Electronic design automation (EDA) specialist Mentor Graphics is using Sagent technology, after it decided to systematically overhaul its Business Intelligence (BI) infrastructure to support a dramatic increase in the number of data mart subject areas and an expansion of it's reporting and analysis capabilities.
"We supported a total user base of approximately 100 regular users," said Ross Green, business systems analyst at Mentor Graphics. "Two years ago we had two legacy bookings and revenue data marts and two additional data marts for managing customer support issues and tracking installed software licenses."
"With Mentor's IT group planning an aggressive rollout of worldwide enterprise applications to support marketing, HR, call tracking, and consulting engagement initiatives, we saw the need to implement a streamlined, automated ETL solution that could handle the expansion.
Initially, Mentor used a series of hand-coded SQL scripts to perform source extraction and loading into the data marts. Although this worked, They weren't getting the performance needed and had difficulty recovering from database-related processing errors.
Susan Andre, the head of the Sagent operation in South Africa, takes up the story. "An especially critical set of automation tasks involved co-ordinating the extracts from SAP and the population of Hyperion Essbase cubes."
Green says that they make a lot of use of command execution tasks to run batch files. The batch files perform tasks such as running SQL scripts in SQLPlus to build or drop indexes or running Hyperion Essbase ESSCMD or MaxL scripts to control the loading of our Essbase cubes.
"By doing this we have been able to automate our entire process flow of extracting data from SAP into our data marts and then loading our Essbase cubes from the data marts" he says. Using Sagent products Green and his colleagues were able to dramatically increase the number of data marts and expand service to a broader community, including international users in Japan, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan.
"By implementing an automated solution, we have been able to improve service levels dramatically", said Green. "We even have a custom website which reports the current status of each data mart load based on the records in the load-monitoring database. Our users can access this page to get a real-time status update on a data mart to determine if the load is complete."
Mentor Graphics used Sagent to merge two legacy regional data marts into a single worldwide Bookings and Revenue data mart. They then went on to develop five additional data marts covering human resources, sales commissions, marketing interactions, consulting engagements and financial consolidation data.
"We've dramatically increased the amount of information available to analysts and decision-makers, and have used Sagent to perform incremental loads of key data marts. This means zero down-time and up-to-date data for Mentor Graphics users regardless of worldwide location."
Mentor Graphics is an internationally recognised technology leader in electronic design automation (EDA), providing software and hardware design solutions that enable companies to send better electronic products to market faster and more cost-effectively.
The company offers products and solutions that help engineers overcome the design challenges they face in the increasingly complex worlds of board and chip design – where deep submicron (DSM) technology and System-on-Chip (SoC) design multiply the challenge of getting great product ideas to market.
Mentor Graphics maintains a global distribution channel with sites at 55 locations worldwide, while their computing environment consists of Solaris, Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server.
Sagent's suite of enterprise Business Intelligence solutions enables companies to measurably impact their business by implementing highly successful customer relationship and financial management initiatives.
Through Sagent's powerful enabling technologies, organizations can easily and rapidly turn company data into relevant information that can be used for effective decision-making, analysis and reporting. Information can be extracted from multiple sources (internal and external), optimized for decision support and delivered in a customized format for Web-based or client applications.
More than 1,500 companies have selected Sagent software to enhance customer retention, cross-sell/up-sell, improve customer service, increase efficiencies of marketing campaigns, streamline business operations, analyze financials, and reduce costs.
Customers include AT&T, BP Amoco, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Bristol Meyers, British Telecom, California State Automobile Association, Citibank, GPU Energy, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Johnson & Johnson (UK), Kemper National Insurance, Provident Central Credit Union, Safeway and Siemens. For more information www.sagent.co.za.