increasingly popular amongst organisations due to promising benefits of implementing them. Benefits include operational cost savings (CPM) and enhanced customer understanding and service (Analytical CRM). Companies hesitant to adopt these practices are usually weary of the significant cost of establishing it in-house.

"The benefit of a hosted service is that specialist skills and technologies, often not within the financial reach of many South African businesses, becomes an attractive and viable option," says Yaron Assabi, CEO of Digital Mall. "We enable companies with the ability to collect, analyse and interpret their data within a risk-free business intelligence service environment, managed from a central location using the Internet as a communication gateway."

Digital Mall already caters for disaster recovery, backups and business continuity, scalable capacity and information security making it an ideal fit for hosting and managing an ASP model. Digital Mall chose the Sagent EII application as it allowed for Digital Mall to reduce the amount of time spent on clients reporting and focus on business yielding value adding reports.

"We opted for the Sagent Solution from Alicornio Africa since it offers all the components required for the diverse information requirements of decision support and information integration" adds Assabi. Whereas most BI solutions offer either the BI platform or the BI reporting capabilities, the Sagent Solution covers accessible Enterprise Information Integration (EII) as a whole.

Digital Mall's dedicated BI unit is focussed primarily on accessing company wide information and providing recommended actions that should be implemented by operations and finance. Sagent has allowed for time be spent analysing trends and applying human intelligence based on information gleamed from various sources hosted within the environment.

Another reason that makes the Digital Mall offering particularly attractive is the fact that it caters for the unique requirements of each client. Once the client requirements are defined Digital Mall will extract, transform and load the customers' data into the hosted data warehouse, at predefined intervals.

Designed to allow the generation of regular static reports as well as catering for ad hoc interrogation of data, clients use a web browser to access their information. Clients subscribe to the service as opposed to owning the infrastructure and through the economies of scale, could save on the potential costly investment on a typical infrastructure required for BI purposes. Users can share static reports through options like publishing to HTML, PDF or a delimited text file; which can easily be shared via email or the web.

Without easy access to relevant information, valuable business opportunities are lost and operational inefficiency can be overlooked. "Companies should unlock the potential value of the information scattered throughout their organisations, by making use of the power of enabling technologies and service provided. The greatest challenge is usually to collect the information, a costly process that takes extensive time often distracting the individual keen to be analysing the information. Instead of spending their efforts on collecting the information they should be streamlining the process and obtain access to consolidated information in a consistent and managed way" says Susan Andre, Managing Director of Alicornio Africa.

Digital Mall is a multi-faceted medium independent company with expertise in the fields of Multi Channel Commerce, Relationship Marketing, Business Intelligence, Business Process Engineering, Call Centre consulting and Call Centre solution provision.

Alicornio Africa is the exclusive distributor of the Sagent suite of Enterprise Information Integration and Business Intelligence products, which the company implements and consults on.