Business Intelligence Firm Attracts New Customers with Cloud Solution

Business Intelligenze

“With all supplier information available in a central location, our customers spend less time discovering supplier information. …We have helped our customers reduce 25 percent or more of their time spent on supplier registration and selection processes, diversity compliance, and overall supplier management.”

Rahul Sethi, President, BusinessIntelligenze

BusinessIntelligenze created BEYOND™, a self-service supplier portal to overcome all supplier registration and diversity compliance issues. It is an out-of-box supplier analytics solution for medium to large enterprises. Based on the Windows Azure platform, the product provides a centralized repository of supplier information, which helps the company’s customers manage their supplier database effectively and save up to 25 percent of their time otherwise spent in managing the same process manually. As a result, BusinessIntelligenze has expanded its customer base, while saving significantly in capital expenses with a reliable, scalable, and highly secure cloud platform.

Overview
Country or Region: India
Industry: Information Technology

Customer Profile
BusinessIntelligenze, a pure-play SaaS provider, delivers a new generation of business intelligence solutions for information workers and enterprises. The company is based in New Delhi, India.

Business Situation
BusinessIntelligenze wanted to offer its customers an out-of-box analytics solution that could manage the complete lifecycle information of suppliers, starting from their registration, on boarding, and diversity compliances.

Solution
BusinessIntelligenze used the Windows Azure cloud computing platform to develop, run, and store data for its product called BEYOND™.

Benefits
Reduces time spent on supplier information management by 25 percent
Tracks supplier non-conformance
Avoids capital expenditures

Situation
BusinessIntelligenze is a dynamic SaaS company that provides analytics solutions and strategic information tools to help customers better manage their supplier database. It engages with the client’s procurement team assisting it in achieving its diversity objectives. Founded in 2010, the company has a presence in India and the United States.

In a sustainable procurement model approach, BusinessIntelligenze empowers decision-makers with critical insights at the right time and place. The company realized that its customers needed a tool that could manage complete lifecycle information about their suppliers along with compliances, and meet diversity objectives. Until now supplier information was received on emails, managed on completely decentralized scenario. Rahul Sethi, President, BusinessIntelligenze says, “We work with several large companies. During our engagements, we realized that there was a genuine need for a system that could completely manage supplier registrations, and also enable customers to meet their diversity objectives. There was no product with this focus in the market.”

This niche requirement motivated the company to create a product that would cater to these needs and at the same time contribute to the process of its client’s diversity objectives in the United States.

The product also addresses all seven levels of the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program by the Government of South Africa. It enables customers in South Africa to meet their contribution towards areas such as employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, management control etc. in a meaningful way.

Solution
Determined to overcome the challenges of its customers were facing, BusinessIntelligenze created BEYOND™, a supplier management solution to empower customers to achieve operational excellence whereby they can manage their suppliers more effectively.

While deciding on options to host the product, the company decided that cloud computing was a perfect way to meet all the needs. It chose the Windows Azure platform as its cloud computing and storage environment offered an integrated and complete service set. Windows Azure is a cloud services platform that provides on-demand compute, storage, bandwidth, content delivery, middleware, and marketplace capabilities to build, host, and scale web applications through Microsoft data centers.

The architecture of BEYOND™ takes complete advantage of Windows Azure, which offers a development, service hosting, and service management environment. The data center is located in Seattle, with three backup copies of data stored in data centers across the world.

The company uses SQL Azure for its relational database needs. SQL Azure is a cloud-based relational and self-managed database service built on Microsoft SQL Server technologies.

BEYOND™ offers a platform where prospective suppliers can register and manage their corporate profile along with their products and services. This supplier self-service portal provides a centralized repository for all suppliers and takes care of supplier management and tracking.

BusinessIntelligenze takes advantage of the pay-as-you-go- model that Windows Azure offers, ensuring that it only pays for the services that it uses. This gives the company an affordable, right-size infrastructure―an infrastructure that is neither under-utilized nor over-taxed.

“With Windows Azure, we know that we have a scalable, secure, highly reliable, and highly available environment,” says Rahul. “With less administrative overheads, we have more time to focus on our core competencies.”

The company began working on BEYOND™ in April 2009 and launched it in June 2010. Till date, 20 of its customers are using the product and the prediction is that the number will keep on increasing.

Benefits
Almost immediately after the launch of BEYOND™ on the Windows Azure platform BusinessIntelligenze began experiencing dramatic benefits. It was able to improve supplier management processes, lower costs, and mitigate risk by delivering supplier master data across the entire company from a central location.

Reduces Time Spent on Supplier Information Management by 25 Percent
BEYOND™ is an easy-to-use, supplier self- service portal that customers can use to improve their supplier management processes. Rahul explains, “With all supplier information available in a central location, our customers now spend less time discovering supplier information. Tasks such as a 360-degree view of supplier information, non-conformances, updated product or service category management, supplier ratings, eradicating duplicate and repetitive processes, and preferred supplier tracking, which earlier used to take hundreds of hours a month by procurement specialists can now be done in a matter of a few minutes by a simple search on BEYOND™. We have helped our customers reduce 25 percent or more of their time spent on supplier registration and selection processes, diversity compliance, and overall supplier management.”

Tracks Supplier Non-Conformance
BEYOND™ offers increased compliance with established processes and procedures. Earlier, supplier information such as contacts, financial information, certifications, IT and logistics, past audit findings, and scorecards would be scattered across multiple systems and was frequently inaccurate. Further, it was hard to keep this information updated. A key benefit of the Windows Azure platform is that Microsoft performs a large share of the routine IT infrastructure tasks required in a hosting environment. As a result,BusinessIntelligenze can increase its focus on its core competencies.

“You no longer have to worry about supplier details like company information, primary contact information, secondary contact information, relationship with licensee, and minority status,” says Rahul. “All information is automatically and constantly updated, reducing high touch, high follow-ups, or miscommunication in our supplier selection process.”

Avoids Capital Expenditures
With Windows Azure, BusinessIntelligenze was able to expand its customer base while avoiding capital expenditures. A venture that normally would have cost enormously in infrastructure expenses yielded no capital expenditures because the company was able to take advantage of Microsoft data centers. “We significantly lowered our expenses, which gave us more flexibility in our business model,” says Rahul.

Windows Azure Platform

The Windows Azure platform provides an excellent foundation for expanding online product and service offerings. The main components include:
Windows Azure. Windows Azure is the development, service hosting, and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft data centers. Microsoft SQL Azure. Microsoft SQL Azure offers the first cloud-based relational and self-managed database service built on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 technologies.

Windows Azure platform AppFabric. With Windows Azure platform AppFabric, developers can build and manage applications more easily both on-premises and in the cloud.

AppFabric Service Bus connects services and applications across network boundaries to help developers build distributed applications.

AppFabric Access Control provides federated, claims-based access control for REST Web services.
Microsoft Codename “Dallas.” Developers and information workers can use the new service code-named Dallas to easily discover, purchase, and manage premium data subscriptions in the Windows Azure platform.

To learn more about the Windows Azure platform, visit: www.windowsazure.com

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