The client, a large media and information company, had acquired an existing company and subsequently decided to make their IT operations more efficient and more responsive to market changes. In addition, the client’s flagship product was becoming obsolete- threatening their market leadership position and allowing competitors to catch up.
A variety of other challenges to overcome were also noted in this case.
The client needed to:
- Unify and merge a global team (7 locations in 5 different countries)
- Reduce resistance to change within the organization
- Connect various stakeholders that were involvement in product development
- Effectively navigate a tight schedule due to market pressures
- Engage upper management in their large corporate environment
An Agile transformation was initiated immediately- beginning with a pilot project conducted using Lean. To optimize productivity, the pilot project focused on re-engineering the troubled flagship product. A key aspect in the client’s Agile transformation included modifying the entire SDLC. Training sessions were held on a regular basis to ensure compliance with new Agile practices. The Agile Lean methodology was successfully introduced with bi-weekly iterations. To complement the new Agile practices and to ensure effective delegation of tasks, Rally software was introduced as a project management tool. As part of the automation, QA was trained for automated testing and load testing. The project was delivered with a collaborative mixed team consisting of both client and BondR professionals to accelerate the Agile transformation.
- New Agile methodologies were rapidly accepted and adopted.
- The value delivered was visible from day one.
- Due to transparency on all levels, upper management gained insight and visibility throughout the delivery of the project and all the stakeholders bought-in quickly.
- Replaced a multitude of tools that was used during the old SDLC with Rally – which consolidated all functions carried out by previous tools.
- Dispelling the myth that Agile is difficult to control from a budget perspective, the project was completed on budget. Burndown charts facilitated accurate predictions of the final cost associated with project. The actual final cost was very close to the projected final cost of the project.
- Project was delivered on time without having to increase work hours.
- By the last phases of the project, the team was able to forecast user stories within +/-5% accuracy. This contributed greatly to the ease of budgeting as previously mentioned above.
As sales grew and the company attracted more online and social media attention, the client found that managing the large volume of data being generated was difficult and problematic. An immense amount of data was being generated across various sources: Sales transactions, merchandise inventory, social media and click stream data. This explosion of data overwhelmed the client. Needing a cost effective way to manage large amounts of data to effectively forecast sales and derive other critical business insights, the client decided take ownership of the situation through immediate action.
The solution included implementing Hadoop HDFS and Hive data cluster to satisfy the client’s need to find a cost effective way to store data. Implementation of these solutions also made it easier for business users within the organization to access data when necessary. As data was generated from various sources, some of the data was stored in file format. The team proceeded to inject these data files into Hadoop- making the data immediately accessible online.
In terms of data analytics, Hadoop and R were used. These enabled effective data analysis, statistical computing and data visualization. Various regression models were used in this case. Industry best-practices in data architecture were also applied to ensure that the solution was scalable and extendable to assure that cost, quality, scope and timeline criteria were met.
- Successfully implemented a 100 nodes Hadoop cluster housing 10TB of data and growing with 1TB a year.
- Integration of Hadoop as part of the enterprise architecture for data management resulted in a scalable architecture that synchronizes with data volume. This reduces excessive storage waste and aids in achieving long-term cost reduction for the enterprise.
- New data warehouse enabled retailer to reduce time required to launch new business initiatives, meet regulatory compliance with certifiable, accurate financial and operational data
- Big data technologies implemented on commodity hardware resulted in 2M in savings – in contrast to the higher cost associated with other traditional RDBMS solutions
- Enabled advanced analytics to obtain a rich and consolidated view of customers and achieve effective sales forecasting results
- Enabled advanced, predictive analytics for business users in order to facilitate inventory management
- Alignment and unity of all business units through the provision of real-time enterprise data
This retail client’s marketing department had struggled for many years to obtain information for effective customer segmentation, customer retention and reduction of customer churn. In addition, the client had difficulties identifying information that aids in identifying cross sell and up-sell opportunities. To add to their problems, the organization had a large volume of data stored in more than 200 data sources spread across the enterprise. One of the major challenges to overcome in this particular case is the sheer complexity of the data integration logic that needs to occur before the client can obtain actionable business intelligence information.
A centralized data warehouse was implemented for the marketing department in order to simplify the process of creating marketing campaigns. The solution was built using Oracle technology, including ODI, for ETL and Cognos for BI Reporting.
The solution provided:
- A “single version of the truth”- a unified platform for all marketing and sales related teams
- A 360-degree view of customers
- Accurate, timely and consistent information
- User-friendly/accessible information for business users
The marketing automation solution drastically improved the marketing campaign management process by providing:
- Accurate, timely, consistent information for marketers and sales teams to effectively run marketing campaigns
- Effective analysis of demographic and behavioral data to improve segmentation and targeting efforts and aid in customer retention
- Increase ROI of marketing budgets
- Best use of the technology