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Agile Corporate Management

Performance management using process-oriented planning and analysis with BOARD

> Research Note - October 2009

An analysis made by

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Content 1
1.1 1.2 1.3

AGILE CORPORATE MANAGEMENT.............................................


Agility more than operational excellence...................................................... Performance management information in the context of business processes............................................................................................... Performance management living it at every work station..............................

4 4 5 7

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2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

A CASE FOR BOARD........................................................................ 10


Supply Chain Management at Kraft Foods......................................................... HanseMerkur: Discovering and reducing risks with BOARD.............................. Flexible analysis and planning at ABB AG with BOARD...................................... Harvey Nichols: Retailer realises benefits of Integrated, Business Wide Management Information ................................................................................... 10 12 14 16

BOARD PROCESS-ORIENTED PLANNING AND ANALYSIS.... 18

APPENDIX......................................................................................... 22

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1.1

Agile corporate management


Agility more than operational excellence

When turnover grows more slowly or even stagnates Performance Management is a business model and declines, when budgets become increasingly that allows a company to continuously align tight and competitive pressure continues to grow, corporate goals with business processes and keep management is challenged more than ever. Identifying them consistent. Performance management means profit opportunities, implementing rigorous cost saving, planning, monitoring and controlling processes in intensifying customer contacts and effectively using the a way that they are agile as well as using process few means and resources still available are absolutely content as the basis for diagnostics, analysis and top priority. Geopolitical uncertainties make planning forecasts. even more difficult, but at the same time more important than ever. In addition there are the ever increasing new regulations, in areas such as financial reporting and balance sheet consolidation. In other words: traditional The principle is therefore: We can only manage what corporate management is reaching its limits. The old, we can measure. but still correct principles of operational excellence no longer suffice. Corporate management in times of a worldwide economic crisis and especially in the approaching postcrisis period requires additional agility that is needed over and above the traditional corporate goals of effectiveness and efficiency. Agility means the ability of an organization to be constantly innovative and to adjust its own business models and processes to suit market and customer dynamics. It all depends on the companys ability to act rapidly and correctly in times of flux and uncertainty. Because the life cycle of processes is getting shorter and shorter, changes in increasingly faster cycles are necessary.1 Corporate management today and tomorrow must be agile in order for a company to not only survive, but to prosper. Agile corporate management is therefore based not only on the traditional instruments of business management (planning, execution, monitoring and controlling), it also encompasses three additional components: governance, risk management and compliance. Governance refers to the organization and control of activities and resources in the company in a manner that is responsible, sustainable and in line with adding value in the long run. Risk management applies to all activities concerning risk identification, risk reduction and risk prevention. Compliance means fulfilling the policies made by management as well as the legal and regulatory requirements. To meet these requirements, agile corporate management needs a performance management system. (Fig. 1)

For the definition of agility see http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/agility.html

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Figure 1: An agile company not only relies on operational excellence, but also on the flexibility of the business model. One prerequisite is the existence of agile business processes that also allow agility to be implemented operationally. The performance management model, using processes that are planned, monitored and controlled, is also used to initiate proactive measures. It is here that business intelligence meets business process management: information is placed in the context of business processes, and business processes thus become intelligent processes. This creates agile corporate management.

1.2

Performance management information in the context of business processes

In extensive business intelligence projects in previous years companies have worked on making information available to support a system of corporate management that is based on facts. However, in many cases experience has shown that while information is often available, it has not been placed in the context of the businesses proceses and has therefore been of only limited use to corporate management. In order to increase the benefits of BI and to enable agile corporate management, new ground must be broken:

Using BOARD enables us to detect weaknesses in a product range or sales process early and promptly introduce countermeasures. Because our employees were fully involved in the project and the development of the applications for which no programming was required - from the very beginning, we will now be able to react quickly and accurately to new market situations in the future as well. Dr. Klaus Doch Commercial & IT Director Fissler GmbH

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Figure 2: Performance management is a top-down model for information-based management. Measurable goals are derived from the business strategy. Based on strategy and goals, processes and metrics for efficient business management and continuous optimization are derived in parallel. Based on the outcomes of the metrics, decisions are made either manually by a person or automatically via decision engines. The decisions lead to actions for controlling the performance of processes and the activities within them (tactical and operational CPM) and also for aligning and modifying strategy and goals (strategic CPM): The loop is closed. It is important that measurement and process execution are synchronized: the speed of measuring and controlling must correspond to the speed of the business process.

The goal of performance management is to place information in the context of business processes. Agility fully depends on those business processes. (see Fig. 2) Information that relates to business processes, is used to proactively monitor and control. Employees should be able to follow these processes in a way that they can understand. Like that, process owners and managers are able to comprehend the current position and situation of every process and take actions promptly when problems and risks emerge. They can therefore also recognize sooner whether goals that have been set for an ongoing process can be attained at all: this creates early warning systems,

which are a prerequisite for risk management and compliance, and therefore also for agile corporate management. (Fig. 2) If a company wants to implement the principles of agile corporate management, this cannot be done without the relevant software support. In particular, over recent years CPM toolkits have proven themselves in this area (CPM = Corporate Performance Management) and are regarded as best practice for implementation. They are positioned between CPM suites and individual tools (such as spreadsheet programs). They offer functionalities specific to performance management as a service; hence, they are open and have standardised interfaces. As a result they can be

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modified very easily to suit individual subject-specific tasks within the company and can be integrated easily into existing IT landscapes. Taken as a whole this provides the flexible work environment within business departments that is required for agile corporate management. One interesting European provider of innovative CPM toolkits is BOARD. The CPM toolkit from BOARD offers process-oriented planning and analysis as the foundation for agile corporate management. The traditional business intelligence tools are combined with the services of a CPM toolkit to create performance management. Performance management is based on process-oriented analysis and planning for ad hoc and standard evaluations, scorecards and dashboards, key data and metrics, and for parallel access to the data warehouse, to data marts, to operational internal data or a range of external data including data from the web.

entry into the world of BOARD. BOARDs special feature is a date cube combined with a text cube, both of which complement the classic data cube in the BOARD OLAP tool. The date cube enables full calendar functionality to enrich the planning processes. This allows comprehensive process management for planning processes BOARD customers also use the CPM toolkit for project planning and supply chain management. The text cube provides a good level of support for the collaborative aspects of planning and analysis by enabling comments and additional information and even images and pictures. BOARD relies on a multi-cube architecture using a data flow engine. By assigning indicators to single cubes, a high degree of flexibility is attained when calculating indicators and compounds and configuring complex applications. This allows the underlying data marts to be laid out in a lean way. Here, BOARD makes use of its technological strength to combine high-performance data management with an innovative, highly ergonomic front-end to deliver a CPM toolkit. The integration of data management and frontend provides an additional advantage. With BOARD all of the analytical objects are linked. As a result the analysis becomes intuitive, fast and safe due to a seamless zoom and drill through/across/down/anywhere function, even in the pre-processing systems.

Berlucchi has grown considerably in recent years, hence the need to install a system for the integrated management of our commercial and operational processes. With BOARD, we have developed a model that seamlessly integrates our commercial planning activities with performance control and management of the sales force. Roberto Sciolli CFO Berlucchi S.p.A.

Through performance management the output and performance of business processes is made measurable so that it can be monitored and controlled. In day-to-day business, processes must continuously be modified to suit the speed of market and the requirements of customers. This requires well-engineered simulation methods and tools as well as a high degree of transparency for example through version control in planning. Usually we need to be able to plan using a combination of online and offline tools, and consistency must of course be guaranteed. A CPM toolkit such as the one from BOARD provides all of that. Furthermore, BOARD offers additional functions which clearly set BOARD apart from its competitors. Many suppliers limit the planning function to financial planning. BOARD goes further and offers planning for all departments and all processes. Standard planning processes are also supplied and facilitate a rapid and safe

1.3

Performance management living it at every work station

Performance management appeals not only to business analysts, but also to occasional users within the company and even to external employees of dealers, suppliers, partners or to customers. Ultimately, performance management for internal and external employees and managers should not only be used as a matter of course, it should also inspire and motivate. The user need to embrace performance management and use it on an every-day basis to experience a lasting benefit. The success factors for users are not only good response times and good support even when there are very large numbers of workstations, but also the ergonomics of the IT support. Due to their service character, CPM toolkits such as the one from BOARD work like Lego blocks with functions displayed within one click on the

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Figure 3: Due to its internal service oriented architecture, BOARD allows you to work using principles of mashing up planning and analysis services la Web 2.0, and services such as Google Maps can easily be embedded.

right button of the mouse. This also enables occasional users of performance management to work rather autonomously by selecting objects using drag-and-drop and entering the relevant characteristics. In this respect CPM toolkits address the old BI requirement of more autonomy in the business departments. While traditional CPM suites cover only specific requirements within one business area using a special model, a CPM toolkit is an open but functionally interrelated environment in which all of the objects and functions are available to the user in the form of services. This empowers the user to compose and orchestrate exactly what is needed without the need for programming. This is a basic prerequisite for the required agility, because the one-product concept from BOARD prevents the need for complex and time-consuming work with different development environments, databases and interfaces. Furthermore, due to its internal service oriented architecture, with BOARD you can for example work

using principles of mashing up planning and analysis services as la Web 2.0 if desired. This is a mode of operation appreciated by younger employees (the socalled digital natives) in particular.

The more people use BOARD, the more they want from it and BOARD has provided us with the flexibility, capability and speed to support this change across the business. John Quickenden, Business Support Group Manager Mitsubishi Electric

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Technology: BOARD is completely integrated with Microsoft Office 2007 allowing a rapid and easy entry into BOARDs mode of operation as people work with it in the same way as with Office 2007. BOARD is based on service oriented architecture (SOA) and uses the Microsoft .NET framework as a foundation. It is a futureoriented architecture which thus not only offers a good protection of investment, but also makes planning and analysis more productive: a complete planning or analysis process can also be used as a partial process in other planning processes and can even reuse other partial processes itself. Furthermore, layout templates ensure that changes are carried out reliably end-to-end and that they remain consistent. BOARDs multi-dimensional database is based on 64-bit technology and thus performs well even with very large volumes of data. BOARD can directly access other relational databases and can be seamlessly set up with industry standards such as SAP and SAP BW. Finally, BOARD allows rapid deployment of the final results through ready-to-print, high-resolution graphics, a not to be neglected feature when it comes to professional publication of the output of planning and analytics.

Summary: Companies who want to build an enduring, reliable, revision-proof and agile system of corporate management must choose which platform and which components they need in order to implement a solution of this kind. One of the important issues and tasks is selecting a technology for process-oriented planning and analysis that suits the individual company needs and which will not only be accepted by employees, but actually also inspires and enlightens them. Crucial here are the right ergonomics, the right price-performance ratio and quickly implemented, easily adjustable and modifiable solutions that meet the needs of agile companies. From an IT point of view this means that the solution is service oriented. Companies which need to fulfill such a task and which use Microsoft technology should therefore consider BOARD as a possible CPM toolkit solution.

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2.1

A case for BOARD


Supply Chain Management at Kraft Foods

Company Kraft Foods Spain. Around the globe, in over 150 countries, more than 100,000 employees are committed to bringing the world its favourite foods with well-known brands like Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Milka, Suchard and Toblerone. Core business is based on five sectors: snacks, beverages, cheese, fish products and convenience meals. Krafts superior portfolio includes 61 brands with a revenue of over 24 billion USD. BOARD Solution When Krafts Big Clients started to request high level service, a decrease of logistic and administrative costs, collaboration in projects about new product and technologies, Kraft Foods decided to set up a Supply Chain department in the early days of 2000. This new area has been given the responsibility of the goods delivery process and the following goal: clients should receive precisely the goods they need, in the best quality condition, at the right time and with the lowest cost possible. The impact to achieve all this spreads to purchase process, demand planning and logistics as well as customer service and, so far, credit management issues. Due to the complex and large amount of information required, Kraft then asked for a complete in-depth analysis of the supply chain management process. Applying a step-by-step development approach, the SDG consulting team set up the Management Intelligence project, focused on three main modules: Customer Service Level, Cost To Serve, Logistics Costs Budgeting. - Customer Service Level For any order a client requests, a series of different processes are implemented right through to the delivery of the order itself. This project module aims to provide the Supply Chain department, together with process owners for order deliveries, with a Consolidated Control System enabling the key users to monitor the customer service levels at a glance. This information is available for Supply Chain, Finance, Marketing and Sales departments as well as third parties such as suppliers and clients. In order to evaluate delivery process efficiency, indicators were defined according to the dimensions of analysis: packages, orders, delivery notes and invoices. These elements are actually the starting points used to evaluate the Service Level itself, enforcing the assessment of the delivery process efficiency. Moreover, identification and analysis of the reasons that really cause inefficiency, was found as one of the key-factors in Consumer Service Level Monitoring. Carlos Picazo, Costumer Service Manager at Kraft Foods Spain: If we are able to find and know where they are, how frequently and when they take place, we will fully understand the causeeffect relationships and then figure out a solution. Thats the main driver that can help us to improve our Delivery System.

Application Area Supply Chain Management

Costumer statement If we are able to find and to know where inefficient delivery processes are, how frequently and when they take place, we will fully understand the causeeffect relationships and then figure out a solution. That is the main driver that will definitely help us to improve our delivery system. Carlos Picazo Consumer Service Manager Kraft Foods

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The next step then is a detailed analysis of the incomplete or not expected deliveries: Kraft can finally check which products are missing, why they are missing and which clients will be affected by these issues. Information like that is processed by the Customer Service department, whose main task is to look for a solution for these types of incidents. - Cost To Serve Analysing data at the lowest level of detail - delivery note level - actually allows Kraft to keep the efficiency of their logistic network under control; they receive complete weekly activity reports, aimed at helping them to find new opportunities to improve their day-by-day processes. The Cost To Serve module controls and optimizes logistic costs for serving clients, in order to support decision processes identifying inefficiencies and opportunities for economies of scale within Krafts supply chain. The costs depend mainly on Krafts logistic structure (factories and warehouse location) and on the delivery conditions requested by each client (size, packaging, structure and order frequency). Data - available for any client - can be analysed based on: Delivery Point Product Store of supply & confirmation % of track use (cargo) Order size (according to a given scale) Order structure (complete palet or picking) 15 different types of costs are analysed, supporting the following processes: Direct Delivery from factory; Primary transport (from the factory to the warehouse); Stocking; Distribution; Penalties and agreements. - Logistics Cost Budgeting This projects module comes directly from a need to have a business model that supports the budget process for distribution costs; this means comparing - in an easy and flexible way - actual vs. budget and performing simulations such as what-if and what-for scenario analysis. All this can be done based on the standard costs rather than applying complex models concerning fees and prices for each logistical supplier. In the meantime, this simulation-based environment enables Krafts management to carry out the revised budget and monthly forecast process, enforcing the attitude of the management to act by process being oriented to the most important asset of each company: the client.

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2.2

HenseMerkur: Discovering and reducing risks with BOARD

Application Area Risk management

Company For many years, the strategy adopted by the HanseMerkur Versicherungsgruppe has been aimed at achieving long-term strengthening of its financial base, something which is of key significance to customers and members involved in the insurance of people. It is this sound financial base that has allowed HanseMerkur to grow into what is now a modern insurance group extending right across Germany, employing more than 1500 people, with revenues from policy premiums in excess of 800 million EUR and a capital reserve in excess of 3 billion EUR.

Costumer statement The introduction of the RMS has caused a large innovative leap in the department. Dr. Michael Redlin Corporate Planning HanseMerkur Versicherungsgruppe

BOARD Solution Due to regulations contained within the German Insurance Supervision Act and the Stock Companies Act, HanseMerkur is legally obliged to take appropriate measures towards identifying potentially adverse developments at an early stage. In particular, it is required to set up an appropriate monitoring system or early risk detection system. HanseMerkur has complied with these legislative obligations to set up a risk management system (RMS), and has opted for one based on the BPM/CPM toolkit from BOARD. At HanseMerkur, a risk is defined in the following way: Negative variance between the actual development and the planned/anticipated outcome. The RMS aims to identify all risks to the HanseMerkur Group in one integrated system across the whole corporation to estimate their potential implications and to arrange for appropriate measures to be taken to minimise those risks. Departmental managers are tasked with ongoing risk identification, risk description and evaluation, determining the measures to be adopted within the scope of their defined areas of expertise and to proactively report those risks. Therefore, the following functions have been set up in BOARD: 1. Risk detection: In the first step, the user is provided with a template for entering and describing a new risk. Then the newly defined risk is assigned to a category, e.g. political risks, market or financial market risks for the affected company, and the responsible and involved employees. 2. Risk administration: On the basis of to be defined indicators, factors are described which can have a major bearing on the risk, e.g. rising insurance premium revenues, decreasing combined ratio. Plan and threshold values are defined for these indicators. The risks is then evaluated based on their impacts on damages/losses and probability of occurrence. By multiplying the valuations obtained for damage class and probability of occurrence,

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the expectancy value is calculated automatically and the risk class (high, medium or low) is determined. Suitable courses of action are then planned for all risks. 3. Risk documentation & 4. Risk reporting After defined periods of time, risks and their related measures are reviewed. All risks and actions, including their degree of implementation can be retrieved and viewed in summary form at any time. Customer benefits The introduction of the RMS has caused a large innovative leap in the department. The new system has already given a good return of investment thanks to the improved efficiency brought to the department. However, the most striking benefit is the newly acquired transparency because of the automatically calculated expectancy value for each risk. It makes it possible at an early stage to estimate the existing risks, and in so doing helps HanseMerkur to initiate appropriate counteractive measures on time. Furthermore, it has been possible to achieve substantial improvements in the working processes of the Corporate Planning department (CPD). With the help of BOARD, all risks can now be managed. The CPD is able to carry out targeted analyses to detect risks and identify their causes and impacts. Consequently, the analyses can be conducted faster and this opens the door for CPD employees to improve the quality of their work. Their every day work is in turn supported by the system because the BI solution allows to generate a large number of significant reports like the view on individual risk classes, on the developement of risks in an annual comparison or an overview of measures.

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2.3

Flexible analysis and planning at ABB AG with BOARD

Company ABB AG, based in Mannheim, is a leader in energy and automation technology and enables its customers in energy supply and industry to improve their performance and at the same time reduce environmental pollution. ABB employs about 108,000 people in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Business Challenges An international group such as ABB AG must attend to diverse business requirements and find ways to provide company data in a transparent way, because fast access to well prepared information is the basis for being able to make accurate decisions. ABB AG decided some time ago to search for a flexible and easy to use BI/ CPM platform in order to support varied business needs and processes such as Sales Control, Management Reporting and Planning. In 2005 the division introduced a central Business Intelligence solution to analyse the data from different systems such as SAP because it did not have an integrated solution for analysis and planning requirements. Thus the problem of a growing number of Excel applications and the use of different software solutions in the various departments was solved and a central tool was made available. It became clear relatively quickly that the selected solution could not cope with all the requirements for integrating analysis, planning and reporting. Problems such as performance, a low level of user-friendliness and timeconsuming modifications were some of the faults that the staff found with the solution they had then. For example there was no way to transfer and integrate data from Lotus Notes databases in order to create a central performance management, indicator and planning system for the whole division. Finally, it was decided to look for another tool that would be able to better cope with these requirements. BOARD Solution After an exhaustive search the decision was made to go with BOARDs integrated programming-free Toolkit together with Qurius Advanced Solutions AG as implementation partner to deliver the solution. Qurius carried out a prototype within a few days and demonstrated, amongst other things, how easy it is to access data from source systems such as SAP and Lotus Notes. The simple, flexible reporting and visual capabilities together with BOARDs integrated workflow support were further arguments for the Toolkit. Other products on the shortlist could not compare with BOARD because of high costs, insufficient userfriendliness, complexity and poor integration. says Klaus Ehrenreich, Commercial Director of the ABB Power Systems Division.

Application Area Analysis, Planning and Reporting

Costumer statement Other products on the shortlist could not compare with BOARD because of high costs, insufficient user-friendliness, complexity and poor integration. Klaus Ehrenreich, Commercial Director of the ABB Power Systems Division Of course, this time we wanted to be sure that we had opted for the right tool and looked at many other manufacturers products. But in the end only the BOARD toolkit convinced us. Bernd Vieten, Information Systems Manager of the ABB Power Systems Division

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BOARDs Business Partner Qurius implemented the project delivering a comprehensive reporting and planning solution for ABB Germanys Power Systems Sales. After this acid test was passed, they went to start producing an SPR, a seamless planning and reporting solution. The planning application currently being implemented will enable the business to plan actively on different levels and ultimately provide reporting for the whole division as well as cost centre planning. In the future, the management will consider further extending the use of BOARD for project controlling and sales control. Compared to the previous procedures based on Excel and other tools that took up a great deal of time and human resources, BOARD provides a single integrated platform for the most varied analysis and planning tasks, enabling great savings to be made. Now it no longer takes days to adapt the application and to change basic conditions but can be done with few clicks of the mouse. Before we found out about BOARD, we used various, non-integrated applications to analyse our planning and finance data. Of course, this solution could not offer us important features such as user-friendliness and flexibility when making modifications. This was criticised by many users and the solution we had then was hardly accepted at all. Therefore, we were very excited about the live demonstration of BOARD that we saw at a presentation. This demo gave us answers to a large number of our problems in only a few minutes, comments Klaus Ehrenreich. Of course, this time we wanted to be sure that we had opted for the right tool and looked at many other manufacturers products. But in the end only the BOARD toolkit convinced us, explained Bernd Vieten, Information Systems Manager at ABB AG, Power Systems Division. The new reporting and planning solution has given the commercial division management a system that enables them to analyse the relevant data from many different points of view with just a few clicks of the mouse. The information gained from this is the basis for quick, reliable decisions for the active control of the company.

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2.4

Retailer realises benefits of Integrated, Business Wide Management Information

Application Area Reporting/Analytics Budgeting & Forecasting

Company Founded in 1813, Harvey Nichols is a high fashion retailer, focusing on branded merchandise, quality food and restaurant offerings. With a staff of 3000 people, Harvey Nichols is a leading retailer in the UK and Ireland. The Challenges In the fast moving retail environment, consistent, trustworthy and easily accessible information is key to understanding the needs of both the customer and the business. Harvey Nichols realised that they needed to implement a sound framework that would support their requirements as their growth continued. It was essential to provide a more harmonised approach to Performance Management, that was more accurate, easier to use and more cost effective. Martin Schofield, Retail Operations Director, explains Our existing reporting wasnt cohesive or reliable and was produced by a myriad of different tools. Users were not confident in the accuracy or reliability of the data. BOARD has allowed us to consolidate our information into a single, integrated solution and displace multiple systems, Hyperion (Financial Reporting), Business Objects (Sales Reporting and Analytics), Arthur Planning and a multitude of spreadsheets, giving the users much more faith in the results. The Selection Process BOARDs Business Partner Retail Assist was already a trusted supplier of Harvey Nichols with the Merret supply chain ERP solution. With a pilot, completed utilizing Merret BI powered by BOARD (an out the box solution with retail ready reports based on the BOARD solution), the comparison to the existing platforms was carried out. BOARD was the clear winner. The Solution Previously the myriad of solutions and their disconnected approach led to a multitude of spreadsheets and different departments constructing their reports in different ways, thus data consistency was poor and confidence in the information being accurate, was low. The BOARD solution has allowed Harvey Nichols to eliminate this disconnection by providing a consistent framework and solid foundations from which to deliver a wide range Performance Management applications. BOARDs programming-free approach has allowed users to become self sufficient. Ad-hoc reporting has become much simpler and quicker and the vastly improved data integration has installed confidence in the accuracy of the information. The BOARD process began some 12 months ago and has delivered significant improvements to Daily Sales, Stock, Financial Reporting as well as Cost and Sales Forecasting. The Daily Sales database and reports were the first to be built in BOARD replacing Hyperion. Data is loaded at the lowest level allowing Harvey Nichols to analyse daily information by

Customer statement The pilot, replicating the sales reports produced in Business Objects was completed in a matter of days, it was clear to us that BOARD would provide us with the single integrated environment that we wanted. Alistair McDonald Senior Business Systems Manager Harvey Nichols Data consistency and the provision of a single version of truth has encouraged users to delve deeper into the underlying data. There is a greater thirst for the information on which to base sound decisions, which can only be healthy for the business. Martin Schofield Retail Operations Director Harvey Nichols

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the SKU, till, day, hour, payment type and operator (cashier). Aggregated data also allows analysis by Style, Colour, Size, Fit, customized product attributes and standard attributes. The Daily Sales application was rolled out to users across the business (merchandisers, finance, operations. sales etc) who can use the drill anywhere functionalities to perform on the fly, ad-hoc, root cause analysis, relieving a massive amount of pressure on IT, saving time and money. The next step was to replace the weekly sales reporting previously produced in Business Objects which has also been successfully completed. Cost and Sales Forecasting has also been implemented, replacing 100s of spreadsheets. Utilising the workflow functionality in BOARD has not only automated the process but has introduced an element of control not previously available to Harvey Nichols. Even those users wedded to spreadsheets are happy to work with BOARD, thanks to its ease of use. says McDonald. Business Benefits - System Enhancements Monday mornings, a critical time in any retail organisation used to see systems grinding to a halt, purely because of running reports. Thanks to BOARD this is no longer an issue. - Data Consistency and easier Ad-Hoc Reporting The huge pressure put on the IT department by the business to provide ad-hoc reports/analysis and to answer a barrage of questions about the accuracy, consistency and usefulness of the data has virtually disappeared, freeing up time to concentrate on delivering further projects and enhancements. - Improved Performance The biggest single win is highlighted best in improved performance. Business Objects reports used to take anywhere between 30 60 minutes to run, however BOARD allows those same reports to be produced virtually instantaneously. Martin Schofield comments Users are now able to have the data that they require at their fingertips, allowing them to concentrate on the analysis they should be doing, rather than sitting around waiting for the reports to be produced. The time/cost benefit to the business is significant and as we discover more ways of utilising BOARD that can only grow. - Replacement of Business Objects, Hyperion, Arthur Planning Martin Schofield continues The new solution is easier to implement and easier to use. User requests can be actioned in hours, not days. Our reporting is now more accurate and, as we have only one licence to pay, its more cost-effective. With the BOARD BI framework in place, we can build in enhancements that will support our business expansion.

Customer statement We have now rolled out financial reporting and sales and stock reporting across the business, making Hyperion redundant and phasing out Business Objects. We have just completed work on cost and sales forecasting in BOARD, which replaces hundreds of manual spreadsheets, and our main project on BOARD next year is to create a WSSI. Martin Schofield Retail Operations Director Harvey Nichols

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BOARD process-oriented planning and analysis

BOARD is a young dynamic Swiss company from Ticino. A global expansion has been successfully underway for several years. BOARDs customers include leading global large-scale enterprises and also medium-sized businesses. The BOARD technology2 is Microsoftcompatible and will also be able to be used in the Microsoft Cloud in future. By combining business intelligence (BI) and performance management (PM) in one single product, BOARD allows the entire decisionmaking process to be controlled: from recording information to analysing it, from setting objectives and planning to decision-making.

Company history Almost 20 years ago one of the founders of BOARD, Andrea Traverso, started working for a consulting company in Milan. One of the partners in this consulting company, Francesco Rosi, was an experienced pioneer in the application of technology to solve the tasks assigned to management. He remembers: The problem at that time was the clear separation between technical and operational staff. It was extremely difficult to find people who were competent in both areas. I started working with Francesco Rosi the idea was to bring these two areas together, says Andrea Traverso. Thus began a process that finally led to the development of Orenburg (as BOARD International was called at the time of its foundation) and the core product, the BOARD Management Intelligence Toolkit.

BOARD provides us with a flexible, user-friendly and high-performance analysis tool that requires minimal programming knowledge from the users and can be quickly modified to suit changing conditions. Based on the concept developed by Alpheus, we are able to , obtain a better level of information for sales control. Tim Kiefer Head Accounting/Controlling Hauck & Aufhuser Banquiers Luxembourg S.A.

BOARDs innovative toolkit approach makes it possible to create personalised BI and PM solutions without the need for programming. From simple reporting to complex performance management application, any number of analyses and plans can be compiled by simply using the drag-and-drop function. Interactive visualization A wide range of interactive 2D and 3D diagrams, which can be configured with the aid of pre-defined layouts, allows company data to be displayed quickly and particularly efficiently. The possibility to carry out drilldown procedures directly from the diagram ensures that the information can be viewed in a particularly intuitive manner and also facilitates analysis. Graphic animation of the latest generation such as thumbnails and carousels in combination with alarms and dynamic cockpits ensure that information can be displayed in a way that
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is innovative and insightful. Interactive dashboards able to be composed with a few clicks of the mouse allow company events to be displayed optically attractive and meaningful. Thanks to the use of vector graphics, any object that has been created in BOARD can be enlarged or reduced without the slightest loss of quality in display. An ideal prerequisite for a high quality of printing of business reports. MS Office 2007 Integration BOARD taps the entire potential of MS Office 2007. This is made possible by an advanced Excel add-in and the ability to create reports in Word and PowerPoint. Data can be entered both in online and offline modes. After working in the offline mode the data is automatically synchronised as soon as the next person logs into BOARD. Integrity and the constant updating of data are guaranteed.

Salvatore Capuano is head of the BOARD development team at BOARD International in Lugano (Switzerland). He is a specialist in software architecture and in particular in Microsoft .NET framework, SOA, Web Services, Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation. Prior to joining BOARD, he was a research and development engineer at the Ticino Uuniversity of Applied Science, Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana (SUPSI). Here he was also responsible for the Microsoft Competence Center for southern Switzerland.

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Figure 4: Thanks to the Office add-in, multidimensional data can be processed by BOARD using the drill-down, slice & dice, filter and pivoting functions in the well-known Excel environment. Because data can be entered in both the online and the offline mode, the process of data capture and planning can be carried out very efficiently using the Excel Client. After working in offline mode the data is automatically synchronised as soon as the user next logs into BOARD. Integrity and the constant updating of data are guaranteed.

Comprehensive performance management environment Tasks are assigned to different users according to the process; events or processes are automatically started as certain conditions occur, and users obtain notifications about processes and events. In this way BOARD promotes the efficient management of all business processes, from simple approval processes to complex planning processes. Functions for what if analysis and target-setting combined with the possibility of creating scenarios and managing form a powerful environment for multidimensional simulations. This allows conclusions to be automatically drawn on all evaluation levels with regard to the impacts of future events, from the highest level of aggregation (e.g. sales by department) to the smallest detail (e.g. item number).

BOARD supports the simultaneous writeback of data both into the multidimensional BOARD database and into relational pre-processing systems through multiple

BOARD has allowed us to synthesize the companys key information in a single holistic vision, a perspective that makes it possible to formulate and execute our strategy with a clear understanding of its overall impact. Fulvio Lamberti General Manager Finance & HR Kluber Italia

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Figure 5: Based on Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation, BOARD offers a service oriented architecture (SOA) which keeps business and data reproduction logic separate.

users. A logic system from BOARD, which uses changes that have been made down to the lowest level of detail, is used for this (e.g. by entering the planned turnover figures for a single product line, the turnover of each individual product is updated). The BOARD technology guarantees the validity of the data. BOARD places a range of different actions at the users disposal (multi-dimensional calculations between cubes, selections, conditional checks, links to other screens etc.) which are used as aids to efficiently create simulation models and models for supporting business processes. The BOARD Web Client is entirely based on Microsoft Silverlight, a part of Windows Presentation Foundation. This is an innovative Web Runtime (WRT) solution that removes the traditional limitations of web applications.

The use of this technology allows the creation of BOARD Rich Internet Applications (RIA). These are for example applications that work via the internet but which still retain the typical functionalities and characteristics of Client solutions. Because the data display is able to be managed at Client level, RIAs improve the degree of interactivity and the speed of execution. Animations, three-dimensional displays and multimedia content can be built into the new BOARD Web Client. This creates a considerably more intense and effective experience when using this application compared to traditional web applications in HTML or the first generation of AJAX RIA.

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BOARD architecture service oriented architecture Based on Microsoft Windows Communication Foundation, BOARD offers a service oriented architecture (SOA) which keeps business and data reproduction logic separate. This state-of-the-art structure offers considerable advantages with respect to interoperability, managing the scalability and technological risk. The BOARD server, which is designed for use as a web service, manages the SOAP notifications and passes back XML data structures. The services of the BOARD server can be used in a simple, standardized (W3C standard) manner by other

web services, legacy systems, Java applications, .NET and web applications and company portals. From the 64-bit architecture and the 128-bit cube addressing function to the Rapid Application Development (RAD) environment, from Multi-Thread to the integrated ETL-Process, each individual BOARD component is designed for maximum speed when developing applications and a high capacity when dealing with large quantities of data.

Summary: BOARD offers a comprehensive service oriented combined BI and PM solution with process-oriented planning and analysis based on Microsoft technology. For companies using Microsoft and looking for a solution for agile corporate management, BOARD is a first choice for CPM toolkits in all areas of an enterprise due to its leading-edge architecture, its remarkably good level of integration into the Office 2007 world and its highly intuitive and ergonomic work environment with the right functionalities for both, controllers and process managers.

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Appendix

Literature Martin, W.: Performance Management and Analytics Business Intelligence meets Business Process Management, White Paper version 6.0, www.wolfgang-martin-team.net, Annecy, 2009, 85 pages This White Paper can be downloaded free of charge from www.wolfgang-martin-team.net

About BOARD BOARD is a leader in the area of business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM) toolkits. BOARD has already enabled over 2,000 companies globally to implement BI & CPM applications into a single integrated environment without any need for programming and needing a fraction of the cost and time that traditional solutions can require. BOARD offers a precise overview of company information and completely integrates it into the CPM processes (budgeting, forecasting, planning, reporting, KPI, scorecards etc.). Thus performance is combined with strategic vision in a unique manner at all levels right down to the operational details. BOARD fulfills all business performance requirements and guarantees uniform access to company figures for a single version of truth. BOARD makes it possible to develop sophisticated applications for Top Management. BOARD improves the performance and effectiveness of critical business decisions through the use of visual forecasting and modelling tools. Sales, marketing and support management. BOARD supplies tools for analysing the interactions with customers and thus enables an improvement in customer relations and an increase in customer profitability. Finance, production and planning management. Critical factors such as budgeting, forecasting, planning and production analyses are native functions that are supported within the toolkit. Additional functionalities and tools are Balanced scorecard and dashboards Consolidation ETL/data integration BOARD combines business intelligence and corporate performance management to form a single integrated product. Over 2,000 customers of all sizes and from all industries worldwide use the unique toolkit approach to improve company-wide analyses to effectively support management in the decision-making process. BOARD is a global leader in the area of CPM toolkits, and its toolkit offers a unique combination of speed and simple handling. Further information under www.board.de

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About the author Dr. Wolfgang Martin Dr. Wolfgang Martin is a leading European authority on: BI/CPM (Business Intelligence/Corporate Performance Management), Business Integration (Business Process Management, Enterprise Information Management), SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

He focuses on technological innovations that drive business, examining their impact on organization, enterprise culture, business architecture and business processes. He is partner of iBonD (www.iBonD.net), works as a Ventana Research Advisor (www.ventanaresearch.com) and an Advisor at the Institute of Business Intelligence at the Steinbeis Hochschule Berlin (www.i-bi.de). In 2001 Info Economist magazine declared him one of the top 10 most influential IT consultants in Europe. Mr. Martin is a notable commentator on conference platforms and in TV appearances across Europe. A frequent contributor of articles for IT journals and trade papers, he is also the author of the Strategic Bulletins focusing on BI, EAI, SOA and CRM (www.it-research.net) and an editor of technical literature.

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