Document Sample


  Focus on… Professional Services
  Spotlight on Helpdesk
  New training courses for 2010
  Hot hints and tips!
  Opinion: The time to improve your reporting is now
  Case Study: MLL Telecom
  IBM Cognos Express for Midsize businesses

The start of the new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, and an opportunity to refocus on challenges from the year
before. 2010 is the year where businesses will focus heavily on getting long term value out of investments made, such as
performance management software.

Our team of over 25 consultants will work alongside our growing customer base to drive a quantifiable return on investment
and deliver successful projects in all areas of performance management. Our expertise in implementing the IBM Cognos suite
of products remains second to none.

As a vital component of the Professional Services team, we would like to reintroduce you to our highly regarded Helpdesk team, and put
faces to the names of the people at the other end of the line. We would also like to unveil our excellent new training courses on offer this
year, along with our new Professional Services Coordinator who will provide your focal training contact.

It has been quite some time since we last put Helpdesk in the spotlight,    Inca has always prided itself on the excellent customer service it
and with that in mind we thought it was high time to remind you about       provides – not only when things go well but more importantly when
our excellent Helpdesk team.                                                things go wrong. Inca’s Helpdesk is there so that when you have a
                                                                            problem you can call us, and have the issue resolved quickly and
Customers know that continued quality support is just as vital as a         efficiently.
successful implementation of a product. To ensure that this is achieved,
Inca provides a telephone support service to all customers with a           Our Helpdesk team aims to pick up your calls promptly and progress
current services support agreement, to answer technical queries and to      them with you immediately. This typically results in your issue being
resolve any product problems. There will be no need to wait for a           successfully resolved whilst you are on the phone; this means you
technical representative to return your logged call - your call will go     spend more time doing what you should be doing not waiting around
straight through to our support team who are also able to offer             for call backs. To ensure this high level of service is maintained and
installation, integration and technical consultancy services. Our support   improved the helpdesk team has grown considerably over the years
team has access the most up-to-date technical information, helping          from just one to four full time team members. Our support desk is further
them to provide fast, consistent responses to customers’ concerns.          strengthened by our consultants and technical account managers.
                                                                            A further two support consultants will join the team this quarter.


     Very satisfied, as ever support from Inca for IBM                             The service I receive is always excellent
   Cognos is first rate                                                        “                                                 ”
Rebecca Corner, Elexon Limited
                                                                            Susie Ward, Finance System Support, Amlin Plc

                                                                                   Very satisfied. Excellent customer service, thank you
       What can I say except a first class service                             “                                                               ”
Jason Elliott, Finance Manager, Monsoon Accessorize Plc
                                                       ”                    Mandy Fletcher, Analyst, Arla Foods Plc

                                                                                   Very fast resolution, extremely happy
      I am always impressed by Inca's Helpdesk staff, they                     “                                             ”
   are by far the best support service I work with
                                                                            Patrick Brown, Financial Systems, Betfair

Martin Powell, Business Application Manager, Sophos Plc
                                                                                   Very helpful service, and solved the problem very quickly
      Extremely satisfied - immediately diagnosed and
                                                                            Leigh Favell, Buy As You View Ltd
   resolved the issue
Paul Tighe, Accident Exchange Group Plc

                                                        title for longest
                            Along with retaining the                                               Daren is Inca’s resident BI expert and
                                                                 sk team
                            serv ing member of the Helpde                   in                     also has considerable experience with
                            (around 6 yea    rs tenure at Inca now), Kev
                            continues to be one of     Inca’s most valuable                       the IBM Cognos planning applications.
                                                          IBM Cognos                              Daren has been with Inca for
                            assets. With expertise in
                             Planning, TM1    , Business Intelligence, and                        approximately 4 years and during that
                                                              luable support                      time has continually proved his ability to
                             Controller, he provides inva
                                                               l as managing                      manage calls to the highest level, working
                             dire ctly to customers as wel
                             a growing help    desk team. Kevin’s focus                           with a vast selection of Inca’s clients and
                                                           r is to further                        resolving their issues swiftly and
                             for the Helpdesk this yea
                                                                 and product                      efficiently.
                             pro  vide exceptional support
                              knowledge    (for an ever expanding pro
                              base) to all of Inca ’s customers.

                                                                                                The newest addition to the Helpdesk,
                             Stuart has been a member of the
                                                                                                Catherine has a 5 year track record of
                             Helpdesk team for 2 years now, and in
                                                                                                excellence in both training and consultancy
                             that time has proved to be an invaluable
                                                                                                at Inca. Using her significant knowledge
                             addition to the department. Specifically
                                                                                                of the IBM Cognos suite Catherine is
                             supporting the IBM Cognos Planning
                                                                                                proving to be an essential component of
                             suite of products he has quickly shown
                                                                                                the team and we are thrilled to have
                             his ability to handle calls efficiently and
                                                                                                someone of her commercial expertise.
                             currently holds the title for “most
                                                                                                Catherine is a key differentiator in
                             closed calls in under an hour”!
                                                                                                providing relevant business level support
                                                                                                in addition to technical support.


The New Year brings a fresh start in the training department, providing more courses than ever, carefully devised to incorporate
all of our customers' needs. Training continues to be held at Inca's Egham office, where the facilities have met with much
positive feedback. We do also continue to offer onsite training and hope that this year we will go on to provide the most
dynamic, enthusiastic and helpful service yet to all our customers.

                                         Sarah Keen has recently joined the PS team as Professional Services Coordinator, and will
                                         be your first point of call along with your account managers in arranging training and
                                         consultancy days. Sarah joins us from IBM so has a wealth of knowledge surrounding
                                         the IBM Cognos solutions and a lot of experience working with both customers and

                                                                                                                          PEAK PERFORMANCE 03

   NEW FOR 2010!                                                              place over 5 days providing in-depth insight of each of the
                                                                              aforementioned areas.
   You have the IBM Cognos solution… now you need to ensure your
   company is getting the best value out of it. We have listened to           Who should attend: Developers who are responsible for building
   our customers' feedback and are pleased to offer some new courses          and maintaining the IBM Cognos BI reporting environment and
   that add even more value to your existing IBM Cognos solutions.            delivering professional reports using the IBM Cognos toolset.

   The IBM Cognos Professional Report Authoring (Basics) course               The IBM Cognos TM1 Developer course demonstrates the functionality
   explains the functionality of the IBM Cognos BI Reporting tools            of the IBM Cognos TM1 tools. Over five days you will learn how to
   and equips you with the means to deliver professionally authored           use IBM Cognos Perspectives, build an application, and write reports.
   reports to your organisation. Over the 2 day course you will learn,        You will take part in dimension creation, cube design, rule writing
   through a series of interactive hands-on lessons, how to use IBM           and Turbo Integrator. The course focuses on designing and
   Cognos Connection and the 3 main reporting studios; Query                  developing a TM1 solution; having an understanding of TM1
   Studio, Analysis Studio and Report Studio.                                 Perspectives will enable you to start creating more detailed and
                                                                              complicated models for your organisation.
   Who should attend: Users who are responsible for building and
   maintaining professional reports using the IBM Cognos toolset.             Who should attend: Users who are responsible for building or
                                                                              maintaining IBM Cognos TM1 models.
   The IBM Cognos Framework Manager course facilitates learning
   the fundamentals of IBM Cognos BI Framework Modelling through              The IBM Cognos TM1 End User course will help you navigate
   a series of lessons and exercises. Over 3 days you will gain               around the IBM Cognos TM1
   understanding of data sources, how to model data to best suit              tools and how to access the
   reporting needs and how to apply security to your data. This               various TM1 Front Ends.
   knowledge will prove invaluable when building and maintaining              Over the duration of the 1
   framework models for your company's reporting environment.                 day course you will learn
                                                                              how to use TM1
   Who should attend: Developers responsible for building and                 Perspectives, TM1
   maintaining the IBM Cognos BI reporting environment.                       Architect, TM1 Web, and
                                                                              TM1 Contributor. You will
   The IBM Cognos Ad-hoc Reporting course concentrates on the                 be able to browse data
   functionality of the IBM Cognos BI Reporting tools, Query Studio,          and build reports for use
   Analysis Studio, IBM Cognos Connection and IBM Cognos Analysis             in MS Excel and TM1
   for Excel (CAFÉ). The 1 day course focuses on the ad-hoc reporting         Web, and create input
   requirements of any business and how these tools can help meet             forms and dashboards.
   the reporting demands of your organisation.
                                                                              Who should attend:
   Who should attend: Users who are responsible for building ad-              Users who are
   hoc reports and providing quick analysis.                                  responsible for reporting
                                                                              from or maintaining IBM
   The IBM Cognos Fast Track Reporting course is a combination of             Cognos TM1 data.
   the three key report authoring and data modelling courses; IBM
   Cognos Framework Manager, IBM Cognos Professional Report
   Authoring, and IBM Cognos Ad-hoc Reporting. The course takes

   COURSE NAME                                         COURSE          DURATION       COST PER   TOTAL COST           FEBRUARY         MARCH
                                                        CODE            (DAYS)       PERSON, PER     PER
                                                                         DAY          PERSON**     PERSON

   IBM Cognos BI Professional Report                    BIREP2            2              £600             £1,200          n/a            8-9
   Authoring (Basics)
   IBM Cognos BI Framework Manager (Basics)             BIFM3             3              £600             £1,800          n/a           10-12
   IBM Cognos BI Ad-hoc Reporting                      BIAHR1             1              £600             £600            n/a             15
   IBM Cognos BI Fast Track Reporting                   BIFAS5            5              £600             £3000           n/a           22-26

   IBM Cognos TM1 End User                            TM1USR1             1              £600             £600            19              8
   IBM Cognos TM1 Developer                           TM1DEV5             5              £600             £3000         22-26           15-19

The training team will of course continue to offer the full range of Planning and Business Intelligence courses for 2010. Training dates for
January to March are as follows:

    COURSE NAME                                           COURSE         DURATION       COST PER   TOTAL COST           FEBRUARY         MARCH
                                                           CODE           (DAYS)       PERSON, PER     PER
                                                                           DAY          PERSON**     PERSON

    IBM Cognos Analyst                                       A3              3             £600           £1,800           i) 9-11         i) 9-11
                                                                                                                         ii) 16-18       ii) 16-18

    IBM Cognos Analyst/Manager and Add-in                 AMAE4              4             £600           £2,400          i) 12-15         i) 9-12
    for Excel*                                                                                                           ii) 19-22       ii) 16-19

    IBM Cognos Manager and Add-in for Excel*               MAE1              1             £600            £600             i) 15          i) 12
                                                                                                                           ii) 22          i) 19

    IBM Cognos Analyst Refresher                           AREF1             1             £600            £600             15              23

    IBM Cognos Contributor Administration                  CON2              2             £600           £1,200           1-2             1-2

    IBM Cognos Analyst Balance Sheet                       BSCF1             1             £600            £600             22              22
    & Cash Flow

**When booking four or more delegates on any course, the price is discounted to £475 per person per day.

In order to fully meet your training needs Inca Software is happy to provide tailored courses that can be held either at the Inca Academy
(subject to availability), or at your site. Whatever your requirements, our aim is to offer you a choice of locations to suit your needs whilst
adopting a fun but professional approach, ensuring that what you learn during your training course is easily adaptable to your own environment.

Please note that dates for April-June are also available. Please contact us for further information or if you wish to book training during these dates.

To request the full course outline for any of the above courses, check course availability or to make a booking, please contact
Sarah Keen on 01784 270 860 or by emailing



IBM COGNOS CONTROLLER:                                                                                You can choose any of the codes -
                                                                                                      accounts, companies and Dim1 to Dim4.
When Creating an Excel Link report, you
can paste codes directly from Controller:                                                             You can choose to paste them vertically or
Start Excel (from within Controller), open a
blank doucument.                                                                                      Press the green button and you will be
                                                                                                      presented with a list of codes from Controller.
Use Excel menu:                                                                                       You may choose one, all or as many as
                                                                                                      you wish, using the familiar windows
Controller>Reports>Paste codes                                                                        multi-selection commands using CTRL or
                                                                                                      SHIFT buttons.
The following window will open:

                                                                                                                             PEAK PERFORMANCE 05

IBM COGNOS PLANNING:                             Writing the macro:
Using the @DCubeCreateDSels macro                In the macro, we select the DCubeCreateDSels
command to create dynamic views of D-Cubes       command as follows:

When to use the DSels command:
If you need to open a reduced view (selection)
of a D-Cube in Analyst based on an attribute
of one of the D-Lists then DSels is the
command to use. Examples might include
opening a selection of a cube only for
                                                                                                     Next click the Data: button. This allows you
employees in a specific department or
                                                                                                     to select the part of the cube that contains the
opening a selection of a cube where blank
                                                                                                     driver for the saved selection. In our example
cells need to be populated.
                                                                                                     this is the column where the employees are
                                                                                                     categorised as temporary or permanent. Make
This example shows a macro that opens a
                                                                                                     sure that the Slice button puts the list that
cube only for temporary employees. We
                                                                                                     the selection is to reduce (Employees in
have the information relating to the employee
                                                                                                     this example) in the rows and the attribute
status in a regular information cube with D-
                                                 The parameters of the command come up               (Temp/Perm) in the columns: Select the cube:
List formatted columns:
                                                 as follows:

                                                                                                     Select the column in the information cube
                                                                                                     that contains the driver:

                                                 The labels on these parameters are not very
                                                 friendly but the command is easy to use once
                                                 you know what each button is for. The first
                                                 button is used to state which attribute we wish
                                                 to make the saved selection for. In our example
                                                 we only want to create a selection for
                                                 temporary employees and so we have to find
Based on the information in the cube above,      this D-List and select the item(s) we want. If
                                                 we want to create saved selections for all items,   Next click the Cubes: button. This step
we need to open a view of the cube only
                                                 then they can all be selected in this step. We      requires you to select the cube or cubes
showing Temporary employees. We can use
                                                 will only select Temp for temporary employees       you wish to build the saved selection for. In
this information to create saved selections
                                                 on the 3 Perm Temp D-List as follows:               this example we are building a saved
of any cube containing the employees D-
                                                 (Note - if you wish to create a saved               selection on the same cube that contains
List. We wish the macro to dynamically
                                                 selection of blank cells, you would have            the driver, namely the Employee Information
allow us to open the following view of the
                                                 first to create a cube where a conditional          cube. You could select as many cubes as
cube, showing only temp employees:
                                                 formula was set to a D-List formatted flag.         you like in this step, as long as they
                                                 E.g. [IF({Product Category} = 0) THEN 1]:           contain the 3 Employees D-List:
                                                 where 1 is D-List formatted on a 3 Yes No
                                                 type D-List. The selection has to be based
                                                 on a D-List formatted item.)

Next click the Lists: button. In this step we     The new saved selection will appear as
select the D-List that we which the selection     follwers:
to act on. In this example it's the 3 Employees
D-List. We wish the selection to show only
the temporary employees. This D-List is
the one against which the attributes are
held. Temp or Perm is an attribute or
categorisation of each employee

                                                  In this example no Prefix or Suffix has been    The macro now looks as follows:
                                                  entered though 15 characters of the cube
                                                  name has been specified. The word ‘Temp’
                                                  comes from the D-List item chosen in the
                                                  first step. If Temp and Perm had been chosen
                                                  in the first step, the macro command would
                                                  have created two saved selections. Selecting
                                                  the saved selection opens the following view:
                                                                                                  Running the macro gives the required result

The Parents: box can be ignored in this
example. If the list we were selecting was
a hierarchy style (e.g. a 2 Employees D-List
with Cost Centre totals), the Parents box
would allow you to select how many levels of
parents you wished to include in the selection.

The Keep: box can also be ignored for this
                                                  In this example we don't want to show the
example. This box allows you to hardcode
                                                  Temp or Perm column as we know that this
any items that always need to be present
                                                  view only contains Temp employees. We want
in a selection
                                                  the macro to deselect the Temp or Perm
The Prefix: and Suffix: fields allow you to       column.
                                                                                                  IBM COGNOS BUSINESS
hardcode a prefix or suffix to the name of
the saved selection created.                      There are therefore two more lines to add       INTELLIGENCE:
                                                  to the macro, one to open the new saved         Using a ‘Render Variable’ to create different
The CubeName: field allows you to enter           selection and another to deselect the           formats depending on output type:
how many characters of the cube name to           columns not required.                           Render variables can be used to show or
include in the saved selection name. The                                                          hide objects on a report. The major benefit
cube name that the saved selection is being       Use the DCubeOpenNamedSel to open               of using a render variable instead of hiding
created on in this example is Employee            the new saved selection. Note: this macro       items in other ways is performance. When
Information which is 20 characters long. If       command will only work if a saved selection     an object is set to not render, the object and
you enter 20 or more in the CubeName: field,      object is selected. All other objects are       the query it references doesn’t execute.
the entire cube name will be included in the      however visible which is counter-intuitive:     Therefore, whole pages can be hidden
saved selection name.                                                                             without impacting report execution time.
Spacer: This field allows you to enter some
                                                                                                  To have one report create different outputs
spacer text in the name of the selection.
                                                                                                  based on the file type (e.g. Excel, PDF, HTML)
                                                                                                  we can use a Render Variable. Once your
RUNNING THE MACRO COMMAND:                                                                        report is complete, create a copy of the
Running the macro command builds the                                                              Page object and apply a Boolean render
saved selection. Once the macro has been                                                          variable to each. To make the page output
run, you can manually test the saved                                                              Excel specific, apply the variable
selection to ensure that it has produced                                                          “ReportOutput () = 'XLS'” and for a HTML
what you need.                                                                                    report “ReportOutput () = 'HTML'”. Each
Do this by                                                                                        page can now be tailored for each output
opening the cube                                                                                  type and will only execute if the user selects
(Employee                                                                                         that format.
                                                  Use the DCubeDeselect macro step to
Information in
                                                  deselect the Temp / Perm column:
this example) and
choosing the
Saved Selection
option on

                                                                                                                        PEAK PERFORMANCE 07


With the market for performance management tools                             HOW PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT CAN MAKE A
going through a wave of consolidation, Inca's Ian
Stone explains how the latest moves will benefit
mid-market organisations.                                                    The current market conditions have rightly focused attention on
                                                                             bottom line and cost improvement. Achieving a coherent view of
A couple of years ago, several business intelligence (BI) software           current performance can highlight savings in a number of areas.
developers were acquired by larger players including SAP and IBM.
Following this pattern, Inca's new parent Avisen plc this year embarked      SOME EXAMPLES INCLUDE:
on a similar strategy within the IBM Cognos UK reseller network.
                                                                             • Excess costs that may stem from inefficient distribution routes
The trigger for this activity is the release of IBM Cognos Express,          • Opportunities to renegotiate purchase contracts
an integrated reporting, planning and budgeting suite tailored for
mid-market organisations.                                                    • Fewer people required to hand craft spreadsheet reports -
                                                                               managers can do the analysis themselves
Just as the corporate world discovered, mid-market organisations
are finding that isolated spreadsheet-based planning tools do not            • Product lines or services that are failing to deliver the anticipated
deliver the answers they need. What company owners and managers                profits.
require is a performance management solution that can support
strategic decision-making - IBM Cognos Express.                              These savings are real, and can play an important part in justifying
                                                                             the investment in performance management. One Inca customer, Star,
Companies want to know how they are doing and why, and what                  a provider of on demand computing and communication services is
they should doing. These questions have been hampered by the                 benefiting from a £30,000 saving every month in operating efficiencies
limitations of the budgeting, reporting and analysis tools they are using.   after implementing IBM Cognos.

Excel-based performance management tools can only take people                On a strategic level, Avisen has benefited greatly from using these
so far before they reach their limits. Planning and budgeting                tools to support acquisitions and organisational change. The IBM
spreadsheets, for example, have to be consolidated into a single model       Cognos tools that power the Express suite have made it possible
before anyone can see the full picture. Statutory and management             to get a consistent view of acquired organisations and to work out
reporting suffer from the same problem - the biggest pain usually            which elements are generating or losing revenue.
occurs when trying to pull together data and clean it.

Mid-size organisations that have been through a
period of growth invariably have built up silos of
information in different departments. An integrated
planning, budgeting and reporting system will
include a component that puts a layer over those
silos and organises them into an overview of the
whole business. You can then see the full picture,
look at where costs lie, analyse the model and
make changes much more quickly.

Better BI tools mean finance managers can focus
more on analysis and output than on consolidating
error prone datasets. Reducing the time it takes to
budget makes it possible to rebudget and
reforecast on a more regular basis and be more
reactive to the business.

Implementing a performance management solution does pose a                   made based on out of date figures. Today, smart businesses make
number of technical and cultural challenges, but you can do it in            their decisions based on good management information made
incremental steps. You don't have to try and tackle the entire problem       possible by modern technologies.
and once you have made positive strides forward, you will see that
the effort is worth it.                                                      Every Monday morning, I get into the office and look at the latest
                                                                             forecasts, cost reports, P&Ls and cash flows and use the collected
Most organisations already have planning and performance analysis            intelligence to make decisions. Unlocking that information and putting
spreadsheets. You can take this data straight into a BI solution and         it together in a way that gives you new insights is what every smart
start to remodel it. As you load the data, the inconsistencies you           business should be doing, whatever its size.
discover provide an opportunity to agree definitions of what you're
trying to measure and how; this is usually the biggest issue that
companies face.

Different departments and managers will measure things in their
own way, for example the sales team that recognises the revenue                 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TIPS
from a sale when the order is placed as opposed to the finance
team who recognise it when it is paid. The other classic issue is               1. Work out who your Information Stakeholders are and how
agreeing a common approach to calculating key metrics. Once you                 they will benefit from it. Once you understand the broad
have clarified the discrepancies and agreed a standard model, the               outline, you will have a better idea how to shape the solution.
performance management platform will give everyone a common                     2. Make a senior manager or exec the “owner” of the BI
view. Using web browsers they can explore their own metrics safe
                                                                                project to drive it forward and make sure managers benefit
in the knowledge that the analysis is based on credible, up-to-date
                                                                                from it.
and validated source information.
                                                                                3. Start small and grow as you need. Take one step at a time
From a technical perspective, a Performance Management                          and demonstrate the value of BI before moving on to the next
application will usually need to be housed on a server that is separate         stage.
to your transactional system. IBM Cognos Express is powered by
the IBM Cognos TM1 ‘in memory’ data store. All the information                  4. Find out where your existing information is held and what
sources from accounting ledger, ERP and operational systems are                 you have already. Data held in Excel spreadsheets can be
pulled together and held in the server memory. Once this core                   imported to the BI system to get you started quickly.
server system is installed and the data models are configured, the
                                                                                5. Identify discrepancies in your data sources and agree
end user tools are designed for finance and line managers to
                                                                                standard definitions and measures with users.
generate their own reports and analyses.

Traditionally, management would receive a report at the end of
month and react to it. That might mean that decisions were being

Article taken from Accounting Web

   ABOUT ACCOUNTING WEB provides independent editorial content and community interaction for 200,000 accounting professionals every month.
   By delivering practical advice and guidance with daily news updates, blogs, expert interviews and podcasts through our website and in regular
   email bulletins we have an unrivalled level of interactivity with the accounting community. Visit for further information.

                                                                                                                             PEAK PERFORMANCE 09


                                                       It was clear to us that choosing
                                                    Inca and the implementation of
                                                                                                  KEY BENEFITS:
                                                                                                  • Use Microsoft Navision as ERP System
CONCENTRATE ON CORE TASKS                           IBM Cognos seemed to be the                     alongside IBM Cognos
MLL Telecom is a medium-sized company               best solution to meet all our
                                                                                                  • Presents accurate and timely data,
that plans, deploys and manages wireless            needs. The other providers didn't
                                                                                                    eliminates spreadsheet errors
backhaul networks for UK mobile operators.          come close in proving they could
A leader in radio wireless technology - and         meet our demands                              • Inca professional services team offers
its augmentation with copper or fibre - MLL
is one of the UK's largest providers of
                                                                          ”                         on site consultancy throughout
                                                 team opted to implement IBM Cognos                 implementation process
wireless backhaul.
                                                 Planning with Inca, an Avisen Plc company,       • Enables in-depth data analysis at a
                                                 after meeting them at a Softworld event.           click of a button
MLL's financial data is split into two main
                                                 Zoe says, “We selected IBM Cognos Planning
groups: existing contracts and prospect
                                                 because of the strong dimensions and the         • Flexibility of IBM Cognos to adapt to
information. Using spreadsheets to account
                                                 size of the data cubes - it was the only           company changes
for these two very different data models
                                                 solution on the market that exactly suited
was becoming increasingly impractical,                                                            • Reduces reliance on key individuals to
                                                 our needs. The time analysis and rolling
according to Zoë Turner, Financial Planning                                                         maintain and amend data
                                                 forecast features mean we can keep a
Manager at MLL Telecom. She says, “We
                                                 real-time eye on our budgeting”. Zoe goes        • Flexibility of IBM Cognos to adapt to
rely on our financial data to make accurate
                                                 on, “It was clear to us that choosing Inca         company changes
forecasts for the future,” she explained.
                                                 and the implementation of IBM Cognos
“But our spreadsheet-based system was
                                                 seemed to be the best solution to meet all our
becoming unmanageable. The system was
                                                 needs. The other providers didn't come close
so complex that it needed an expert to run
                                                 in proving they could meet our demands”.
it, and it could take up to half an hour to
refresh the data”. Zoe continues, “We                                                             developments in the market. MLL's finance
                                                 Once MLL had chosen the best fitting
weren't comfortable with our data's integrity,                                                    team can now follow a step-by-step process
                                                 solution they then went through the process
as the spreadsheets were exposed to                                                               to submit data and access the information
                                                 of designing the tool to meet their needs
potential corruption. In turn, we couldn't                                                        they need at the click of a button.
                                                 and implementing the product with Inca.
rely on producing accurate sales predictions
                                                 Zoe comments, “the experience of using
and forecasts”.
                                                 Inca consultancy was excellent, along with
                                                 the design and implementation stages”.
MLL needed a business planning tool that
                                                 Inca trained Zoe and her team to be
would not only speed up access times, but
                                                 able to build, manage and
also present accurate and relevant data -
                                                 maintain a model on
to ensure that revenue forecasts could be
                                                 IBM Cognos
relied upon to support the business.
                                                 Planning -
Furthermore, Zoe and her team needed a
future-proof reporting tool that could be
developed in line with market changes.

MLL Telecom trialled six planning and
forecasting products, including offerings
from Brixx and Sage before choosing the
best fitting solution. However, Zoe and her

                                                   NEW ABILITY TO ANALYSE DATA                        IBM Cognos Planning to the sales teams
      IBM Cognos Planning has                      RATHER THAN DISTRUST ITS                           and account managers. Zoe comments,
   transformed the way the finance                 INTEGRITY                                          “Our sales teams give information to us
                                                   “Before, we spent most of our time worrying        and we input that data into the system. In
   team works - allowing us to
                                                   about what our data was. Now, we can               the future, we'd like to cut out that middle
   concentrate on what we're there to                                                                 stage, and allow the sales teams to use the
                                                   actually concentrate on what it really means,”
     ”                                             Zoe explains. “IBM Cognos Planning has
                                                   actually changed the focus of our department
                                                                                                      solution themselves”. In conclusion, Zoe says,
                                                                                                      “IBM Cognos Planning has transformed
                                                   to give us several benefits for the future”.       the way the finance team works - allowing
                                                   Now, MLL is considering a wider roll out of        us to concentrate on what we're there to do”.



      Midsize organisations are focused on driving cost and                   “The main benefit we hope to gain from using IBM Cognos®
   improving profit and efficiencies; the IBM Cognos                          Express is to enhance our decision making by enabling users to
                                                                              have access to their data much faster than they currently do, using
   Express® solution provides them with the necessary tools                   our existing reporting methods.”
   to achieve their goals.
                           ”                                                  IBM Cognos® Express has also recently been chosen by Mayflex
                                                                              Holdings Ltd to provide a stable environment within which to budget
• Inca announces first two sales of IBM Cognos® Express to                    business activities, replacing their current large and complex
  Kettle Foods and Mayflex                                                    spreadsheet system. The facility to use the web for input and viewing
• Kettle Foods will implement software to enhance decision making             was also a key decision factor in the purchase process - due to the
  and users will benefit from faster access to data                           requirement of UK and international users connecting remotely.

• Mayflex plans to use the software to provide a stable environment           Lyn Dolphin, Finance Manager at Mayflex, commented: “The service
  within which to budget business activities                                  and help we have received in introducing IBM Cognos® Express
                                                                              into the business from Inca has been excellent. Our timescales are
Inca, an Avisen Plc company and IBM Business Partner, has made                very short and Inca have done everything they can to assist us in
its first two sales of IBM Cognos® Express to Kettle Foods, supplier          achieving our target.”
of KETTLE® Chips - the UK’s leading premium crisp brand - and
Mayflex - a leading distributor of cabling infrastructure, networking         Ian Stone, Managing Director of Inca, said: “We are delighted to
                                                                              have made the initial sales of IBM Cognos® Express to Kettle
and physical security products.
                                                                              Foods and Mayflex. With our presence in the midsize market, we
                                                                              are confident that we will continue to bring new IBM Cognos
IBM Cognos® Express is the first and only integrated Business
                                                                              Express® customers on board as businesses realise the value and
Intelligence (BI) and Planning solution, purpose-built to meet the needs
                                                                              importance of having Business Intelligence software in place.
of midsize companies. It delivers the essential reporting, analysis,
dashboard, scorecard, planning, budgeting and forecasting
                                                                              “Midsize organisations are focused on driving cost and improving
capabilities that midsize companies need at an affordable price.
                                                                              profit and efficiencies; the IBM Cognos Express® solution provides
                                                                              them with the necessary tools to achieve their goals.”
Kettle Foods will use the software to identify strategic opportunities
and provide an integrated planning and reporting tool to replace
                                                                              Ged Simmons, Country Manager, Business Intelligence and
complex, and difficult to maintain, spreadsheets.
                                                                              Performance Management UK and Ireland, IBM, added, “For
                                                                              organisations that are beginning to embark or expand on a BI and
Shaun Richardson, IT Manager at Kettle Foods, commented: “We
                                                                              Planning strategy, IBM Cognos® Express includes everything
spent a year looking at the relative merits of a variety of business
                                                                              needed to get started right away. It offers powerful yet easy-to-use
intelligence software solutions. We selected IBM Cognos Express
                                                                              capabilities for both novices and advanced users to encourage
because it combines the planning and modelling strengths of IBM
                                                                              broad adoption throughout a company.”
Cognos TM1 and the reporting strengths of IBM Cognos 8 BI in a
value for money offering, providing a complete planning, reporting
and scenario modelling toolset.

                                                                                                                            PEAK PERFORMANCE 11

Our newsletter is designed with our customers in mind, so we would like to encourage as many ideas for content from you as possible!
Email your ideas for the newsletter content to, and we will happily consider your ideas for future issues.

                                   01784 270 860           01784 270 861