As an ISV in the enterprise software space, we are constantly challenged by prospective clients to prove value:
“What’s the ROI for my business?”
We face the same challenge as the BI and Data Visualization vendors, the "Field of Dreams" syndrome: build it and they will come...
“Spatial presentation of your Cognos data provides additional insight and understanding.”
While true, it is the same flavor of a story heard often times before.
Let me tell you a different story, one with a tangible ROI.
IBM recently brought us into a sales opportunity in the retail sector. The prospective client had IBM Cognos BI and were including maps in sales and marketing reports. The challenge was the existing map-integration process involved a GIS analyst spinning up the appropriate map view for each report; each time that report was to be run. The entire creation process was approximately 2 hours per report each time. As such, these reports were only run on a monthly basis.
Cue the SpotOn entrance... [da dada da!]
We got involved in the bigger IBM POC, installing SpotOn Vantage onsite and assisting the onsite folks with the development of spatially-enabled Cognos reports.
The result? The prospect’s project team is impressed; CIO is brought in for a “show and tell”. CIO is impressed; business and CMO are brought in for a demonstration. Elapsed time from the initial telephone call with SpotOn: one week.
CMO is “blown away” (we’ve been told) but dubious. He loves the dynamic maps inside the report - pan and zoom versus the static map images - and the bi-directional interactivity between map and report objects.
“How many days did your developers spend building this?”, is the challenge.
"The report author did this in a couple of hours from scratch - no code.”
Once past the disbelief, the implications were impressive:
- Elimination of the two hours per report, per execution. [there’s the tangible ROI in case you missed it]
- “Anytime” report execution - the ability to press a button and have the map-enabled report available on the most recent sales data rather than the monthly lag.
- Spatial interrogation and analysis in conjunction with the business analytics.
We’re just a small piece in a larger puzzle, but there is nothing like a little ROI to put a smile on everybody’s faces.