Canon rolls out Cognos BI suite

Canon Middle East is rolling out Cognos’ latest business intelligence (BI) solution to more effectively monitor the company’s process and performance efficiencies.

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By  Dylan Bowman Published  June 4, 2006

Canon Middle East is rolling out Cognos’ latest business intelligence (BI) solution to more effectively monitor the company’s process and performance efficiencies. The electronics vendor is currently undertaking a pilot implementation of the Cognos 8 Business Intelligence suite for 25 users that will then be expanded to hundreds of users as the system grows over the course of the year. Cognos’ regional partner BSG said the initial implementation cost around US$60,000, but this would rise, according to Canon, into “the hundreds of thousands of dollars” as the installation expanded. Canon Middle East management information systems (MIS) manager Tarek Khawaldeh said the firm had been planning the implementation since the beginning of the year. “We are in the phase of implementation right now. We started preparing for the BI at the beginning of this year and the implementation started in May,” Khawaldeh told IT Weekly. “It is a long-term project, so we will roll out in two phases and by the end of this year we will have finished the implementation,” he noted. Khawaldeh said the product would deliver reporting, analysis, scorecarding, dashboards, business events management, data integration, as well as power search functionality – all on a single architecture. He added that the system would be fully integrated with Canon’s Oracle back office and database systems. “To have a BI tool in Canon Middle East was a strategic objective for the company. As IT has become a key component in accomplishing our strategic and operational objectives, so we decided to have a tool to provide us with a complete range of information to support our needs,” Khawaldeh went on to say. Describing Canon as a ‘marquee’ customer, Cognos Middle East and Africa (MEA) regional manager David Brierley said the BI solutions provider needed to maintain the momentum it had built up over the last few months with a number of high-profile deals. “It is very important to us that we now have two of the major electronics companies as our customers, Panasonic, and now Canon,” he claimed. “From our perspective, we are focusing on certain verticals and where we are spending the time we are actually winning,” he added. The Canon Middle East deal was preceded by another customer win for Cognos, which also announced last month that it had won a deal with United Electronics, which runs the eXtra retail stores in Saudi Arabia, for the Cognos 8 suite. The company will use the software to improve budgeting and planning across its operations. United Electronics, which runs stores in Jeddah, Riyadh and Al Khobar and plans to open further stores across the Kingdom and neighbouring GCC countries, hopes the Cognos solution will enable its management to make quicker decisions based on easier to access data. It has deployed the solution within the purchasing and IT departments of the company, but by the end of August plans to have rolled it out across the organisation, from shopfloor to executive level. The company also plans to soon deploy the Enterprise Planning modules of the solution. Hani Saif, IT manager at eXtra, said it had been looking for a tool to speed up management decision-making and provide “a wide angle view”. “We found Cognos was the most suitable software for us, having a lot of features like scorecards, reporting and analytical tools,” he said. “It allows us to have all the features we needed in one package,” he added.

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