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Edcon boosts Performance Point deployment with ProfitBase


Retail giant Edcon has chosen the ProfitBase quick business intelligence (BI) platform, distributed locally by Harvey Jones, to accelerate the deployment of its financial reporting, budgeting, consolidation and forecasting platform.

ProfitBase leverages the entire SQL Server stack from Microsoft and provides full out-of-the-box integration with Edcon's back end, Oracle Financials, and the front-end deployment layer, Microsoft’s Performance Point Server.
“We were under pressure to deliver and were looking for ways to accelerate the build and deployment of a financial data warehouse to feed the financial planning and reporting platform,” says Phil Erasmus, project manager at Edcon. “Time and budget pressures meant we did not have the luxury of the traditional approach. We needed something that integrated and delivered quickly.”
Reinald Bormann, product manager at Harvey Jones, adds: “ProfitBase is designed to leverage the Microsoft SQL 2005 platform and accelerate the time to deliver and reduce the maintenance and support costs. We have 29 pre-packaged data connectors that allow us to connect quickly and seamlessly with a number of different platforms."
The product is to be used for two  areas of business for Edcon. The first is to create and populate the data warehouse for the financial reporting solution; the second is to build a line-of-business solution for the Human Resources department to allow it to quickly build and analyse the data held in its HR Focus solution.
“Edcon's selection process was rigorous and we had to prove and demonstrate tangible business benefits,” continues Bormann. “The fact that Edcon, one of the leading business intelligence practitioners in South Africa, chose ProfitBase is a strong endorsement of the value we deliver.”
Harvey Jones offered to do a ProfitBase proof of concept (POC) for the Edcon HR division, which resulted in another POC for the financial planning solution.
“We built the HR POC in two hours with real data as supplied to us by HR Focus,” says Bormann. “This quick win enabled us to engage with other Edcon divisions, with the Finance POC completed within a week.”
The biggest time saving on the planning project was achieved with the use of a new feature of ProfitBase 2009, the Module Export functionality.
“With the export of data from ProfitBase, we could easily load the Performance Point Server staging area, only needing three of the five stored procedures to load the staging area, as the data is exported from ProfitBase ready for Performance Point Server to consume,” says Bormann.