Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Client Success Stories

Often, when people first hear about SeETL they simply do not believe that such a useful tool can be offered, with source code, for so little money. For even a small to medium sized company building an Enterprise Business Intelligence System SeETL is practically free.

We found that people looking into using SeETL believe our clients much more easily that they believe us! We found that our best sales people for SeETL are our current clients. So we decided to put the comments from our client’s right here where prospective clients could read them.

Our products and services are used by three distinct groups of clients.

  1. Companies that use the products to build their own Enterprise Business Intelligence System.
  2. Software development companies who develop and market transaction processing systems and want to add a Business Intelligence System to their suite of offerings.
  3. Business Intelligence consulting companies that use our products and services to build Enterprise Business Intelligence Systems for their clients.

We went out and asked some of our client’s three questions:

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourselves so our readers know something of who you are?
  2. Why did you invest in SeETL?
  3. What would you say to other companies like yourselves?

This is what they have to say about SeETL and BI4ALL:

Key-Work Consulting GmbH

Key-Work Consulting GmbH (www.key-work.de) provides Enterprise Marketing Services for a wide variety of clients primarily in the retail sector in Germany. We have been in business since 1999 and have over 35 employees. We provide hosting services for fully outsourced Business Intelligence to our clients. We perform numerous ongoing data analysis tasks for our clients and also make recommendations which often turn into joint development projects. Our ‹ems Enterprise Marketing Studio product includes components from Instant Business Intelligence. We manage our own data center with large numbers of computers in our head office in Karlsruhe. Our typical client is a catalog retailer or specialty retailer with 200 mio EUR or so in revenue, and between 300 to 2,000 employees.

We first met Peter Nolan in the late 90s when we went into the BI Business. We met him via online forums. While following the excellent advice he was providing online, we became keen on learning from him, as we were new and he was obviously very experienced. We soon learned that ETL was the core issue in data warehousing. In 2002 Peter told us about a product he was bringing to market for ETL. We had invested heavily in Microsoft’s DTS and so we did not pursue Peter’s ETL product. However, we stayed in touch with him. In 2005 Peter launched IBI and brought out a new version of the ETL product, and it was then known as SeETL. We also declined this version, as we believed Microsoft when they said SSIS would be much better than DTS.

When SSIS finally arrived in late 2005, we still had issues with it. After some time of testing it and learning SSIS, we decided that it was time to take a second look at SeETL. We called Peter in February 2006 to come and explain SeETL in more detail. He gave us the source code to review and was very open about how the product worked. We have people who can write C++, and their verdict was that the software made sense and looked robust. More importantly, we could support it ourselves. We were very taken with the ideas in SeETL, and we thought it could provide us a real edge in a competitive market.

In late 2006 we agreed to a trial of SeETL. We asked Peter to do a piece of work to prove that in skilled hands the tool could do what he claimed. The rest is history for us. Peter showed us that with SeETL, we could very significantly cut the cost of development and support of ETL. We are happy to say that it is significant enough that we have moved all our ETL off DTS and on to SeETL. After evaluating both products thoroughly, we skipped SSIS completely. That does sound amazing, but we can assure you it is true.

Another important thing is this; we thought we were just buying reduced costs and increased productivity. As it happened, we also bought increased reliability! Our ETL systems are far more stable and reliable now than they were before. We have far more control over the schedules than we had previously. It really is amazing how much control we have as compared to our DTS days. This is important to us, because if the data is not there at 7am when our customers come in to their offices, they call us right away, and they are not happy. The number of times this happens has decreased markedly. The overtime hours of nights and weekends has also decreased significantly.

To other companies who build ETL subsystems as a business we have this to say; we have used the C++ engine version of SeETL for more than 5 years now. It is stable, robust and reliable. The workbook provides the simplest possible interface to create ETL subsystems. There is simply no better way to build ETL subsystems that are reliable, stable and robust.

If building ETL subsystems is your business, and you want a competitive advantage, even if you also use another ETL tool in production; we have no hesitation recommending SeETL.  

Business Intelligence Consulting Company

We are a specialist Business Intelligence Consulting Company with such clients as the local country organisation for global telcos, banks, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and the like. We are also a reseller of the Ascential suite and we have extensive experience in the Informatica tools as well. We are proud to be the leading experts in Business Intelligence in our country.

We also sell the Sybase Industry Warehouse Studio. We engaged IBI as consultants to lead the development effort for a Sybase IWS implementation at one of our largest clients. The client had selected and was committed to the Ascential Suite so when IBI mentioned SeETL to us we felt there was no role for the product on the project. How wrong we were!

Our team spent eight (8) work weeks developing the documentation for the data mappings from the source systems through to the customised Sybase Industry Warehouse Studio model. Over 3,000 fields were mapped from 100 input tables to 85+ target tables for ‘Release 1’. IBI were able to supervise the implementation of these ETL specifications into SeTL in just two (2) weeks! This is much less than we estimated to do the same work using DataStage or Informatica.

We then used SeETL to ‘iron out’ all the bugs in the ETL specifications. These ‘bugs’ usually only get ‘ironed out’ when the real ETL is written and when fixes are much more time consuming and expensive.

But the benefits to our project did not stop there. We were able to build the entire Data Warehouse on the target AIX/Oracle platform using SeETL so we could get started on the Business Objects report development right away. We didn’t have to wait until after we have written the ETL in DataStage to get the fully populated production database.

Lastly, when we re-wrote SeETL ETL into DataStage we were able to leverage a great deal of what we had learned by implementing the ETL as a prototype. We re-wrote the ETL into DataStage in around eight (8) work weeks. This was less than half the time other similar sites had experienced for a comparable project.

Even though we never used SeETL as a production ETL tool, it has saved us months of work. There is no doubt it has improved our delivery capability to our clients, even when they also buy the Ascential Suite from us.

We have gone from “we don’t need SeETL” to “we will use it on all our projects”.

We are about to start another even larger and more complex implementation of the Sybase Industry Warehouse Studio and we will again build the entire prototype in SeETL before converting that code into DataStage.

To other BI consulting companies we would say this.

Even when you plan to use an ETL tool you will save a large amount of time and effort by using SeETL to prototype your Data Warehouse before you re-write the ETL into whatever tool your client selected. SeETL will reduce your cost of delivery to your clients.

Media Conglomerate

We are a global media conglomerate with a wide range of interests in media, publishing, internet, gaming and holiday resorts. We are the leader in many of the areas in which we operate. All companies in the group are implementing Business Intelligence Solutions of one sort or another. Many of them have mature Business Intelligence solutions that we are constantly extending. I personally have over 20 years experience in the Business Intelligence Area and have worked as a vendor consultant. We have licenses of both Informatica PowerCenter and Ascential DataStage.

Though we remain committed to and have standardised on PowerCenter or DataStage for our Business Intelligence implementations in our large companies, we have used SeETL in a number of the small to medium sized companies in the group and we are considering standardising on SeETL for the other small to mediumn sized companies in the group.

Our reasons for doing this are:

  • The smaller companies just don’t need PowerCenter or DataStage. They can do 100% of what they want to do with the SeETL.
  • On the odd occasion we wanted to do something a little bit out in left field Instant Business Intelligence has written extensions for us in as little as a week.
  • Because we get the source code and we read it as we test the extensions, we can be confident the extensions do what we asked for.
  • The price is right. We have a culture of not spending money if we don’t need to. SeETL only costs a fraction of PowerCenter or DataStage.
  • The code is C++ and we have lots of people who know C++. We liked the idea we could buy the source code and provide our own support, 24×7, across the group. I’m happy to say we haven’t actually needed it. We are yet to see SeETL crash where it wasn’t our fault!

To all businesses, even really large ones, I would say this.

Even if you think you should always use one of the vendor ETL tools, check out SeETL as a complementary tool to your ETL strategy. You might just find that in some cases it will save you time and money.

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