RESEARCH & RESOURCES

CASE STUDY - Mentor Graphics Replaces 1,200 Spreadsheets with a Single Web Based Solution

Mentor Graphics

Commentary by Jan-Willem Beldman, Team Lead for Analytical Applications and Data Quality, Mentor Graphics
Summary

Mentor Graphics has relied on Hyperion solutions since 1998, when they first chose Hyperion Essbase for global sales reporting. In the years that followed, the company has aggressively added to their solution with Essbase applications for executive reporting in 2001, budgeting and planning in 2002, and their most recent addition in 2005—a powerful system for managing worldwide human resources. Today, there are more than 300 users, and the company has a clear vision to make information even more broadly available in the coming years.

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services, and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the $700 million company employs approximately 3,950 people worldwide.

Managing the Most Important Asset

As a fast-moving technology leader, Mentor Graphics firmly believes that people are its greatest asset. With employees across 28 engineering sites and a global distribution channel with 48 offices around the world, the company must keep a constant pulse on global staffing for both the finance and human resource (HR) departments. As with its other data-intensive requirements, Mentor Graphics turned to Hyperion to quickly meet the needs of both. To best understand, analyze, and act upon global staffing needs, Mentor Graphics implemented a Hyperion Essbase multidimensional cube.

With Hyperion Essbase, almost immediately, the HR department realized the ability to make better HR allocation decisions. Some teams, for example, operate more as service organizations, with fluctuations occurring as project needs increase and decrease. Hyperion Essbase allows these groups to address the need to have 20 people work for three months on one project and then work for another group on a completely different project.

“By making more informed staffing decisions, we are growing top-line revenue by allocating people where the need is greatest, and managing the bottom line by making sure they are being deployed optimally at all times,” says Jan-Willem Beldman, team lead for analytical applications and data quality at Mentor Graphics.

Transforming the Budgeting and Planning Process

After its initial success with the Hyperion-based sales reporting system, in 2002, Mentor Graphics began an effort to replace the time-consuming planning and budgeting process—an annual event involving more than 1,200 spreadsheets for each worldwide cost center—with a bottom-up, Web-based solution using Essbase. Today, Mentor Graphics plans quarterly instead of annually, using a bottom-up planning process that ensures that data is collected accurately as each person moves through the process. With an automated workflow for each cost center, plans are approved hierarchically—first by division, then by region, and finally by the company controller. By the time the planning process is complete, there is a comprehensive model in place that includes details for each cost center and rolls all the way up to the top.

Ensuring Data Consistency and Version Control

Hyperion Master Data Management (MDM) is integrated with each of Mentor Graphics’ Hyperion Essbase applications, allowing them to manage hierarchical master data across these applications, as well as their transactional, reporting, and analytics systems.

“Today, we use Hyperion MDM as the central server to publish master data across heterogeneous systems from our multidimensional database, SAP, Callidus, and Oracle systems,” Beldman explains. “Hyperion MDM has enabled us to achieve consistency of our data and improve version control of various enterprise hierarchies.”

Constantly Improving Access to Information

Hyperion Essbase and Hyperion MDM provide the timely information, speed of analysis, and accuracy of data management that a geographically dispersed company like Mentor Graphics needs to remain competitive. To continue to improve the availability of information across the company, Mentor Graphics is currently exploring the use of dashboards as a way to bring timely, actionable data directly to the desktop.

“We have seen incredible results,” says Beldman. “Eight years ago, we had limited access to data. Today we have analytic power, worldwide access to information, true scalability, and unbreakable processes. Moreover, we have completely transformed the way we think about data. We are no longer dealing with a collection of abstract numbers, but we’re building intelligence around every single aspect of our business. We make better, faster business decisions that directly benefit the bottom line and keep us competitive.”

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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