This is a guest blog post by Revelwood’s Susan Musselman.
As a senior consultant with Revelwood, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different implementations of IBM Cognos TM1. But last year I was able to tackle a very cool project – one of the first implementations of TM1 in the Cloud (now IBM Planning Analytics). This wasn’t just one of the first Revelwood implementations—it was one of IBM’s first implementations. It was all new territory.
Our client was a leading direct marketer of apparel and accessories. They were looking to have a budgeting and reporting application that would significantly reduce the amount of effort required by their spreadsheet-based planning process, and to have the ability to perform ad hoc analysis to satisfy immediate inquiries from senior management. They also wanted to be able to more easily create cash flow statements, monitor the budget submission status of budget contributors and give their end users the ability to perform their own ad hoc analysis.
These are pretty standard activities for TM1. So one might wonder why this company opted for TM1 in the Cloud. They felt their geographically diverse user base would best be served by a cloud implementation. In fact, their IT department had set a corporate strategy to move all its applications to the cloud. The company no longer wanted to invest in solutions that required data center space and extensive IT support.
Because it was a cloud implementation, we only had two methods of delivery—either TM1 Web or TM1 CAFÉ (Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel). We opted to use CAFÉ, which was brand-new at the time. Working with new technologies can be challenging, but as a result of our long-term relationships with IBM and participation and attendance at IBM Vision, we had developed relationships with the TM1 in the Cloud developers and the CAFÉ developers. These connections ended up being critical to the implementation’s success. We ended up in some very interactive meetings with the IBMers, which enabled both our client and our team to provide input on future product directions for CAFÉ.
Phase one was completed last year, and the client is very happy with their decision. Now we’re focused on building cash flow models and a budgeting application for their retail store sales. It felt really great for both the client and our Revelwood team to be early adopters for how TM1 will be used in the future.