International retail software solutions company Argility, headquartered in Johannesburg, is reaping the benefits of its installation of an IBM Cognos Express Xcelerator module, using Turbo Integrator to import data and keep the business model and meta-data valid and up-to-date.
The solution was recommended by Totem Analytics, an enterprise performance management specialist whose business analytics division specialises in financial performance management (FPM) solutions.
Argility CFO, Herman de Vries, says the Totem solution was delivered on time, based on specific requirements, including training. “We are now able to perform the bulk of ongoing solution development which is saving time and reducing consulting costs.”
De Vries added that the solution has allowed Argility to develop automated budgets for all of its customers, with business users being able to “slice and dice” data for easy analysis. Security can also be set up within the IBM Cognos Express module to meet specific requirements.
“We can perform deeper and more detailed analysis, such as variance and root cause, and by taking advantage of the IBM Cognos functionality, reports and forms can also be quickly and easily customised without any assistance from the IT department.”
Focused on providing merchandising and point-of-sale sale solutions to major retail groups, Argility has deep technical expertise backed by intellectual capital and full understanding of the retail sector.
“Our rapid growth resulted in increased complexity,” says De Vries. “We needed flexibility and dynamic reporting functionality for accurate planning and decision-making in order to stay ahead of market changes as well as reinforce our ability to quickly create and modify reports for specific business needs.”
He adds that, since Totem Analytics implemented the IBM Cognos Express solution, Argility’s budget cycle has reduced from three months to one month, which has also enabled management and the finance department to focus on business at hand.
“The quality and depth of the data has improved significantly, resulting in finance, management and business users better understanding project costs and resource requirements which has translated into improved customer service, retention and profitability.”
Another advantage of the solution is the ability of IBM Cognos Express Xcelerator to consolidate Excel spreadsheets onto a single easy to use platform, offering both high-level dashboards and the ability to drill down to detailed data.
“It has empowered end-users who are now able to see and understand the business better without having to rely on IT or additional analyst reporting time,” concludes De Vries.