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One-on-One with HP
Greg Battas, CTO and Vish Mulchand, BI Product Marketing Director

by Maroushka Kanywani, Editor, Dashboard InsightTuesday, July 29, 2008

Dashboard Insight's Maroushka Kanywani recently spoke with Greg Battas, CTO of HP Business Intelligence and Vish Mulchand, HP Business Intelligence Product Marketing Director about HP's latest release, Neoview 2.3 and its unique role in the BI industry.

Maroushka Kanywani: Good afternoon, gentlemen. Vish, could you tell me a little bit about your role at HP?

Vish Mulchand: I run the Product Marketing group in HP for Neoview and I work for John Miller, who in turn works for Ben Barnes, who is Vice President and General Manager of Business Intelligence, HP. 

MK: How does HP approach BI?

VM: There is a large consensus that there’s been an information explosion - information keeps growing and it is going to keep growing. Companies that are able to capitalize on that information to drive business insight become leaders in their field. As they say, there is a tidal wave of information – you either ride the wave or you get crushed by it. So to us at HP, the information wave is one of the main tenets of operational BI.

Look at it from a customer perspective – say a telecom company such as a mobile phone provider, for example. Things such as revenue, churn and maintaining or protecting revenue are a key problem for many of these providers. An emerging mobile phone company that today, gains 5 million customers a month could lose 4 million the following month because as you know, in many parts of the emerging world where they don’t have a landline infrastructure, many people buy mobile phones but on pre-paid plans as opposed to a post-paid plan. So holding on to your 4 million customers becomes a huge problem.  

If you look at a problem like that, we feel that some of the tenets of operational business intelligence actually can provide a foundation for solving a problem such as customer churn. One school of thought proposes that if the telecom can understand the types of patterns that are emerging – that is look at massive amounts of data and run some intelligent heuristics from that data to figure out certain patterns, they could then start promoting different options to their customers. You would have front line customer service representatives in a position where they are able to access this data and make a customer an offer based on an analysis of their call patterns.

As companies look to try and either grow or protect their revenue these are the kinds of capabilities they would want to have and operational BI, in our mind, gives companies these very kinds of capabilities.

MK: Using a telecom is a great example, Vish. It clearly shows what operational BI is about.

VM: If you look at the telecom example and categorize it as being in the operational BI environment and then look at traditional business intelligence today, you will find that one of the challenges is that while traditional BI does a lot of good things it is however, specialized in the area of certain types of queries.

Many of the attributes that we look for in our operational systems exist in other kinds of systems however what is really lacking today is a combination – having an operational business system that has all these attributes that allow you to go deep into these kinds of things.

The data warehouse, in our mind, is a key piece of an operational business offering because it is the foundation on which all the data is stored, accessed and extracted from. A data warehouse needs to be able to support many users, provide real-time access to data, support mixed workloads such as a customer service agent banging on their keyboard versus a fraud application trying to pick out fraud. These are very different things and could cause contention in the system yet the system needs to be up and running smoothly 24/7.

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