»InfoZoom gives us answers to important questions that we might not have even asked if we hadn’t used the software.«
Director of Business
Process Improvement at
Tele Columbus Gmb
About Tele Columbus
The Tele Columbus Group is one of the largest cable network operators in Germany. The company provides television, high-speed Internet services and low-cost telephone flat rates via cable to over 2.1 million households nationwide.
As a national provider with a regional focus and a partner of the housing industry, the group is active throughout Eastern Germany as well as multiple focus regions across the country. built a solid base for targeted, long-term information and process optimization.
Transparent data for successful Business Intelligence
Tele Columbus has successfully positioned itself as one of the largest operators in Germany’s dynamic cable network market. To effectively manage its business activities, the company built a powerful BI platform – and used detailed InfoZoom analyses to harmonize the underlying data and implement new data structures for business process optimization.
Heterogeneous IT landscape
The Tele Columbus Group was formed following the merger of several regional cable network operators in Germany and has a history dating back to 1972. Since that time, the industry as a whole has developed rampantly due to the boom of ITC technologies and the consolidating television, Internet and telecommunications markets.
In the wake of various takeovers and restructuring processes, the group inherited a heterogeneous IT landscape, which posed many new challenges of its own. In addition to solving the typical migration problems that occurred after replacing multiple older systems, the company also needed a systematic way to handle its rapid business development. As an integrated network operator, Tele Columbus had just completed the step to provide standardized services to end customers in addition to individual B2B services. This made it more difficult to replicate contractual agreements in its systems and constantly adapt them to new product offerings and technological developments.
Cross-department task force data quality
In order to solve these issues, Tele Columbus built a powerful IT platform that combined an internally developed ERP and CRM solution with a Business Intelligence platform based on IBM Cognos and a centralized data warehouse. The system worked – but as is the case of many BI solutions, the quality and transparency of the underlying data pool were crucial factors for success. Due to a gap in the data between its contract management and accounting systems, for example, users could only verify a strong jump in sales for new services by manually collecting and analyzing increasing revenues from its financial accounting tools.
»Without InfoZoom, the effects of our improvement measures would have worn off quickly«
As a result, the company formed a task force of IT, financial controlling, sales, marketing as well as data and process management professionals to analyze the processes in its source systems, data warehouse and interfaces. The goal was to use this information to restructure the data logic and, ultimately, increase the overall data transparency.
InfoZoom bridges IT and business departments
The use of InfoZoom technology made the difference. After conducting a detailed analysis of its contracts in InfoZoom, the project team gained new insights on both its current and historical conditions. Based on this information, they were able to create exact specifications to optimize the underlying data structures. Detlef Wendling, Director of Business Process Improvement at Tele Columbus GmbH, describes InfoZoom’s role in the project as such:
»InfoZoom has built a bridge between our IT and business users. Thanks to the detailed analyses, we could clearly define our requirements, which our IT implemented without any problems.«
Optimized data structures and business processes
Following the project and follow-up activities, TeleColumbus implemented a series of changes in both the underlying processes and the data itself. One important measure, for example, was to reduce 3,300 articles in 350,000 positions into 1,045 product IDs.
By implementing clear sales IDs, Tele Columbus can now track new leads back to individual marketing campaigns, sales channels, points of sale or even resellers. This provides a solid foundation for planning sales and marketing campaigns as well as calculating sales commissions. Furthermore,
TeleColumbus has implemented a unique order ID, which can be used to query a contract’s status at any time.
TeleColumbus has implemented these new structures throughout its IT platform, which includes its Web shop and its newly launched reseller portal. Since these changes had a major impact on day-to-day business, winning the acceptance of the various project stakeholders was a critical factor for success. According to Wendling, InfoZoom analyses had a positive effect on gaining critical user buy-in:
»The InfoZoom analyses were very compelling because they clearly showed what needed to be changed where in our processes and data structures – and, most importantly, why.«
Long-term gains in efficiency and quality
Thanks to InfoZoom technology, TeleColumbus was able to add unprecedented efficiency and transparency to its business processes. In order to continually improve its operational processes after the project, the company also established routine data quality assessments for the various systems in its BI architecture. Wendling is certain:
»Without the detailed analyses and regular controls in InfoZoom, the effects of our improvement measures would have worn off quickly«
InfoZoom is used for ad hoc analysis in other parts of the company as well. Users, for example, can analyze data from various sources to get detailed information and insights on: the network structure of the Tele Columbus Group; property, contracts and customers; business and technical data on regional marketing potential; and common definitions of KPIs.
Tele Columbus Group
Data quality management for a BI system
Harmonizing heterogeneous data structures as the foundation for
efficient business processes and enterprise reporting.
Solution and benefits
By identifying errors and logic breaks in the data pool, InfoZoom has built a solid base for targeted, long-term information and process optimization.