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Authored by: Ted Tsortos and Senthil Sivaji

Cisco, the global leader in networking systems, offers customers a huge array of solutions through a large, multi-channel salesorganization. Timely information is critical to the success of our sales organization—from monitoring and measuring sales funnels to forecasting to identifying opportunities.

  

To get a holistic view of our sales, we had to pull information from separate systems including our CRM, bookings, backlogs, and product inventory. Some data was captured in our enterprise data warehouse (EDW), but the system didn’t offer the speed and flexibility we needed.  As a result, a lot of time and effort went into extracting data  and importing it into spreadsheets and other manual reports. These efforts took away from the sales organization’s primary mission. We realized that we were spending an inordinate amount of time on this activity when we should be focused on unearthing new
opportunities.

  

Since Cisco is a certified hardware partner for SAP HANA, we knew about its power and analytic capabilities. We developed the Dynamic Insight for Sales Execution (DISE) platform on SAP HANA and had it up and running in six months. Data is now replicated into HANA every 15-60 minutes so the data is current and reports are available in real-time and provide more granular data than the old reports.

  

As we have leveraged the capabilities of the DISE platform and word has spread about how it provides easy access to real-time data, the number of users has grown from tens to hundreds to thousands.  In fact, we are now launching two identical, SAP HANA instances to accommodate different uses.  One instance is used by IT for standard Business Intelligence Dashboards and reports while the other is available to data scientists and operations teams to perform data exploration, trend analysis and predictive modeling. Our sales teams used to drive IT crazy with requests. Now getting the information we need is simple and mostly self-service.

We’ve got big plans the DISE platform—including adding more data sources, such as supply chain, installed base customers, and channel partners to provide a wider spectrum of information. We’re also looking at leveraging the predictive analytic libraries in SAP HANA to build models like the ‘white space map’ that provides the sales force with insight on the location of promising opportunities.

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