Thursday, May 27, 2010

Information Builders Summit 2010 Offsite Event - Universal Studios

It is official! 

As part of their Summit 2010 User Conference, Information Builders will host an offsite event at Universal Orlando.  On Monday, the 7th of June, shuttles begin leaving the Gaylord Resort at 7PM.

In past years, Information Builders has rented out Universal's New York section (which is quite appropriate for this Manhattan-based software vendor).  They typically serve a nice buffet meal at Finnegan's Bar and Grill and then turn the guests free to wander the park.

Only the Information Builders group will be at the park -- with the smaller crowd, it is easy to go from ride to ride with no waiting in line.  

If Information Builders picks the same spot, be sure to try the Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster.  Other great rides include Back to the Future, ET, Shrek 4D, and Jimmy Neutron (my personal favorite).  You can also see live-action attractions such as "Twister...Ride it Out."

If I don't see you there, don't forget to get your picture taken with the Great White from Jaws!  And don't miss the last shuttle back to the hotel at 11:45PM.

June 2010 Update:

Yes, it was back to Universal Orlando's New York section for Information Builders!   This year, Summit attendees enjoyed a new rollercoaster attraction. 

But, alas, it is no longer possible to ride in Doc Brown's Delorean and travel Back to the Future.  Universal has remodeled the infamous car into a virtual rollercoaster through KrustyLand with The Simpsons.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Partner Intelligence and WebFOCUS

Let me explain the Partner Intelligence organization. In a nutshell, we help companies make better business decisions through effective use of Business Intelligence software and data.

We organized the company to provide our clients with what they want and need:
  • Experienced individuals who deliver on promises and produce the desired results
  • Value for their money
  • A company that is easy to work with
  • Local resources who will be there for a long-term relationship
  • A trusted advisor who has their best interest in mind

In addition to our clients, we exist for our "Partners" -- those valued individuals who work with Partner Intelligence. Our associates receive the following:
  • Full-time employment (we are not a subcontracting "body shop")
  • Annual salary plus incentive bonus plan (we do not pay on a temporary, 1099 basis)
  • Full benefits (e.g., health, disability, paid-time off, training)
  • Career opportunities (e.g., projects at marquee clients, knowledge transfer, access to resources)
  • Fun environment
  • Meaningful work

We also provide services to vendor partners such as Information Builders. In mid-2007, we formed our first relationship with IBI as an "InfoElite" partner. Later, we switched to an "Advisor" role and are now one of their few "Solution" partners. In this new relationship, IBI gave Partner Intelligence the ability to sell the WebFOCUS software to new customers.

Partner Intelligence is a division of a larger company, one of the fastest growing privately held firms in Cincinnati. Partner Professional Staffing provides staffing and recruiting solutions for IT, finance, healthcare, and government. This debt-free and profitable parent organization provides Partner Intelligence with a strong financial foundation as well as wise executive leadership.

But what exactly does Partner Intelligence do? Well, we specialize in WebFOCUS BI software and offer three main consulting services:
  • Strategic BI Advice
  • BI Application Development
  • Automated BI Conversion Services

You might ask, "What makes your BI advice strategic?" During their careers, our experienced BI consultants have learned the best practices along the entire life cycle of a BI product lifecycle. We have organized this know-how and can provide sound advice on how to:
  • Select the right BI software product
  • Create an enterprise BI "Road Map" for success
  • Organize the proper individuals to support a BI product and run BI initiatives
  • Establish the proper procedures and policies for successful BI initiatives
  • Implement the right technical architecture
  • Anchor the BI environment with an early successful project
  • Leverage existing resources for efficient BI projects
  • Identify opportunities for legacy modernization or replacement

Our clients ask us for a variety of BI application development services, such as:
  • Dashboard or portal-type online web applications
  • Mobile handheld applications
  • Reporting applications
  • Data maintenance and transactional applications
  • Database BI repositories
  • Support or enhancement of existing BI applications
  • Mentoring and/or training of client staff

We also have a niche in automatically converting one BI product to another. This unique ability to automate complex conversions sets Partner Intelligence apart from all other service providers. Because of our experience and proprietary software and methodology, Information Builders' Professional Services group selected Partner Intelligence in 2009 as the preferred supplier of automated conversion services.

We call our automated conversion software the "BI Consolidator." Currently, the application can handle legacy reporting tools such as:
  • Oracle Portal
  • Crystal Reports

Bob Gabriel, the VP of Professional Services at Information Builders, explained his decision this way:
"We chose Partner Intelligence because of their success automating complex conversions of legacy technologies into WebFOCUS.  Partner Intelligence’s software application can reduce the time, cost, and risk of converting companies into WebFOCUS clients."
Richard Smith, our sponsor at the State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services, wrote this after their automated conversion project:
“When I engaged Partner Intelligence to do a major project to convert hundreds of production jobs from mainframe FOCUS to WebFOCUS in just six months, it seemed like an unattainable undertaking. Not only was I wrong, but this was one of the smoothest projects on which I have had the pleasure of working in years! If you need to convert code, then Partner Intelligence is the company you need to work with!”

Tim Sharp, VP at JPMorgan Chase, made this comment:
“[Doug] was engaged to assist my team to automate a 4GL replacement project. The project was estimated to span a significant portion of the year and preliminary costs would be very large. Thanks to Doug's expertise and commitment to the project, we successfully converted the legacy reporting tool in just a few months.

In addition to reducing the cost and complexity, we were able to quickly take advantage of the WebFOCUS features that led to employee productivity improvements. We also were awarded a ComputerWorld award for the initiative. I am glad I took Doug up on his offer when he said, ‘I'll bet I can automate that!’ He delivered on everything that he promised.”

Gerry Cohen, the co-founder of Information Builders, had this to say about us:
“Partner Intelligence has had success automating complex conversions of legacy technologies into WebFOCUS. Our customers are quite happy with Partner Intelligence's capabilities and we are pleased with the partnership.” 

In addition to the information you can find on this blog, be sure to read information about the BI Consolidator software and DAPPER methodology on my general BI blog.  Click here for details.

About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.