When the local branch of optical and digital precision technology manufacturer Olympus needed a new sales pipeline reporting system, Datacom stepped in with a new solution built around Power BI and Azure.
Olympus previously used Microsoft Excel to create many of its sales reports before developing the new system architecture in partnership with Datacom.
However, Excel was not designed to handle commercial amounts of data in a single document, as the Olympus sales team discovered. The company’s sales history report, for example, contained six years of data in a file of over 100 MB and it was not uncommon for it to crash upon opening.
A new system clearly had to be developed.
By partnering with Datacom, Olympus created a data architecture that has since transformed enterprise reporting, providing more accessible and faster reporting to enable better business decisions.
The platform that was implemented by Datacom for Olympus sales reporting uses Microsoft’s Power BI data visualization software on top of an underlying Azure data lake, which automates data entry. data from SAP and NetSuite.
The new system was designed to be scalable, flexible and capable of continuous improvement.
While the initial project to design and deploy the new system began several years ago, the platform continues to be constantly improved and developed in partnership with Datacom, whose team is constantly working alongside its client to introduce new new solutions.
Today, the same six-year-old report that was over 100MB and likely to crash is around 3MB and mobile-friendly.
“You can see the reports on your phone, which wasn’t possible before,” said Jay Raichura, business intelligence and analytics manager at Olympus. “This means that reps who previously carried around a laptop can now simply pull out their phone; this is another big advantage.
“The new system also means that sales specialists can immediately see where orders are. When a customer wants to know where their order is, we can issue a report on the spot. The new system is easy to use and saves a lot of time,” he added.
More than a quarter of Olympus’ more than 400 team members in Australia and New Zealand typically access the company’s sales reports, with 8,000 visits in a typical month and rates over high at the end of the year.
According to Olympus, sales reports are now much more up-to-date than they were before.
Previously, initial reports on Olympus’ sales pipeline were only updated monthly. Now the report refreshes every 30 minutes.
“Sales specialists can now enter their data into Salesforce and see the impact within half an hour, which is a big plus,” Raichura said. “And the overall data refresh that used to take six hours to refresh now takes about an hour – we’re really pleased with these results.”
Additionally, the scalability of the new system means that Olympus can see the potential to use it for supply chain, customer operations and service center data, to name a few possibilities.
“The benefit of building this far outweighed the cost,” Raichura said. “We recently sent out a survey asking people if they would prefer to go back to the old system and the answer was a unanimous ‘no’. Even among sales people who have been around since the days of dial-up; they are all very satisfied with the results.
Not only did the project impress the local Olympus team in Australia, but it also surprised the global team.
“About eight months ago, the global team came to us with a new system and we were able to say, ‘Before we start your presentation, let us show you what we have,’” Raichura said.
“Once they saw what we had, they said without hesitation that it was one of the best data architectures in Asia Pacific. ‘Gold standard’ was the phrase they used.
In November last year, Datacom was one of a handful of local IT vendors that were added to the South Australian government’s $180 million personal computer and server equipment panel.
Datacom, along with ASI Solutions, Computers Now and national distributor Leader, now sit alongside vendors including Acer, Dell, Dynabook, HP, HPE and Lenovo on the panel.
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