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“GHOST DEVELOPERS” AND BI CENTRE OF EXPERTISE: THE BELGACOM GROUP’S EXPERIENCE

 

Belgacom Group is the world 8th Telecom operator, it is 1st in Belgium for Mobile phone and landline services (e.g. 4,6 million mobile phone customers). The group employs 17 000 people, is owned (53, 5%) by the Belgium state and develop landline services under the brand names of Belgacom, Telindus, Skynet. Belgacom also develop a very specific approach for its strategic positioning by balancing the product leadership, prices competitiveness and the knowledge of its clients.

 

The Belgacom decision processes lean on several Teradata solutions that represent about 90To and have seen four major evolutions since 1997:

  • Progressive integration of the operational systems data: Billing, product holding, accounting, network management...
  • External data integration: customer’s details, geographical data...
  • Analyzing applications development: market, marketing campaign, results, distribution channels, preferred contact details...
  • Development of a help to clients operational management process: call centre, inquiries, promotion campaigns, distribution channels management...

 

Simultaneously of the decision system development, the user/IT relationships have also seen an evolution with highs and lows in collaboration. During the implementation of the first data warehouse, the dedicated team obtained excellent results concerning the users and the implementation of new applications (like in 1998 with the implementation of billing, database and SAS reporting). The users found the help they looked for to satisfy their needs at that time (highly competitive national and international market as well as the emergence of internet).

 

With the years, the IT department got overwhelmed by the daily decision system management already set up and by the lack of resources when it had to answer to business user requests (e.g. complex queries development). In this context, users and particularly those coming from the marketing and sales departments, have tried to find more independence and they created teams of ghost developers in their own departments to help them realizing an always bigger number of analysis, reports and requests. This approach has been very creative and allowed them to cover short terms needs but it came with a high increase of the costs and an alteration of the products quality. Actually, at that time they could have had many different answers to a single request i.e. there was no longer any “company data integrity”.

 

In a third time, the IT department manages to dedicate more resources to the development of application for other departments. The IT particularly used Business Object to develop parallel universes and new dashboards. However, users kept their independence from the data warehouse. They even kept on uploading their data on their own to develop data mining activities, modelling and they also start to set up an operational decision support. The number data quality issues has kept on increasing, many contradictory reports and departments conflicts appeared to finally thwart many departments that were not able to develop what they needed but of the lack of resources.

 

Recently a new approach has been proposed by the IT department. It includes the creation of a Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC) and investments on new technologies (Ab Initio, Informatica, Microstrategy, the Teradata Logical Data Model (LDM)) The BICC is composed of 3 Centres of Expertise (CoE).

  • The Data Integration CoE aims at implementing the data i.e. check the data sources issues, ETL processes, ODS, upload and coherence of the data warehouse to ensure the “company data integrity”.
  • The Data Delivery CoE aims at supplying data for decisional ends i.e. creation of business views, calculation of derived data and delivery of BI objects.
  • The Reporting and Analysis CoE is business oriented and respond to the different needs the department may have in order to monitor their activities.

 

The BICC therefore gathers Business, IT and analysis expertise that necessary to build and use an active data warehouse. It allowed dissolving and integrating the ghost developer groups, to increase the level of expertise of all participants and to improve the business knowledge of engineers and architects. At last, even though the BICC implementation was globally a success, some resistant extremists had to be managed with more or less diplomacy.

Finally:

  • All the BI teams are on-line and under the BICC control
  • The BI activities costs are under control and judge as optimize
  • The BI teams are still flexible and can respond to short term needs
  • The delivery of a “company data integrity” is guaranteed thanks to particular attention given to the data integration process
  • The BICC seems to be a pilot project in terms of a new way to make users and engineers work together and top management sees it as a way to maximize the benefits generated by Business Intelligence to the Belgacom group strategy

For further information, please visit:

http://www.teradata.com/tdmo/v08n01/FactsAndFun/Services/TeamWorks....

 

Views: 151

Tags: Big, Business, CRM, Data, Intelligence, Marketing, Media, Mining, Science, Social, More…Teradata, Warehouse

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