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April 27, 2009

Oasis crafts better BI with IBM

Can the new platform reduce reporting time?

By Steve Evans

Oasis Arts and Crafts, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of children’s arts and crafts products, has selected IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence in an attempt to improve reporting and analysis and help increase sales.

The company, part of the Reeves Art Group, was using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that did not enable it to examine commercial data to see which products generate the best margins.

It also did not enable forecasting, making it very difficult for Oasis make sense of its customer, product, sales and profit data.

Inca Software provided consultancy services during the implementation and also trained users at Oasis. Rollout of the new platform took two months.

Lewis Pepall, financial controller at Oasis, said: “Achieving our performance targets relies on making the best decisions for the future. This in turn relies on having up-to-date and accurate information. IBM Cognos 8 BI ensures that our sales and marketing teams have the information they need to do their job as well as possible.”

Pepall added that with IBM’s platform in place, the report generating process had been reduced from four hours to 10 minutes.

Ged Simmons, country manager, IBM Cognos performance management and business intelligence, UK and Ireland, said: “Sales and marketing teams have a limited amount of resource and time. Making the right decision about how to invest it can make the difference between hitting profit targets or not. Oasis has the vision to use a robust and proven platform to help it make the right decisions to drive growth.”

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Rival players in the business intelligence sector include Information Builders, Jaspersoft, SAS, Oracle and QlikView.

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