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SharePoint BI tool deployment underway at Lowe Lintas

Mitchelle R Jansen

The advertising agency Lowe Lintas is in the process of implementing business intelligence (BI) tool as part of Microsoft SharePoint Server (Moss), departing from legacy applications. Nikhil Gundale, associate vice-president of systems and technology at Lowe Lintas informs that the SharePoint BI tool

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will help various reporting and analysis needs such as revenue optimization and profit maximization through appropriate resource allocation.

Lowe started the SharePoint BI project in November 2010. Along with SharePoint BI, Lowe also undertook a data quality initiative to clean up the enterprise data generated by multiple applications.

SharePoint BI will help us assess and compare the time and money invested in projects & compare them for RoI.

Nikhil Gundale

Implementation details

Before finalizing on SharePoint BI, Lowe evaluated various brand options. However, the organization chose to deploy SharePoint BI to ensure platform unification and to avoid hardware and licensing costs.

Gundale says Lowe's BI project was conceived as part of the company's technology architecture covering presentation layer, BI layer, online transaction processing (OLTP) layer, and extended communication layer.

“We already had enterprise applications such as SAP FI/CO and Oracle Database and were now in the process of deploying MOSS,” he recalls.  “To fully exploit SharePoint BI's functionality, it became necessary first to standardize, unify, and clean up the structured data generated by these apps as well as the unstructured data spread across the organization.” 

Lowe has started standardizing its technology to Microsoft platforms including Microsoft ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL, and various MOSS components.

Benefits of SharePoint BI

The agency expects SharePoint BI to considerably improve efficiency. Already, some of the ad hoc queries take a few minutes to generate now as against a week that it would take earlier.

Optimal utilization of human resources to improve profitability of the organization is expected to be another early benefit of SharePoint BI to Lowe. “Being one of the largest agencies in the country, we have several campaigns simultaneously running at any point in time,” says Gundale, citing an example. “SharePoint BI will help us assess and to compare the time and money invested in each and compare them for RoI."

Project life cycle

Lowe plans to complete the beta phase of the SharePoint BI project by end of May 2011 and expects the BI module to go live by end of Q2-2011.