One thing that's not often discussed (but is often wondered about) is what you can expect from your Business Intelligence vendor once you've made your choice. BI providers and consulting companies have a wide range of approaches when it comes to supporting their customers as they implement BI applications. Today, we're giving you a glimpse into one of these approaches (the one we know best) – ours!
Since 1993, arcplan consultants have implemented more than 1,000 separate BI implementations around the world, and we've developed a procedure to assess customer requirements and ensure that we meet their needs.
arcplan's 5-Step Implementation Process is based on extensive communication and interaction with the customer to fully comprehend what they need from their BI system and to enable a solution that is customized to their business. This 5-Step process includes the following phases:
1. Discovery – During this phase, arcplan consultants and the customer define the technical and functional specifications of the solution. What database(s) does the company employ? What reports do they require? Which departments will be involved? And who will use the applications? arcplan experts gather the information and develop a workflow plan and a project schedule. The more information derived, the more efficient the project – saving time and money for the customer, and further ensuring project success.
2. Prototype – During this period, the focus is on the evaluation of the customer's database environment and system architecture. arcplan consultants set up the database(s) to ensure optimal access so they can create best practice applications that integrate data from one or more databases – relational and multidimensional – even in a single report. A Proof-of-Concept (PoC) offers a first glance of the solution.
3. Implement & Refine – As soon as specifications are defined, databases are configured, and the Proof-of-Concept is confirmed, the arcplan solution is put in place and refined. Depending on the customer's specific requirements, arcplan consultants create the new BI application from scratch or make use of arcplan's Application Framework, which enables us to work with pre-configured templates, speeding up the implementation process significantly.
This project period includes the creation of central documents – menus and navigation, administration of documents and user profiles, layout templates, multi-language support, etc. – as well as the entire set-up of the reports according to the customer's needs.
4. Validate – At this point, the arcplan application is finalized and it's time for testing. arcplan consultants check all functionalities within the arcplan Enterprise Application Designer environment. Then, the solution is switched to a Web or portal environment (whichever way the customer chooses to deploy the application) and checked a final time. Only when the application works perfectly will it be delivered to the customer. We also provide documentation that describes all aspects of the application.
5. Launch – Now the arcplan BI solution – e.g. a financial reporting application, a management dashboard, or a balanced scorecard to name a few – is rolled out to all users. arcplan experts conduct the launch together with the customer and provide user training and education in case the customer wants to maintain and develop the solution in-house. We are there for support and advice at any stage of the project and beyond.
The arcplan 5-Step Implementation Process ensures that our customers are provided with a high performance BI solution that fully meets their needs. For more information on arcplan and arcplan professional services, check out our website or leave us a comment – we're happy to answer any questions you may have!