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BI reporting tools to drive Usha International's growth plans

Yuga Chaudhari, Principal Correspondent
Usha International, the consumer products company, is in the process of adopting business intelligence (BI) reporting tools for better information analysis and demand forecasts. Usha's

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IT team plans to implement the BI module as part of its existing SAP implementation. The Business Objects module, is part of the latest range of BI reporting tools introduced by SAP. These tools provide layers of data for business analytics, reporting and dashboards.

The demand for BI reporting tools originated from Usha International's business managers and business promoters. "As the business is growing, senior management wanted to generate reports to help them understand market demand, know the kinds of products that are working, and figure out the scope for improvement," says Subodh Dubey, the group CIO of Usha International.

The deployment of BI reporting tools will definitely help in faster business decision-making and accuracy in reporting. We expect to achieve ROI in six months
Subodh Dubey
group CIOUsha International
Usha International's SAP application was deployed in 2001. "The current project is an enhancement of our earlier SAP implementation. It will cover our 16 branches across India. The departments that will primarily work with these BI reporting tools are corporate planning, finance, sales and audit," says Dubey.

The process of evaluating BI reporting tools was started in February 2010. However, selecting the right vendor was not an easy task for Usha's IT team. "Before finalizing SAP we did proof of concept projects with two other vendors. Then we decided to stick to SAP since we wanted to have a single platform. The biggest advantage is the BI reporting tool's integration with our core ERP system. The user interface is also more or less similar to the SAP ERP deployment," says Dubey.

The IT team at Usha Internatio0nal is now in the process of evaluating candidates to be the implementation partner, and a few companies have already been shortlisted. Usha plans to go live on its BI reporting tool project by the end of September 2010.

Usha's senior management showed active interest in the BI reporting tools project—which is unlike what happened with other IT projects—perhaps because the process of maintaining, understanding and analyzing hundreds of Excel-based reports was a tedious task. "To avoid unwanted modifications and manipulation of the data in an Excel sheet, the decision to deploy BI reporting tools was finalized. Business managers and business promoters were looking for a system which could help them take a decision using the data of the existing ERP's transactional system." explains Dubey. "The deployment of BI reporting tools will definitely help in faster business decision-making and accuracy in reporting. We expect to achieve ROI in six months," adds Dubey.