Apoteket AB, the Swedish government-owned pharmaceutical company, offers medicines as well as health products and services to individuals, practitioners, and healthcare organizations. With more than 400 pharmacies and 3,200 employees, Apoteket is the leading pharmaceutical retail chain in Sweden. As part of its vision of modern healthcare, the Swedish healthcare giant launched DosPac—a user-friendly subscription service that allows patients to get presorted and packed medicine according to their daily requirements.
The company was using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition as its business intelligence platform. For applications, Apoteket was operating Oracle E-Business Suite for enterprise resource planning, and Oracle Retail Management System for retail operations. All Oracle Database instances were deployed on Exadata on-premises.
Data security and identity management were core challenges for the company. Its proprietary security solution made it difficult to set up new user roles or issue pharmaceutical certificates.
Also, business growth demanded enhanced analytics capabilities in the retail operations department that could support eight business controllers plus 20 other business functions as super users, who needed regular reports for business, legal, and commercial reasons. In addition, more than 500 individual store managers and business function owners used about 200 standardized reports from classic BI and BI publisher, along with more than 400 individual, ad-hoc reports. “We are totally dependent on the analytics function for issuing reports across our stores, products, and services, and we also need it for closing any accounting period,” says Mats Mälhammar, head of business intelligence.
At the same time, it was critical for Apoteket to ensure fast query response times and provide an intuitive, interactive experience for users across all lines of business. That included maintaining the Oracle BI Publisher functionality for standardized “pixel-perfect” reports, which was used extensively.
In light of the fierce competition and low margins in the pharmaceutical industry, Apoteket also wanted to reduce the total cost of ownership of its business analytics solution, while raising data security to the latest industry standard.
Why Apoteket AB chose Oracle
Because Apoteket was already using OBIEE for its analytics and reporting needs, migrating to Oracle Cloud meant a comparable user experience but with easier integration, greater agility, and improved security, along with state-of-the-art analytics features.
Additionally, the company wanted to take advantage of Oracle Analytics Cloud’s advanced analytics capabilities and its cutting-edge features such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to fortify business intelligence for the company’s analytical requirements.
Notably, Apoteket was interested in using Analytics Cloud’s self-service data preparation and data visualization features, powered by Oracle AutoML. This helps business users analyze new data sources faster and more accurately by automatically finding patterns, dimensions, relationships, and anomalies in the data, without support from IT specialists.
Apoteket was able to retain the features, functions, and overall look and feel of the user interface on Oracle Analytics Cloud to provide assurance and comfort to all business users, while modernizing everything on the back end. Business analysts can now create reports with their own data sources in addition to the library of standard reports, which was seamlessly moved from OBIEE to Analytics Cloud.
Moving to the cloud meant that Apoteket was no longer constrained by 600 licensed users of OBIEE. It was a constant battle to prioritize which users and which departments could analyze information. On Oracle Cloud, anybody in the company—up to 3,000 business users—can use Oracle Analytics to become more data-driven in decision-making. For example, the customer support agents were not accessing analytics before, since the number of users of the legacy system was limited. “Everyone can use Oracle Analytics Cloud’s self-service capabilities to pull ad-hoc analytical reports, in addition to operational reports,” says Mälhammar.
Previously, Apoteket struggled to provide all store managers simultaneously with heavily demanded analytics, such as weekly and monthly opening and closing reports. Since deploying Oracle Analytics, latency is not an issue anymore. The solution provides constant availability for up to 180 concurrent users, and complex reports now run up to 40% faster than before.
“From an IT perspective, the biggest benefit for me as a business intelligence manager is that my team can spend much more time innovating instead of managing the analytical environment. We’ve slashed infrastructure management and upgrade efforts by at least 50%. The cost of running analytics has been reduced by 66%. That will foment an analytics-driven culture in Apoteket while moving into the next decade,” says Mälhammar.
Apoteket, a winner of the prestigious Gothenburg Sustainability Award, monitors the carbon dioxide footprint of its entire business. Reducing its environmental impact was another reason that led the company to move to the Oracle Cloud, because Oracle data centers deliver a sustainable computing platform that is efficient, renewable, and aligned with the circular economy principle.
Apoteket migrated to Oracle Analytics Cloud with the support of Oracle Partner Navigate Consulting. Navigate’s previous expertise with implementations and upgrades of BI platforms helped smooth the migration and go-live of Oracle Analytics. Navigate’s automation tool for validation of BI helped save more than half the time required for a regular migration, as well as subsequent updates and patching.