Founded in 1995, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. provides reliable, high-performance network solutions that help organizations transition smoothly to a virtualized world where applications and information can reside anywhere. Brocade serves a wide range of industries and customers in more than 160 countries, providing a complete line of Ethernet, storage, and converged networking solutions.
Following its 2008 acquisition of Foundry Networks, Brocade extended its proven data center expertise across the entire network with solutions built for consolidation, network convergence, virtualization, and cloud computing. It also has expanded from the business-to-business (B2B) market to the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. Brocade now sells not only through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the system integrator channel, but also directly to businesses.
To fully capitalize on its new business model, Brocade required better insight into customer data and needed to deliver a more consistent customer experience. This required transforming its IT architecture and replacing a departmentalized, siloed environment using an enterprise architecture model that provides a single view of key data, including customer and related business information. The legacy business intelligence was built on a Business Objects universe that was created piece meal over many years and hence lacked the consistency required in an enterprise view of data.
Instead of building the enterprise logical model (BI360) from scratch, Brocade chose to create the foundational logical model using out-of-the-box Oracle Business Intelligence Applications on top of an Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition platform. Brocade has implemented Oracle Service Analytics, Oracle Project Analytics, and Oracle Procurement and Spend Analytics, and Oracle Supply Chain and Order Management Analytics. There are plans for implementing sales and service functions in the BI360 model by mapping data from Salesforce.com sales and service modules. Implementing these business functions will terminate the corresponding function in Business Objects.
The applications integrated smoothly with Brocade’s Oracle E-Business Suite and Hyperion applications to provide near real-time business intelligence (BI) and drill-down capability into the transactional systems that help the company increase sales and improve customer service and channel management. Oracle’s out-of-box functionality also enabled Brocade to avoid costly and time-consuming creation of a complex enterprise data model.
Brocade selected Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Business Intelligence Applications over Business Objects or an in-house developed solution because Oracle offered more extensive out-of-the-box functionality and prebuilt data models, which significantly reduces development time and vastly improves maintainability.
“With Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, we get most of what we need, out of the box. We don’t have to build data models from scratch, a process that would take years,” said Salil Durani, director of enterprise information management & architecture, IT, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
By using a commercial solution, Brocade ensured ongoing support and a path forward, including new releases and updates. Oracle’s drill-down capabilities were also critical to executives, and the IT team appreciated other features, such as support for mobile applications. Further, Oracle’s BI offerings integrate smoothly with Brocade’s core business applications, which include Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s Hyperion applications.
Brocade launched its BI initiative in November 2009 by socializing the enterprise logical model concept at the executive level in different business functions. It was important to understand the limitations in the existing Business Objects-based siloed data model and the value of the enterprise data view enabled by Oracle Business Intelligence Applications. This important value-added functionality was not possible in Business Objects, even though end users were very familiar with Business Objects and felt that it served their individual functional needs. After gaining executive buy-in from each department, the IT team then worked to communicate the approach and its advantages to midlevel managers and end users. With Oracle in place, users have quickly realized the enterprise solution’s power and many advantages. The effort continues today as Brocade rolls out new dashboards and expands the user base.