, Nov 27, 2013

Top players in IBM Cognos BI value integration.

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Company Overview
The Gamesys Group was founded in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, they fought off intense competition to be named No.1 in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 League Table, a list they’ve appeared on every year since. They have focused on developing best of breed online instant win, slots, bingo and casino games. Gamesys are one of the UK’s most dynamic online gaming businesses, and have continually used an innovative approach in their adaption of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence.

The Challenge
The business has consistently utilised the capabilities and functionality of the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence applications in every conceivable way, recognising its flexibility and potential to be tapped into to further their business. Nick Hughes, BI Manager at Gamesys, has worked with the IBM Cognos products for many years. With an IBM Cognos project already underway at Gamesys when he joined in 2008, Nick quickly became involved in the intricacies of the implementation, looking after framework development and becoming the main BI product decision maker at the company. Logicalis UK started supporting Gamesys later that year.

“IBM Cognos BI is an integral part of our business,” states Nick, “with so many departments finding ways to add value in their efforts through use of the various Studios it would be inconceivable for us to work without it.” He continues, “People needed more control, and the ability to choose when to run reports, which they now have, and it has really made a difference to the way they work”

The Solution
“IBM Cognos BI allows us flexibility; a member of the Customer Services department wanted some alternative ways to run reports on customer correspondence, having previously worked for a major bank where an expensive reporting solution was implemented and held up as a gold standard to aim towards”. Nick ran the project, pulling information from many different data sources into one report in a standard format utilising IBM Cognos Framework Manager Report studio; “The bank in question spent 6 figure sums on purchasing a reporting solution to deliver this. The only extra expense we had was purchasing the relevant ODBC connectors to “talk” to the member contact systems from our DW”. A complex report, it is still being utilised over a year later.

Until recently tracking the budgets at Gamesys was Excel driven but now, Nick comments, “Metrics is potentially going to change the way we do business”. He explains, “Metrics were run each month but are now run daily, which provides a more accurate representation. A lot of traditional Excel users in the business can, because of this now see the benefits of showing things more graphically; beyond spreadsheets and hard numbers. Ultimately it’s a much more interactive experience.” Gamesys also utilise IBM Cognos BI Events Studio for tracking purposes, used by several departments.

Key Benefits
Gamesys are very much a business keen to stay at the cutting edge of technology, and see it as a core component of growing their business. Nick explains, “We seek knowledge and technology, and want to be at the forefront; if anything is out there that will help us grow our business we will make sure we can access it. Migrating to IBM Cognos BI 10.1 was part of this approach.” Various departments at many different levels of the business use IBM Cognos BI, including international offices. “People really appreciate the benefits of using IBM Cognos… especially when they remember the pain of using spreadsheets!” Nick says. “With regards to Logicalis, it is really fantastic to have access to a Technical Account Manager, to have someone to exchange ideas with and provide extra consultancy advice and guidance when and if we need it. We’re also really pleased with the Logicalis Helpdesk self service portal, SupportWorks; this has really led to a transparent process of calls being opened and documenting progress that is refreshing to see.”

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