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Cellular South Selects IBM Cognos TM1, Revelwood to Deploy its Solutions

April 22, 2009

U.S. based privately held wireless provider Cellular South said that it’s using IBM Cognos TM1 and Revelwood to deploy budgeting, planning and reporting solution.

Justin Croft, manager of financial analysis and planning at Cellular South, said that the company was using an old general ledger system that flowed into the financial reporting tool. This left the company with multiple spreadsheets to create an operating budget, capital budget, sales forecast, customer budgets, and so on, according to Croft.

He also said that all the data required to compile the entire company’s budget was in disparate spreadsheets, and then the company had to try to shove it into a system which was really never designed to do budgeting.

Cross and his boss Brian Jones, director of financial analysis and planning at Cellular South, mapped out their alternatives, and began evaluating what would eventually be 10 to 12 different systems.

One of the first systems that they looked at was IBM Cognos TM1, which stood out as a viable option. “It is Excel-based and we wanted something that people here were familiar with,” said Jones.

“Everyone uses Excel in their daily jobs,” he said, adding that the company didn’t want to bring something in that would result in people hesitating to use a new system which would be the case with a different looking interface.

Initially, company selected to launch Oracle’s E-Business Suite to replace all of its accounting applications. Once this implementation was completed, they re-activated their search for a business performance management (BPM) solution. “This led the company once again to TM1 and to Revelwood as the implementer,” said Jones.

“We didn’t have a great deal of internal IT resources for the implementation and ongoing support for the new system, so we needed to work with a mature vendor with deep experience in TM1,” said Jones. “Revelwood fit the bill perfectly.”

The tools included Revelwood Implementation Accelerator and Revelwood Report Manager, which are software for enterprise financial planning and reporting running on the IBM Cognos TM1 platform.

With these tools, TM1 customers can get up and run easily by leveraging TM1’s real-time OLAP functionality, in addition to the best practices developed from Revelwood's years of experience developing such solutions.

“From the get go, TM1 greatly facilitated our data collection for the budget, giving us a central place for departments to input detailed information,” said Croft.

He said that people now have more access to reporting, and they can drill down to the details to see, on a nightly basis, who the vendor is, or the details of what makes up each account line item.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard