About the customer
With approximately 90 consultants, ARCONDIS is the largest consultancy company in Switzerland, Germany and Austria, specialising exclusively in the life-sciences industry. Since its foundation in 2001, interdisciplinary teams from the locations in Basel, Frankfurt and Munich have been managing local and global projects in the areas of compliance, business process transformation, IT and information management.
The management consultancy relies on the ERP solution Abacus for controlling projects and for HR management.
Employee-based monthly reporting has been created in the past using Excel macros. Since data relevant to the analysis originates not only from Abacus, but also from the CRM solution Genesis World as well as from Excel files, preparation of the data has always required additional effort. This procedure was very error prone due to the high manual effort.
The Qlik business intelligence platform provides solutions here. The software persuaded ARCONDIS with its memory-based architecture, which allows centralised evaluation of data from any source system, and with its flexible, user-friendly usability.
The fact that the success of a BI project does not depend solely on the right choice of tools was only discovered by ARCONDIS in the course of using Qlik, as Michèle Kayser, Manager Finance & Controlling at ARCONDIS, reports. “All the reports previously available in Excel were available to us in Qlik. Due to the extensive programming on the interface, there was always the risk that changes in a report could affect three downstream reports. The mapping of our relevant Abacus applications FIBU, DEBI, KEDI and LOHN/HR was also completely absent in Qlik.”
Since ARCONDIS was convinced of Qlik's strong performance, a solution had to be found at the partner level – and Michèle Kayser found it in two ways with the Swiss Qlik Elite Solution Provider Informatec: It is a longtime Qlik partner and has extensive technological expertise in Abacus. In addition, Informatec has developed a Qlik-based “individual standard” business intelligence solution for Abacus. It enables information from all major Abacus modules as well as from additional data sources and applications to be prepared and evaluated quickly and flexibly via supplied templates or made visible via customised key figures and dashboards. iVIEW for ABACUS is constantly evolving – in parallel with the release cycles of Abacus ERP. This ensures a high degree of investment security.
“iVIEW was exactly what we needed”, says Michèle Kayser. “The solution already offers so many applications perfectly suited to our requirements that you can start productive use very quickly.”
iVIEW for ABACUS
VIEW for ABACUS is the number-one business intelligence platform in the ABACUS environment. It enables the preparation, analysis and visualization of information from all major ABACUS modules and from additional data sources.
Areas of application and benefits
After only two weeks, the standard monthly report was available. And the creation of new reports succeeded without any problems, as Michèle Kayser reports: “With iVIEW, we have implemented comprehensive CAM reporting (CAM = Customer Account Management), which provides the key account with a wealth of information about the department numbers. We can display reports on all accounts, regardless of size, and look at them from different perspectives, for example by key, target account or territories.”
The CAM reports are automatically stored on Sharepoint via Qlik NPrinting – an all-in-one solution for directing the entire reporting process in Qlik – and are currently centrally available to around 30 employees.
The same applies to the operational report, which ARCONDIS implemented via iVIEW. It contains the status of each individual project. “Our consultants are usually very critical – but they were thrilled with the operational Report”, says Michèle Kayser.
In addition to the availability of standard reports, appropriately authorised employees – currently six consultants – can also implement ad-hoc analyses analogous to individual information needs.
“Because iVIEW is much more flexible than ABACUS, we also use the solution to evaluate the FIBU, DEBI and KREDI modules,” adds Michèle Kayser. The greatest benefit of iVIEW for ARCONDIS lies in the central availability of the data and the associated high flexibility. “We don’t need to collect numbers from x different sources - we can combine the data any way we want. For example, if we want to look at the evolution of hourly rates, we don’t have to fetch the hourly rate from Abacus, then gather customer satisfaction, project, and customer development information from CRM. We have all the data in iVIEW we need to make valid statements about how our business is running.”
The reports are now generated twice a month instead of once a quarter. “We draw the provisional report on the 8th of the month, and the definitive report on the 15th of the month”, says Michèle Kayser. “That totals 50 reports every month. I would be busy the whole month creating the report manually with Excel; now it’s done within an hour.”
Another advantage is the drill-down / drill-through functionality of iVIEW. “For example, starting from a territory, I can go deeper into the data down to the project level”, explains Michèle Kayser.
ARCONDIS is not only satisfied with the technology - our partner is also a perfect fit. “The collaboration with Informatec is going very well”, confirms Michèle Kayser. “We are in close contact and exchange ideas regularly so we always work in a targeted way. And Informatec’s combination of Qlik expertise and Abacus expertise is worth its weight in gold to us. Informatec has programmed everything on the basis of the database. When you look at a metric, you can see exactly what it impacts, and you don’t have to worry about a report being destroyed by the changes.”
In the future, the use of iVIEW will be extended to Deutschland GmbH following the introduction of a second Abacus client, which is necessary due to the euro currency. Employee-based monthly reporting will be migrated to iVIEW as part of this.
„With iVIEW, we don’t have to gather numbers from different sources - all data is centrally available and can be combined as needed.“
Michèle Kayser, Manager Finance & Controlling at ARCONDIS