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C2020-703 exam Dumps Source : IBM Cognos TM1 10.1 Administrator
Test Code : C2020-703
Test Name : IBM Cognos TM1 10.1 Administrator
Vendor Name : IBM
Q&A : 60 Real Questions
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IBM IBM Cognos TM1 10.1
PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwired - Aug 7, 2013) - Revelwood, an IBM Premier business accomplice and chief in designing and implementing IBM company Analytics purposes, introduced these days it is the first IBM business partner global to earn IBM Cognos TM1 Gold Accreditation. The business achieved this with the aid of working with hundreds of shoppers on successful IBM Cognos TM1 performance management and analytics functions.
"Revelwood is one of IBM's longest standing partners working with Cognos TM1," said Mark Enslin, company Analytics Accreditation software manager, IBM. "This accreditation is a testomony to the depth and breadth of Revelwood's expertise in helping their shoppers make the foremost use of IBM Cognos TM1 -- which interprets into more desirable decision making and measurable company benefits."
The IBM Cognos TM1 Gold Accreditation is a component of IBM's utility follow Accelerator, which become launched in early 2013. This software is designed for IBM company partners to speed up and increase their skill to successfully implement solutions which leverage IBM application. as a way to earn this accreditation, Revelwood had to have 15 practitioners certified on a lot of points of Cognos TM1 and had IBM overview and validate a pass-component to a success Cognos TM1 deployments Revelwood has delivered to their customers.
"This fulfillment is at once involving our stringent requirements for Revelwood consultants to have in-depth and fingers-on abilities of Cognos TM1," observed Ken Wolf, President and CEO, Revelwood. "The ordinary length of time our consultants had been using Cognos TM1 is 11 years. This deep experience is why Revelwood is capable of convey dazzling performance management and business analytics applications on-time and within funds."
additional IBM Awards
The IBM Cognos TM1 Gold Accreditation is only one of a few prestigious honors Revelwood has earned from IBM. Revelwood became awarded the 2013 IBM enterprise Analytics capacity Authorization company companion success Award, which recognizes IBM company companions who have demonstrated excellence in providing business value with enterprise Analytics, Predictive Analytics, enterprise content management and counsel administration application. Revelwood turned into chosen from company partners worldwide who have supplied "ingenious options and amazing client value" for the Revelwood™ BPM Suite, an out-of-the-container implementation accelerator for enterprise monetary planning and reporting.
Revelwood also received the 2011 IBM Beacon Award in the brilliant enterprise Analytics Innovation category for the Revelwood BPM Suite. Winners of the Beacon Awards are chosen from more than 95,000 business partners worldwide by way of leading business journalists, analysts and executives for 27 award areas.
About Revelwood Revelwood is an IBM Premier company companion providing implementation services, practicing and aid that bring ease, pace and flexibility to economic planning and reporting, company intelligence, financial governance and revenue efficiency management. Combining IBM Cognos business Analytics utility with highest quality practices and pre-configured, out-of-the-field purposes like Revelwood's BPM Suite™ and efficiency Toolkit™, Revelwood helps organizations to speed up the building and deployment of performance administration options. a whole lot of a hit implementations and confirmed ROI for dozens of Fortune one thousand and mid-market companies are only a couple of factors agencies flip to Revelwood for his or her efficiency management wants. more information on Revelwood may also be obtained by means of touring http://www.revelwood.com or calling 201.984.3030.
IBM Cognos Unveils Revamped TM1 OLAP Stack
TM1 is rarely going any place, IBM Cognos maintains -- despite the fact that massive Blue hasn't yet dominated out changing its brand.
by means of Stephen Swoyer
it's been a protracted and weird highway for the venerable TM1 OLAP engine, which has twice modified ownership over the closing 10 months.
First, in October of 2007, TM1's developer -- the previous Applix Inc. -- turned into got through Cognos Inc. under two months later, Cognos turned into itself acquired through IBM Corp. on account that then -- and regardless of guarantees by way of each do appropriate by means of Applix valued clientele and leverage TM1 as the centerpiece of its Cognos fiscal performance management (FPM) platform -- things went darkish on the TM1 front.
except this week, that's. today, IBM Cognos announced a new version 9.four replace for TM1, touting the expected efficiency and usability enhancements, together with new internationalization improvements that, officers argue, stem from huge Blue's stewardship of the Cognos and Applix manufacturers.
TM1 is rarely going any place, officers say -- despite the fact IBM hasn't yet ruled out altering its company. in addition, in spite of the fact that IBM Cognos is challenging at work incorporating TM1 into its BI and PM products -- a process that includes both integration and reconciliation -- "legacy" Applix consumers will nonetheless be capable of purchase the bread-and-butter TM1 OLAP engine, via TM1 MidMarket version, which IBM Cognos plans to market to SME types.
"We're providing a dedicated mid-market providing," says Applix veteran Joe Pusztai, now product advertising supervisor for TM1 with IBM Cognos. "we are very plenty committed to holding the capacity to make use of TM1 in a standalone, all-in-one capacity. We're now not ever going to make clients purchase application that they don't need."
Pusztai guidelines that the TM1 manufacturer itself may go away: "The TM1 id could no longer basically elevate forward. We still have not determined about that, but the exact technology itself … that [is something] we will continue to elevate forward" on a standalone basis," he asserts.
TM1 version 9.1 became a comparatively mature product when Cognos picked it up closing 12 months. on the other hand, Pusztai says, there's always room for improvement. Enter TM1 9.four, which boasts a number of improvements, starting with a characteristic (lively varieties) that smacks of the Dynamic Slices ability which Applix delivered in TM1 9.1.
there may be a reason for that, he acknowledges. "That [Dynamic Slices] ability has been improved tremendously within the 9.4 liberate under a feature referred to as lively kinds." Pusztai describes active types as "without difficulty a edition 2.0" replace for Dynamic Slices, improving upon its predecessor in a few respects -- e.g., enabling access by way of TM1 web customer periods (Dynamic Slices is Excel-only), helping method-based mostly row definitions (Dynamic Slices supports subset-only definitions), the use of Excel's native formatting metaphors to carry "a lot-superior report formatting, and supplying assist for server-facet zero suppression capabilities.
This ultimate is a big growth over Dynamic Slices, which first pushed data right down to the customer before filtering it. This ended in considerable bloat, Pusztai keeps. "we might send all the information down the wire and then the client would filter it, as adverse to what we're doing now, [which is] suppressing it on the server, so that that information not ever goes down the wire," he explains.
IBM To purchase Cognos for $5 Billion
by using Stephen Swoyer
IBM Corp.’s $5 billion acquisition this week of Cognos Inc. is a watershed adventure. It marks the third acquisition this 12 months of a best-of-breed business intelligence (BI) and performance management (PM) seller.
more to the factor, large Blue’s circulate without difficulty eliminates the ultimate of the large BI pure-play vendors. together with competitors Hyperion options Corp. (got by Oracle Corp. previous this year) and enterprise Objects SA (received via SAP AG remaining month), Cognos become among the many largest and most visible of BI and PM avid gamers. Its acquisition by IBM ability that a personal significant -- SAS Institute Inc., which began out essentially as a purveyor of statistics mining and statistical evaluation equipment -- is now the largest independent BI and PM player.
The stream raises a few questions -- starting with the fate of Cognos’ client tools, from ReportNet to PowerPlay to inherited technologies such because the former Celequest dashboard and appliance know-how (which Cognos bought previous this year). what is going to take place to the Applix TM1 OLAP expertise and its associated assets (which Cognos picked up simply two months in the past)?
Given big Blue’s normal middleware-heavy emphasis -- and even permitting for its extremely liberal figuring out of what exactly constitutes middleware (e.g., its DB2 database) -- the Cognos customer equipment face an uncertain future. no longer so for the underlying technologies that aid them, although. IBM officials talked up the importance of Cognos’ reporting and analytic capabilities, touting their "synergy" with massive Blue’s current records-integration and content material-administration property. during this scheme, Cognos’ returned-end reporting and analytic technologies will be a part of a teeming universe of IBM middleware technologies.
"[We are] providing company intelligence [solutions] that touch on many purposes and a lot of sources of facts. We see [technologies such as] BI and master statistics management … as being horizontal. It is terribly an awful lot horizontal technology that cuts across all types of applications," said Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and community govt for the IBM utility neighborhood, in a teleconference.
IBM and Cognos officials declined to say simply how long the acquisition has been percolating, citing regulatory restrictions. Given the statements that Cognos officials made simply ultimate month within the wake of SAP’s acquisition of business Objects, it probably hasn’t been within the works for extremely long.
on the time, Cognos talked up SAP’s move as a windfall that helped recast it as the unqualified ultimate of the large BI companies.
"The acquisition … items a pretty good possibility for Cognos and validates the market vision we laid out greater than six years in the past -- to be the leading independent company of performance administration options for consumers," noted Mychelle Mollot, vice chairman of market method and strategic communications with Cognos. "Our single focal point on efficiency management will permit us to innovate and reply to the changing needs valued clientele enhanced and quicker than some other supplier available."
Cognos’ Mollot also referred to analysis from Goldman Sachs -- the same research that Cognos touted after Oracle’s buy of Hyperion -- which discovered that greater than 60 p.c of CIOs favored to buy their BI options from an independent vendor, not an utility or database vendor.
"We welcome the removal of a competitor who became committed, as we nonetheless are, to being an independent participant and giving valued clientele equal access to their whole infrastructure, applications and statistics sources," she noted.
In Monday’s conference name, Cognos' CEO Rob Ashe mentioned this about-face.
"When this all begun, the enterprise was no longer on the market," he observed. "We didn’t believe a superb should go and promote ourselves because of [the Business Objects] acquisition. definitely, we noticed a superb chance as a result of the dislocation within the industry."
factors in the back of the MoveWhat should still we make of IBM’s acquisition? If nothing else, industry-watchers stress, it opens up a myriad of new questions.
"For years, IBM representatives have stressed that the items the tips management community builds and buys are focused on the infrastructure degree, regardless of an occasional foray into purposes or equipment that resemble purposes," observed Philip Russom, senior manager at TDWI analysis.
No count how IBM chooses to spin it, Russom stressed out, Cognos is an functions company.
"The Cognos acquisition evidently steps throughout the line in a big manner, so it begs the query: is that this an exception to the infrastructure rule or is this an entire new rule? If it’s a new rule, the record of viable acquisitions we will predict from IBM just obtained a great deal longer," he stated.
what will develop into of Cognos’ BI client property? Russom thinks IBM will do correct with the aid of Cognos clients. in any case, he facets out, large Blue has considerable adventure keeping and supporting legacy equipment -- each its personal and people it has acquired and/or inherited.
"americans forget that Cognos still maintains its original, non-BI product called PowerHouse, which via now's a hoary and warted legacy, along with fresh BI legacies like Impromptu and PowerPlay," he observed. "a number of more legacies shouldn’t be a problem for IBM, which has lengthy event protecting an elephant graveyard of products. simply look at the legacy databases IBM acquired by way of acquiring Informix in 2001, and, of direction, the mainframe is among the largest annuity businesses on the earth of computing."
It’s with respect to OLAP that the acquisition is probably most fraught with questions. Two years ago, IBM stopped reselling its DB2 OLAP Server (an oem-ed -- and greatly modified -- edition of Hyperion Essbase). just recently, big Blue introduced new OLAP functionality (according to technology it obtained three years in the past from the previous AlphaBlox) for its DB2 Warehouse offering.
Cognos, too, manages a collection of OLAP applied sciences, from its own homegrown PowerPlay and ReportNet applied sciences to the TM1 in-memory OLAP engine it got from Applix. How IBM manages and reconciles these OLAP assets will endure watching, in accordance with Russom.
"As with different BI-connected acquisitions, this one includes a considerable product redundancy concerning OLAP," he stated. "The redundancy is inevitable because there are diverse processes to OLAP, and these are sometimes embedded in numerous items of a number of forms. for instance, OLAP capabilities can be found from Cognos ReportNet, Cognos Now!, and TM1, an OLAP engine recently obtained from Applix. Likewise, IBM resold Hyperion Essbase for years -- which is similar to TM1 -- however switched to the OLAP capabilities of AlphaBlox, which are now embedded in DB2 9.5. Redundancy of this category at all times confuses the newly merged customer base, so IBM will deserve to differentiate these certainly."
a very long time ComingIn the remaining evaluation, mentioned Wayne Eckerson, director of TDWI analysis, this acquisition has been a very long time coming.
"This changed into the one [acquisition] individuals idea would turn up all along," he spoke of. "I consider for a lot of of the others, we were a little bit shocked within the trade. here's not a shock, as a result of IBM and Cognos have partnered for a very long time collectively. Cognos is the one BI vendor that’s applied its architecture on SOA principles greater than the others."
Eckerson added that Cognos’ SOA underpinnings helped make it greater integration friendly. "despite the fact, that doesn’t clarify why they spent $5 billion for Cognos at this certain factor in time," he spoke of.
When due to the fact what accounts for the accelerated tempo of consolidation over the remaining 365 days on my own, Eckerson favors a domino theory rationalization.
"The leading BI gamers -- Oracle, IBM, SAP, and Microsoft -- and the groups that they’ve got represent two dozen or greater organizations that were standalone groups previous to [this round of consolidation]," he observed. "I believe the BI companies have seen for a long time that the ERP companies and the massive database providers have been going to return into this house, so that they want to bulk as much as prepare themselves which they did … through acquisitions. sooner or later, once one among them went and had a associate with huge, deep pockets, they all needed to go, so it’s sort of a domino impact."
Stephen Swoyer is a contributing editor for enterprise programs. He can also be reached at email@example.com.
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IBM Cognos TM1 10.1 Administrator
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At colleges large and small, Big Data is much more than a buzzword. Nearly half of higher education institutions are harnessing it to boost retention, employing predictive analytics to identify students who may be at risk in hopes of keeping them moving toward graduation. Yet increasingly, colleges are leveraging data analytics to forecast their revenues, target fundraising efforts and streamline business operations.
Jon Allen knows the breadth of data analytics firsthand. As the CISO and assistant vice president at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, he and his team took Splunk software and turned it into a Swiss army knife for managing data across a network of more than 20,000 machines.
Jon Allen, CISO, Baylor University.
Allen began using Splunk on a small scale about four years ago, simply to comply with peripheral component interconnect requirements for network log monitoring. But the longer the university looked at Splunk, the more ways they found to use it, he says. What began as a straightforward application grew into a software license that now consumes 400 gigabytes per day
For example, Baylor uses Splunk to slash turnaround time on help desk queries, such as assisting users who are locked out of their accounts. Now, instead of spending hours poring over logs for each domain controller, server admins can throw them into Splunk and find the answer in minutes.
“This is basically Google for your machine data,” says Allen. “ ‘How am I going to understand what is going on with all these logs?’ That’s what Splunk does.”
Data Provides a Clear Vision into Operations
As CISO, Allen uses Splunk to analyze network logins and correlate threat data between the server logs, firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Baylor has even used Splunk data to predict the best places to install access points as its wireless network expands. More recently, Baylor has brought in logs from some of the 130-plus cloud services it has deployed, such as Box, CrashPlan, Duo and Fischer IDM.
“Now we have visibility into our hybrid data center,” says Allen. “I don’t care if something is happening in the cloud or on-premises. I can see what’s going on inside my organization.”
Allen says that Baylor has barely tapped Splunk’s potential for predictive analysis across a range of university departments eager to take advantage of its capabilities. The real value of Splunk, Allen says, is its ability to deliver not only information, but insight: “I can have gigs and gigs of data — who cares? But if I can actually make something meaningful and actionable out of that data, that’s important.”
Addressing the Retention Question
Many universities are just starting to take advantage of Big Data tools, says Alan Duncan, a research director at Gartner. Others are still at the talking stage.
Much of the discussion centers on how to ensure students stay in college long enough to complete their degrees, he says. By tracking data such as students’ test scores and level of engagement in online learning environments, institutions seek to identify students at risk and intervene before it’s too late.
Retention rates also have serious financial implications: If students drop out, a university could lose out on tuition payments. Beyond that, it costs more to recruit a student — think marketing, travel and administration expenses — than to retain one. In the long term, students who don’t finish college are less likely to pay off their student loans and to support an alma mater as donors.
“There are both academic outcomes and institutional outcomes, and the two can be uncomfortable bedfellows,” Duncan says. “Institutions are interested in the welfare of students, but they also have to get paid for the educational services they provide.”
Analytics for Financial Forecasting
Budgeting and financial forecasting are the primary reasons that Northwestern University outside Chicago uses IBM Cognos TM1, says Lauren J. Pahnke, senior systems analyst for Northwestern’s finance, facilities and research administration systems.
In preparation for each fiscal year, every department submits a projected budget. These are entered into Cognos TM1 and imported into the university’s financial system, where adjustments can be made once the fiscal year begins, Pahnke says. The university then brings budgets and actual numbers back into TM1’s forecasting application, which departments use to track their financials over the course of the year.
“We used to do all this in Excel,” she says. “But it’s just not maintainable. Now we can see the detail going into people’s calculations, where the numbers came from and what their assumptions were. Before TM1, we couldn’t see any of that.”
In 2015, Northwestern added a tuition forecasting module that lets managers of academic programs enter an estimated head count and tuition rate, then project what a program’s revenue will look like and where it will flow, says Pahnke. However, adoption of that forecasting tool has been slower than anticipated.
“We hope people will use it because this is the kind of thing TM1 is very good at,” she says. “I think there’s a big need for it, but it’s harder for people to make that transition. Our central budget office definitely sees the value in it.”
Need for Speed in Solving IT Issues
In the future, data analysis applications are likely to become more varied as staff in diverse departments recognize their potential. For now, the biggest impact of solutions like Splunk and Cognos is often felt in IT departments, particularly when such tools enable teams to accomplish more with fewer resources.
At Laguna College of Art + Design in suburban Los Angeles, for example, a two-person IT staff is responsible for approximately 1,000 students, staff and faculty. LCAD uses Splunk as a force multiplier, automating the collection and analysis of network log files, says Shawn Tetzlaff, the academic computing administrator.
With Splunk, Tetzlaff can see how well each server is performing, how often it restarts and if students are committing access violations by illegally downloading movie or music files. Besides preserving bandwidth, the latter is important because LCAD, like all colleges, must comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which requires institutions to make a good-faith effort to combat copyright violations.
It used to take 25 minutes to work backward from an IP address to figure out which student was violating the college’s acceptable-use policy. Splunk has reduced that time to less than five minutes, which frees up Tetzlaff for more important tasks.
“The speed at which Splunk queries the database and the nearly unlimited ability it gives you to parse that data is fantastic,” he says. “It’s already paid dividends in saving time for me, and I figure if it can save me that much time, we can figure out how to make it work for others. We’re still in the fledgling stages of realizing its full potential.”
Only 20% of business intelligence requests should be routed through the IT department, according to Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. That leaves the majority of BI requirements to be completed by the business user.
While the 80-20 split is not a scientific ratio and was instead derived from anecdotal evidence, Boris Evelson, a principal analyst with Forrester, hopes it drives home a message for businesses.
“It could be 90-10, 70-30, 60-40 in different organizations,” he said. “But what’s important to realize is that if IT is responsible for more than 50%, the backlog of BI requirements will keep growing.”
The advice comes out of a new Forrester Wave report on self-service business intelligence (BI). The Forrester Wave: Self-Service Business Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2012, led by Evelson, notes that the BI environment is unique compared with CRM, ERP, human resources or financial applications. In those cases, businesses can move at a more deliberate pace and still will most likely see a return on investment.
“[B]ut a BI application can become outdated the day it is rolled out,” the report reads. “Even within implementation times of just a few weeks, the world may have changed completely due to a sudden merger and acquisitions event, a new competitive threat, new management structure or new regulatory reporting requirements.”
And that’s not the only differentiation. Unlike other enterprisewide systems, the requirements for a BI implementation may not be obvious until after the implementation is completed. That’s compounded by their different priorities: While business users aim to serve their clients; IT aims to hold the data to a certain standard, according to the report.
A self-service BI environment could empower business users while taking some of the pressure off of IT. To help businesses move in that direction, Evelson’s research outlines 10 capabilities a platform must have and rates the top 12 products on the market.
“If you are a business user, there are self-service options for you beyond Excel,” he said. “If you are an IT pro, you can now have your cake and eat it too: You can give business users a great degree of self-service capabilities using enterprise-grade tools.”
Consider capabilitiesThe term self-service BI tends to imply tools that are easy-to-use – even instinctual. But “‘intuitive’ and ‘user-friendly’ are subjective terms,” according to the report.
Before purchasing self-service BI platforms, businesses should consider the kinds of capabilities they want and the skill levels of the people building the applications. Those requirements, for example, may be different for an older generation of workers than for a younger generation who grew up on Google and Facebook.
As guidance, the report highlights 10 capabilities businesses should consider during the evaluation process; the list includes automodeling, collaborative features, write-back functions and “migration to production.”
Before a business user can publish and share a new BI application -- even in a shared environment -- it should be “productionalized,” according to the report. This final stage loops the IT department into the process so that the standards it has put forth can continue to be met.
“The right approach? A publishing action that kicks into motion a ‘move to production workflow,’ ” the report states, “or at least automatically notifies the appropriate IT resources.”
Vet the vendorsTo assess the product offerings by what it considers the top 12 self-service BI vendors, Forrester constructed a 31-criteria evaluation based on research as well as user, vendor and expert interviews.
“We included vendors with at least 100 in-production customers present in more than one major geographical region,” the report read. “We also focused on vendors that Forrester clients frequently mentioned or asked about in the context of business intelligence.”
The vendors had to provide the majority of the capabilities Forrester outlined in its report, use SQL and MDX to query databases and provide BI tools that do not have to be embedded into other applications. Based on these requirements, IBM Cognos Insight, which is based on the in-memory OLAP TM1 engine, was crowned the vendor with the strongest product offering.
IBM was joined in the “leaders” pool by a majority of the megavendor lineup: Microsoft, SAP and SAS. Tibco Software and MicroStrategy were also included among the leaders, but both seemed to straddle the line between the first and second tier of vendors.
Oracle was also present, but not among the leaders. It was included in the second tier, which Forrester refers to as “strong performers.” Forrester notes that Oracle has “persistently and successfully” closed the gap, citing Exalytics as an example. Though the recent Endeca acquisition was not considered for this analysis, the report gives it a significant nod.
“[It] has the potential to significantly boost Oracle’s overall position in the self-service BI market,” the report states.
Oracle was joined in the second wave by Information Builders, Tableau Software, Actuate, QlikTech and Panorama Software.
“In many specialized situations where certain features have specific importance, these vendors can even outshine and outperform the leaders,” according to the report.
When he joined New Alliance Bank (NAB) in late 2005 as vice president of financial systems, Jeff Hudson found a financial institution performing the most basic of financial functions – processing the budget – in the most primitive of ways: With Microsoft Excel.
That wasn't the only problem. In addition to using Excel for budgeting, the New Haven, Conn.-based bank was generating profitability numbers through a "stripped down" version of Hyperion's Essbase and printing out customer account histories with Macrofiche. NAB executives knew they needed a better strategy for managing their data. That's why they hired Hudson.
Prior to joining NAB, Hudson worked at rival Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's Bank "automating people's work," as he put it. The college psychology major taught himself to write simple code to automate transferring data from Excel to Microsoft PowerPoint, and in one instance saved the bank thousands of dollars and weeks of effort by creating automated financial reports. The experience prepared him well for his next job.
At NAB, "the budgets never got done at the end of the year because it was such a monster of a process," Hudson said during a recent interview at his New Haven office. "There were people emailing files everywhere."
Putting together the annual budget was a very manual process, he said, with some workers typing budget data into Excel rather than importing it from a database. Inaccurate, incomplete and redundant data was commonplace, not a good idea at a financial institution.
"The data is more critical in banks because our products are intangible," Hudson said. "People are moving their money, but they're not actually moving their money, they're moving information. So, to have control over the view of that information -- where it was, where it's going -- is invaluable."
Weighing OLAP options and a unanimous vote
Needing to update NAB's incoherent data management practices, Hudson knew NAB required a set of business intelligence and financial reporting tools that users were comfortable enough with to ensure adoption, but also flexible enough to meet the bank's evolving data demands. "I need to be able to build complex things, but make them simple," Hudson said, "and I don't want it to be complex from the perspective that it takes a special somebody to do it."
After taking an inventory of the bank's disparate internal systems, Hudson spent half of 2006 evaluating 20 to 30 online analytical processing (OLAP) vendors. He narrowed the competitors down to 15 and invited each one in for a lengthy Q&A session.
"I just drilled them with questions," Hudson said, asking each vendor if they offered pre-canned reports or if consultants would be needed to create reports, for instance, and what level of IT support was needed to manage their systems. He also asked about their auditing and data integration capabilities. A few of the vendors even installed their software on Hudson's PC for a test run.
From there, Hudson, who reports to both the finance and IT departments, put together a team of 26 NAB vice presidents. The team represented each of the bank's lines of business, including consumer lending, life insurance, and commercial real estate. Once Hudson and his team had winnowed the field to six, the vendors each visited NAB headquarters and made their case.
In the end, the decision wasn't even close. All 27 votes went to Westborough, Mass.-based Applix' TM1 reporting and analysis tool.
"I designed a whole set of preset questions…. We presented them to all of these companies coming in and nobody did near as well as TM1," Hudson said. A consultant from Parsippany, N.J.-based Revelwood, an Applix partner, presented TM1 to the bank. "[He] was really personable and he made TM1 seem so simple and elegant. He handled all our questions."
Two acquisitions later…
Another of the finalists was Cognos, but the Ottowa-based business intelligence specialist didn't fair quite as well. "Cognos couldn't do the things with their software that TM1 could do with their software. They couldn't handle it as well or they couldn't show it as easily to the audience," Hudson said.
By mid-2007, TM1 was up and running at NAB. The budget process grew smoother and significantly shorter, just as Hudson had hoped. But then the unexpected happened: Cognos acquired Applix in October 2007. Even more unexpected: IBM then acquired Cognos in February 2008.
A vice president of financial systems could be forgiven for growing a little nervous when his main reporting and analysis vendor gets acquired not once but twice, but Hudson takes a philosophical view. "I only worry about what I can control," Hudson said.The way Hudson sees it, IBM would be crazy to discontinue TM1.
IBM's running a business for profit, Hudson reasons. "And I know that TM1 is the most quality thing that they have, so it wouldn't make sense for them to get rid of it…I'm assuming that they're smart enough to keep it around."
In any event, the two subsequent acquisitions haven't affected TM1's performance at NAB, at least not yet.
With TM1, the bank has cut its budget processing time in half, from four months to two, thanks to TM1's ability to simultaneously run multiple scenarios and to add additional scenarios on the fly when needed, Hudson said. Its user interface is so simple that NAB's CFO even does his own ad hoc analysis directly in TM1. Hudson also just finished a payroll analytics cube, is in the middle of designing incentive tracking for the bank's branch network and is considering creating credit warehouse.
That's not to say that TM1 is perfect. Its response time is somewhat slower towards the end of budget season, Hudson said, when TM1 is overloaded with users scrambling to get their numbers in under the deadline. He is also disappointed that Cognos is doing away with Applix' concurrent licensing model, which NAB uses, replacing it with role-based licensing. Still, overall Hudson is satisfied with the bank's decision to go with Applix.
Hudson said he's particularly happy with TM1's ease of use and flexibility. He said TM1 can run as a standalone program (as it does at NAB) or on the Web, and it can be tailored to look and function like Excel. "That's part of the beautiful thing about TM1," Hudson said, and why it has been such a hit with NAB's 100 or so end-users, who represent every division and department at the bank.
"I haven't had one person say they don't like this system, which I think is tremendous," Hudson said. "It has a lot of popularity here, definitely among the executives….People are asking for more and more stuff built on it."
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