How Dell Does IT: Business Intelligence


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Dell needed to integrate enterprise data. Dell Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) consultants helped design and deploy an enterprise data warehouse solution, combining partner and other BI software with Dell infrastructure components.

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How Dell Does IT: Business Intelligence

  1. 1. Dell reduces IT costs byapproximately US$35 millionwith a business intelligencesolution designed forbig data “We are accelerating orders and increasing customer satisfaction. We reduced shipment time by 33 percent, decreased overdue orders by 60 percent, and diminished our backlog by using new BI applications.” Mike Lampa, Director, Business Intelligence Portfolio Development, Dell Customer profile Company: Dell Benefits Industry: Technology • Accelerated customer shipment time Country: United States by 33 percent and decreased the Employees: 115,000+ shipment backlog Website: • Saved US$2 million by improving product quality and avoiding Business need component replacements With explosive data growth and the proliferation of data silos, Dell spent • Integrated data silos, offering millions on data management without monetizing information. It needed an enterprise-wide view of to integrate enterprise data to improve information accuracy, cut costs, and information while reducing IT costs uncover actionable insights. by approximately US$35 million Solution • Increased agility by providing Dell Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) consultants helped design and information workers with self-service deploy an integrated, global enterprise data warehouse solution, combining capabilities for accessing certified Teradata, Informatica, and other BI software with new and existing Dell global data infrastructure components.
  2. 2. Years of tremendous business growth presented an array of business intelligence (BI) and data warehouse (DW) challenges for Dell. “As Dell expanded into new global locations, the company established regional systems to help automate business processes and improve efficiencies,” says Mike Lampa, director of business intelligence portfolio development at Dell. “We needed to integrate all of those systems, bringing data together to create an enterprise view of information that could facilitate global enterprise-level decision making. Organizations can make enterprise decisions that increase contributions to the top line and optimize margins to improve the bottom line.” For Dell and other organizations, an one for each of the main regions effective BI/DW solution can help unlock around the globe. But the company“We are now much new business growth opportunities, was using different business rules to increase operational efficiencies, improve describe the same information in each better positioned product quality, and cut costs while region,” says Lampa. “To implement a to gather, analyze, improving customer service. At the same time, it can reduce corporate risks by company-wide BI solution, we focused first on implementing a corporate data and monetize the detecting fraudulent activity and improving governance model and then designing the accuracy of financial reporting. a solution architecture that facilitated data flowing in from Any new BI/DW solution at Dell would consistency across the company while social media sites have to accommodate a rapidly still supporting some appropriate regional flexibility.” increasing volume of information, and other external including the “big data” produced by context sources. Dell e-commerce sites, social networks, and more. Big data can present important Technology at work is ready for big data opportunities for businesses, but they Services must have the software and hardware and big analytics.” infrastructure to rapidly analyze Dell Services petabytes of information. HardwareMike Lampa, “Dell has experienced explosive data Dell™ PowerEdge™ R710 serversDirector, Business IntelligencePortfolio Development, Dell growth over the years,” says Lampa. “In with Intel® Xeon® processors addition to large volumes of supply chain data, order data, and service data, we Software are now faced with a huge amount of Informatica® PowerCenter® ‘external context’ information, such as the Informatica PowerExchange® demographic information collected during purchases and the customer sentiments Linux® that appear on a wide variety of social Microsoft® SQL Server® media sites. We needed a BI/DW solution Reporting Services that could help monetize all that data.” MicroStrategy® Business Paving the road to big insights Intelligence Dell began to design a single, enterprise- Oracle 10.2 database level data environment that could SAP® Business Objects integrate data across its global enterprise. One of the first steps was establishing SAS® Analytics corporate governance rules. “Dell had Teradata® Data Warehouse Suite established regional data warehouses,
  3. 3. Designing the solution and Informatica software helped simplifyWith the acquisition of Perot Systems in2009, Dell gained access to consulting the interoperability of those BI tools and enabled us to create a single, “The new BI/DWresources with extensive experience in integrated solution.” solution is helpingdesigning and deploying BI/DW solutionsfor organizations in healthcare, insurance, The software runs on Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers, including PowerEdge R710 servers us facilitate effectivefinancial services, telecommunications,manufacturing, and other fields. Dell based on Intel® Xeon® processors. “Using decision making a powerful, high-density, and energyServices formed the Enterprise BusinessIntelligence (EBI) BI Domain and BI efficient infrastructure is critical for that has a positiveFactory practice—a consulting group that delivering business insights rapidly while controlling operating costs,” says Lampa. impact across thejoins Dell expertise and Perot experienceto provide BI/DW solutions for a wide “We can easily achieve the performance we global enterprise, need for processing large volumes ofrange of organizations. data, running complex queries, and not just one region.”The Dell EBI team was asked to help supporting mixed workloads by usingdesign the new BI/DW solution at Dell PowerEdge servers.” Mike Lampa,Dell. After evaluating a number of Director, Business Intelligence “Dell PowerEdge servers provide a robust Portfolio Development, Delldifferent data warehouse approaches, platform for Teradata’s native parallelincluding the use of data warehouse processing architecture,” says Clarkappliances, the Dell EBI team decided Hamilton, relationship manager for Dellto build the foundation of the solution at Teradata. “By running Teradata on Dell, capabilities ultimately help us increasewith the Teradata® Data Warehouse organizations gain the throughput for productivity and business agility—DellSuite, which includes the Teradata processing immense volumes of data employees and Dell customers canDatabase Management System plus and conducting complex analytics while find the answers they need, when theya range of tools for managing the controlling the total cost of ownership.” need them.”database and facilitating interoperationwith other applications in the Dell Producing an enterprise-wide In some instances, answers might beIT environment. Dell had been using view of information and hidden in big data. “We are now muchTeradata solutions for several years; this accommodating big data better positioned to gather, analyze, andnew project entailed upgrading the monetize the data flowing in from social Deploying the new solution at Dell wasexisting environment. The Dell team also media sites and other external context a large-scale, two-year undertakingincorporated Informatica® PowerCenter® sources,” says Lampa. “Dell is ready for big that involved implementing a newand PowerExchange® software for data data and big analytics.” data architecture, data integrationintegration capabilities. By choosing platform, and infrastructure; upgrading Accelerating product shipmentsTeradata and Informatica software, Dell Teradata software to the latest version; by 33 percentgained a range of new capabilities while establishing business data governance;also making the most of the company’s The new Dell BI/DW architecture is also gaining corporate-wide approval of keyexisting software investments. delivering important benefits to Dell financial and performance measures; and customers. “Customers expect their DellTeams from both Teradata and retooling end-user procedures, all while products to arrive rapidly and on theInformatica made significant contributions preserving existing hardware and software day when Dell estimates their arrival,”to the design and implementation of the investments wherever possible. says Lampa. “Without a single, globalsolution. “As Informatica and Teradata Since completing the deployment, the order repository, Dell was unable tocontinue to collaborate with Dell in the new solution has helped eliminate data process orders as efficiently as possiblefuture, we’ll work to further optimize our silos at Dell. “The previous data warehouse and shipment estimates were onlyproducts so Dell and other organizations efforts at Dell were unable to keep pace approximate. Cycle times were too longcan harness powerful new channels with the expansion of the business,” says and a backlog had developed.”of information,” says Don Tirsell, vice Lampa. “The new BI/DW solution is helpingpresident of worldwide technical “To calculate and analyze the root cause us facilitate effective decision making thatalliances at Informatica. of the extended order-cycle times, we has a positive impact across the global developed new BI applications thatThe Dell team added new business enterprise, not just one region.” integrated with the order managementintelligence tools to the solution, Individual users now can tap into that systems,” continues Lampa. “We areincluding the SAP® Business Objects suite, enterprise-level information using accelerating orders and increasingSAS® Analytics, MicroStrategy® Business self-service capabilities built into customer satisfaction. We reducedIntelligence, and Microsoft® SQL Server® the solution. “Business information shipment time by 33 percent, decreasedReporting Services. “We needed to consumers can access certified global overdue orders by 60 percent, andprovide a range of BI capabilities to meet data faster and more easily, directly from diminished our backlog by using newa diverse set of business requirements,” their desktops,” says Lampa. “Those BI applications.”says Lampa. “The flexibility of Teradata
  4. 4. Enhancing product quality and By improving the accuracy of corporate Offering end-to-end BI/DWavoiding US$2 million in part financial reporting, the solution also solutionsreplacements helps Dell maintain compliance with Drawing from the successful DellThe Dell team is also using new insights to all financial regulations. “As a public implementation and other clientimprove product quality. “We developed company, Dell must ensure accurate engagements, Dell Services offer end-analytic models for predicting potential reporting of financial results or risk to-end BI/DW solutions for a wide rangeproduct issues that might require us to fines,” says Lampa. “The Informatica of organizations. The Dell Servicesreplace defective parts—even issues that tools help us to implement business team can provide everything frommight arise after the first 60 days of use,” rules and make sure we have pristine business process strategy consultingsays Lampa. “We can find issues early, alert data that can be used reliably for and financial planning to IT solutioncomponent manufacturers, and prevent financial reporting.” design, implementation, management,defective parts from being installed in training, and support. Organizations canDell products. We have saved more Consolidating IT and reducing TCO select a project-based engagement orthan US$2 million so far by avoiding part by approximately US$35 million completely outsource management ofreplacement down the road.” While providing a wide array of benefits the new solution to Dell. to the business, the solution is alsoReducing corporate risk helping Dell IT increase operational Few BI/DW solutions will be preciselyThe solution also enables Dell to avoid efficiency. “Consolidating multiple identical to the one deployed at Dell.issues that could result in financial data warehouses into a single, global, Some organizations will undertakelosses and damage the company’s enterprise-wide solution has helped smaller-scale departmental orreputation. “The Dell Financial the Dell IT group save approximately functional projects; many will lookServices group extends lines of credit US$35 million in hardware and to maximize use of existing assets toto individuals and businesses. Using management costs,” says Lampa. “Dell IT reduce costs. The Dell approachcomplex statistical models during the also consolidated additional parts of the provides the flexibility to accommodatecredit application process, the group infrastructure. “In the past, business units a diverse range of projects. “Eachcan run fraud detection algorithms to had created a variety of new applications organization has distinct technicalidentify any questionable purchases or across the enterprise,” says Lampa. requirements and objectives forattempts to export products illegally,” “Through the Dell implementation, we business intelligence and datasays Lampa. “They also can find put governance policies and controls in warehousing,” says Lampa. “Whethercustomers that show early warning place to eliminate redundancies. Today they need a cost-effective solution tosigns of having difficulty making we have fewer systems to manage monitor and optimize specific businesspayments. As a result, the Dell team can and maintain, so we can refocus more processes or a large-scale, cloud-basedwork with customers to avoid credit of our IT staff on strategic projects. solution that can maximize the value ofdefault situations.” At the same time, the business can big data, we can design the right BI/DW reinvest the savings we achieved into solutions using the right combination the development of new, innovative of tools and services to help them meet solutions for monetizing data.” their goals.”View all Dell case studies at: 2011. © 2011 Dell Inc. Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, and Windowsare registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Intel, the Intellogo, and Intel Xeon are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States andother countries. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entitiesclaiming the marks and names or their products. This case study is for informational purposes only. DELLMAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS CASE STUDY. Reference number: 11003262