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Analytics and Reporting


Solutions for Oracle
E-Business Suite
The Challenge
Imagine youve driven to the grocery store. Youve piled your cart high with a weeks worth
of food, checked out, and are headed toward the parking lot. But when you get there, instead
of hopping in your car for the quick ride home, you find a pile of tools and parts and are faced
with the task of building a car before you can leave. As you try to figure out what part goes
where, your familys wondering where you are, your ice cream is melting into a puddle of goo,
and youre considering calling in a couple of pricey automotive experts to get the job done.

Unfortunately, this scenario is much like what organizations face when theyre trying to
analyze data generated within Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). Oracle EBS is incredibly
valuable to businesses; it provides to companies of all sizes, across industries, a
comprehensive, integrated set of applications with capabilities that span enterprise resource
planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain planning. What Oracle EBS
does NOT offer, is a high-performance, quick-to-implement, low-maintenance analytics
solution that can easily combine data from multiple sources.

Ironically, this challenge can be attributed directly to one of EBSs greatest strengthsits
extensible and flexible architecture. This architecture allows organizations to develop highly
customized Oracle EBS deployments that meet their unique business needs. However, it
also means that reporting and analytics solutions cant be pre-packaged, but must instead be
customized as well. Businesses have been struggling with this issue for more than a decade,
and many have resorted to using multiple tools to generate even basic reports.

So, like our hapless grocery shopper, businesses have been left to cobble together their own
analytics solutions using various tools and parts that frequently require the assistance
of high-cost experts. Even once assembled, the performance and functionality of these
solutions leave much to be desired, as well discuss later.

A New Approach to Analytics for Oracle EBS


Fortunately, a new solutionIncortais now available to provide Oracle EBS customers
with the analytics and reporting theyve been waiting for. Built using new technology unlike
anything else available in the marketplace, Incorta:

Delivers
Providessuperior
Direct Data Mapping performance
that aggre-
gates large, complex business data from multi-
that far outstrips that of any other solution,
reducing reporting
Direct
obsolete. ThisData Mappingtimes
ple sources in real-time, making the data ware-
houseProvides key capability that aggre-
allows fast,
from hours to just seconds, and ensuring that
gates large, complex business datadata
from multi-
theres
common no
easy analysis
ple sources
to in impact
real-time,
Oracle makingon
of the highly-joined
applications, the the
data
as well performance of other business applications.
asware-
data
house
fromProvides
obsolete.
other Direct Data Mapping
Thisincluding
sources, key capability that
allows
Salesforce aggre-
fast,
and
gates
easy large, complex
analysis
ServiceNow. business datadata
of the highly-joined from multi-
ple
common sourcesto in real-time,
Oracle making the
applications, dataasware-
as well data

Provides Direct Data Mapping that aggregates large, complex business data
house
from other
easy
obsolete. Thisincluding
sources, key capability allowsand
Salesforce
analysis of the highly-joined data
ServiceNow.
fast,

common
to Oracle
Delivers superiorapplications,
performanceas well
thatas
fardata
from multiple sources in real-time, making the data warehouse obsolete. This
from
outstripsother sources,
that of anyincluding Salesforce
other solution, and
reducing
ServiceNow.
reporting times from hours to just seconds,
key capability allows fast, easy analysis of the highly-joined data common to
and ensuring
Delivers superior
outstrips thatofofother
performance
that theres
any other
no impactthat
solution,
far
on the
reducing
performance business applications.
Oracle applications, as well as data from other sources, including Salesforce
reporting times from hours to just seconds,
and ensuring
Delivers superior performance
that theres no impactthat far
on the
and ServiceNow.
outstrips
performance
reporting
thatofofother
any other
times from
Requires limited
solution,
business reducing
applications.
hours to just
IT involvement, seconds,total
reducing
and
cost ensuring
of ownershipthat (TCO)
theresand
no impact
speeding onuser
the
performance of other
access to analytics andbusiness applications.
reporting. Incorta can be
Requires
implementedlimited IT involvement,
in days reducing
and new reports cantotal
be
cost of ownership
created (TCO)instead
in just minutes and speeding user
of months.
Requires limited IT involvement, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and
access to analytics and reporting. Incorta can be
Requires
implementedlimited IT involvement,
in days reducing
and new reports cantotal
be
speeding user access to analytics and reporting. Incorta can be implemented
cost of ownership
created
Provides
access to analytics
(TCO)instead
and
and speeding
in justcross-functional
minutes user
of months.
reporting. Incorta can be
and role-based analytics.
in days and new reports can be created in just minutes instead of months.
implemented in days and new reports can be
created
in justcross-functional
Provides minutes instead of months.
and role-based analytics.

Provides cross-functional
and role-based analytics.

Greatly simplifies security, main-


2/7 taining the security parameters of
source applications during analysis.
Greatly simplifies security, main-
taining the security parameters of
source applications during analysis.
from other sources, including Salesforce and
from other sources, including Salesforce and
ServiceNow.
ServiceNow.

Delivers superior performance that far


outstrips
Delivers
thatsuperior performance
of any other solution, that far
reducing
outstrips that
reporting of from
times any other
hourssolution, reducing
to just seconds,
reporting times from hours to just seconds,
and ensuring that theres no impact on the
and ensuring of
performance that theres
other no impact
business on the
applications.
performance of other business applications.

Requires limited IT involvement, reducing total


Requires limited IT(TCO)
cost of ownership involvement, reducing
and speeding usertotal
cost of to
access ownership
analytics(TCO) and speeding
and reporting. user
Incorta can be
access to analytics
implemented andand
in days reporting. Incorta
new reports cancan
be be
implemented
created in just minutes instead of months. be
in days and new reports can
created in just minutes instead of months.

Provides cross-functional
and role-based
Provides cross-functional
analytics.
and role-based analytics.
Provides cross-functional and role-based analytics.

Greatly simplifies security, main-


Greatly simplifies security, main-
Greatly
taining thesimplifies
security parameters
source applications ofsecurity, maintaining the security parameters of source
taining the security parameters of
during analysis.
source applications during analysis.
applications during analysis.

Incorta offers clear benefits, but to understand in greater detail how Incorta addresses the
analytical and reporting challenges historically faced by users of Oracle EBS, lets take a
closer look at the other options out there.

Operational Reporting Tools and OBIEE


Until the introduction of Incorta, companies looking to analyze data from Oracle EBS had
to choose between two types of tools. The first type are operational reporting tools. These
are commonly deployed without a data warehouse and, as such, are basic, transaction-
focused tools that are not designed for analytics. They include Noetix, Oracle Discoverer,
Oracle Hyperion Interactive Reporting (IR), and custom-built SQL solutions. The second
type of tool, OBIEE, is generally deployed in conjunction with a data warehouse and
requires ETL.

Its hard to think of a software solution that doesnt offer some upside, and the operational
reporting tools for Oracle EBS are no exception. Although its alone among operational
tools in doing so, Noetix supports flexfields, which are vital for businesses that want to
track, without programming, important information that would otherwise not be captured.
Additionally, Discoverer and Noetix provide pre-built content. Operational reporting
tools are also frequently touted as offering real-time reporting. However, its important
to note that these tools suffer from massive performance problems, which not only delay
reportingoften by hours at a timebut also frequently affect the performance of other
business applications. The claim that operational tools report in real time ignores the
reality that, when a report is received hours after requested, the information generated is
immediately outdated.

Operational tools present several other challenges as well. The primary problem with
Discoverer and Hyperion IR is that theyre end of life and extremely onerous and expensive
to replace, as many companies are now discovering. Also, operational tools can connect
to only one database at a time, and so are not able to combine and report on data from
multiple sources. This is particularly concerning for companies that are running multiple
instances of Oracle EBS. Adding to their downside, the transactional focus of operational
tools means that theyre not designed to provide analytics. Instead, they tend to focus on
a single part of the business. This is unlike role-based solutions, which can provide more
extensive information related to users job responsibilities. An operational tool might, for
instance, provide reporting on open orders, while a role-based solution could combine
information regarding open orders with data related to inventory and the supply chain.
Operational tools also lack self-service capabilities that allow users to create and run their
own reports, and require heavy IT involvement.

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When compared to operational tools, OBIEE offers some advantages. Because OBIEE
utilizes ETL and a data warehouse, it can combine data from multiple sources and can
perform both reporting and data analysis. Also, OBIEE, like Discoverer and Noetix,
provides pre-built content.

However, the ability of OBIEE to combine data from multiple sources comes at a price.
The 412 hours generally required for ETL mean that OBIEE is not able to provide real-
time insight. Also, OBIEE is extremely difficult to secure and unable to support flexfields
a deal-breaker for many organizations. And those looking for a low total cost of ownership
(TCO) will likely want to steer clear; OBIEE can take months or even years to deploy and
is difficult to manage. As a result, heavy IT involvement is required, which dramatically
increases its TCO. Businesses should also be aware that OBIEEs licensing terms can
significantly increase its cost. These terms require the payment of an additional licensing
fee to run OBIEE against databases other than that of the original Oracle application with
which it was purchased.

Comparing Incorta with Operational Reporting


Tools and OBIEE
Now that weve reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of operational reporting tools
and OBIEE, lets examine in detail how Incorta stacks up in comparison.

Incorta vs. Operational Reporting Tools


Noetix Discoverer Hyperion IR Custom SQL Incorta
Requires custom
Availability Available End of life End of life Available
development
Technology SQL generators SQL generators SQL generators SQL generators Direct Data Mapping
Yes: Analytics and
Provides analytics No: Reporting only No: Reporting only No: Reporting only No: Reporting only
reporting
Data sources Single source Single source Single source Single source Multi-source
Transactional vs
Transactional Transactional Transactional Transactional Role-based
role-based reporting
Very Slow Very Slow Very Slow Very Slow Sub-second report
Report run time
(delay of minutes to hrs) (delay of minutes to hrs) (delay of minutes to hrs) (delay of minutes to hrs) generation

Real-time Real-time Real-time Real-time Near real-time


Data refresh
(plus time to run report) (plus time to run report) (plus time to run report) (plus time to run report) (every five minutes)
Low Low Low Low High (able to
Data volume
(data must be (data must be (data must be (data must be analyze unlimited,
reported upon highly filtered) highly filtered) highly filtered) unfiltered data)
highly filtered)
Flexfield support Yes No No No Yes
Pre-built content Yes Yes No No Yes
Ease of integration Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate to complex Simple

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Noetix Discoverer Hyperion IR Custom SQL Incorta
Ability to embed
Additional products Additional products Additional products
visualization within No Yes, included
needed needed needed
EBS screens
Uses security Uses security Uses security Uses security Uses security
Security parameters of source parameters of source parameters of source parameters of source parameters of source
applications applications applications applications applications
Self-service
Limited Limited Limited Limited Extensive
capabilities
IT involvement High High High High Low
TCO Medium Medium Medium Medium Low

Incorta vs. OBIEE


OBIEE Incorta
Availability Available Available
Technology ETL and SQL generators Direct Data Mapping
Provides analytics Yes: Analytics and reporting Yes: Analytics and reporting
Data sources Multi-source Multi-source
Transactional vs.
Role-based Role-based
role-based reporting
Unless highly filtered, 10+ min
Report run time Sub-second report generation
and often much more
Near real-time
Data refresh Once daily
(every five minutes)
Data volume High
Medium
analyzed (able to analyze unlimited, unfiltered data)
Flexfield support No Yes
Pre-built content Yes Yes
Ease of integration Complex Simple
Ability to embed
visualization within No Yes, included
EBS screens
Custom security model Uses security parameters
Security
(extremely difficult to secure) of source applications
Self-service Very limited (requires high-cost training
Extensive
capabilities and specialized skill set)
IT involvement High Low
TCO Extremely high Low

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The Benefits of Doing Business Using Incorta
As these tables indicate, Incorta not only offers all the advantages of operational reporting
tools and OBIEE, but also delivers additional benefits. These include dramatically faster
performance, analytical and self-service capabilities, simplified security, a limited need for
IT involvement, and a significantly lower TCO.

Additionally, Incorta has demonstrated in the real world that it improves business results
by increasing employee productivity, supporting better decision-making, and improving
overall business performance. Broadcom, a leader in the semiconductor industry, has
implemented Incorta to analyze billions of rows of data from a variety of sources, including
Oracle EBS. Using Incorta, Broadcom employees can now develop and run new reports
and analyses in a fraction of the time previously required. According to Ajit Oak, Senior
Manager of Business Intelligence at Broadcom, It used to take 8 to 12 weeks to get a
report from request to production. With Incorta, business users can do that on their
own, instantaneously. Its been a huge surprise to the business community that they can
do morewith less IT support. Incortas improvements also extend to report run times.
Before Incorta it could take up to two hours to run a report against Oracle EBS. With
Incorta, we can do it in seconds, added Oak.

Prior to selecting Incorta, Broadcom used both Hyperion IR and OBIEE. In comparing the
two solutions with Incorta, Oak commented that, Upgrading legacy reporting systems
like OBIEE or Hyperion took months because we had to perform extensive testing. With
Incorta, we can upgrade in hours because of how confident we are in its technology stack.
This time savings, as well as Incortas self-service capabilities, have dramatically reduced
Broadcoms need for IT involvement and are key factors contributing to Incortas low TCO.

Due to its far-reaching benefits, Broadcom has designated Incorta its analytics platform of
choice. Alan Davidson, Director of IT Infrastructure at Broadcom commented, Whenever
we come across a business challenge, we first ask ourselves how Incorta can help. Its
flexibility and performance have made it our go-to analytics solution.

Boosting Business Results


Now that we know more about the challenges involved in implementing reporting and
analytics for EBS, and how real-world companies like Broadcom are using Incorta to
improve business results, lets revisit the plight of our imagined grocery shopper.
When we left him, he was working to assemble a car using the pile of tools and parts he
found in the parking lot. But what if, instead, he had finished his shopping and found a fully
assembled vehicle that was even faster, less expensive, and easier to operate than the one
he arrived in?

Like this shopper, companies that implement Incorta find that theyre finally relieved of the
responsibility for assembling their own Oracle EBS analytics solution. And not only that
they also gain faster, easier access to the information they need at a lower TCO, and are
freed to focus on how they can leverage that insight to better run their business.

So, the choice is clear: Businesses can opt for a pile of tools and parts, or they can select
Incortaa fully assembled, top-of-the-line reporting and analytics vehicle that gets
organizations where they need to go, fast. Which would you choose?

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About Incorta

Incortas enterprise analytics platform aggregates complex business data in real-time,


bypassing the need for a traditional data warehouse. Powered by the industrys first
Direct Data Mapping Engine, Incorta provides unprecedented query performance and
eliminates costly join operations altogether. Incorta reduces from months to days the
time required to roll out new analytics applications, and reduces query and reporting
times from hours to seconds. Backed by GV (formerly Google Ventures), Incorta is
deployed in the Fortune 10 and powers analytics for some of the worlds largest and
fastest-growing companies.

To learn the fastest way to what matters, visit www.incorta.com or join the conversation
on Twitter @incorta.

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