Business Intelligence as a Service

Software as a service (SaaS) is becoming mainstream. Externally hosted business applications such as payroll and CRM are widely used and Business Intelligence as a hosted service is now emerging.

While normal internal management processes are satisfactory for undertaking software engineering projects and maintenance, the provision of a business intelligence environment requires a broader range of specialised skills with necessary experience in toolsets and methods not typically found in IT staff. In addition, this range of knowledge and skills cannot usually be found in a single person, and so a team of staff is required to provide a comprehensive and effective approach to business intelligence. The required capability extends beyond engineering - the team will have to include management capability and the capability to lead the evolution of a business intelligence environment within the organisation. The real cost of maintaining an in-house Business Intelligence environment management capability is considerable and businesses need to answer the question: ’the availability of business information is strategic but is investment in Business Intelligence skills strategic?’.

In response, Montage offers a business intelligence system management partnership that provides a full strength virtual Business Intelligence team to organisations wishing to maintain a rich Business Intelligence environment but reluctant or unable to commit to recruiting and retaining the broad range of specialist and proven skills and experience required for a successful outcome. It provides a level of control and cost containment not normally associated with outsource arrangements, yet without the hassle and risk of maintaining a full in-house capability. The virtual team can include existing in-house staff, and can be easily scaled as workloads change, while guaranteeing a continuity of skilled resources to match your organisation’s needs. This is not a contract labour arrangement but an outcomes focused whole service. Unlike traditional outsourcing arrangements, Montage aims to work on a long-term collaborative basis with its clients management and business units.

Key advantages of the Montage virtual Business Intelligence team:

  • Provides a greater range of skills
  • Provides specialised, proven skills
  • Removes hassle and cost of recruitment and HR management
  • Eliminates need to maintain Business Intelligence and related specialist competencies
  • Provides an innovative team already integrated and working together
  • Allows the team to be re-sized at any time
  • Improves responsiveness
  • Guarantees long-term staff availability
  • Increases return on investment
  • Increases quality of solutions
  • Integrates learning from a wide range of organisations into clients sites
  • Avoids the discontinuity of arranging independent consultants

The size of the virtual team can be scaled at any time to be the right size for the business, expanding for peak demand, and contracting during maintenance phases. Client staff can be added to the team as necessary to provide long-term up-skilling of internal resources, and to provide an alternative career path for staff interested in business and customer intelligence.

Provides a greater range of skills

Montage staff members have worked in a broad range of industries both in New Zealand and overseas. They can bring a fresh perspective to business problems as well as a deep knowledge of what works, and doesn’t work in other organisations. The virtual team provides many times the experience of a single employee or contractor.

Provides specialised, proven skills

The Montage virtual team members are leading Business Intelligence specialists. They do nothing but Business Intelligence and have worked with toolsets from all the major vendors.

Removes hassle and cost of recruitment and HR management

The time taken to recruit the right Business Intelligence staff can be between three and six months and there is still the chance you will end up with an employee that is less effective than they initially appeared. With the Montage Virtual team, all the members have been pre-selected, and have proven their competence over a range of Business Intelligence challenges in other organisations. If you don’t find one of the team members completely suitable for your organisation, they can be exchanged. There is no performance management hurdle, no risk of expensive litigation, no downtime, and the replacement will be fully trained and briefed before they arrive.

Eliminates need to maintain Business Intelligence and related specialist competencies

The Montage team is always up to date with the latest tools and methods. There are no training costs, no funding of industry conferences, and Montage guarantees to maintain competencies in the tools used by your organisation, even if they are not the industry standard.

Provides an innovative team already integrated and working together

The Montage team is well integrated from the outset. They know the best member to solve specific problems or issues, improving effectiveness. Montage has a vibrant and established culture of innovation. We are not satisfied with maintaining the status quo – we want to lead and challenge our clients to get real business benefit and competitive advantage from their Business Intelligence environment.

Allows the team to be re-sized at any time

The typical organisation will implement Business Intelligence in a number of phases, with intense periods of build punctuated by testing and maintenance phases. Maintaining an in-house team in this environment is particularly difficult. The team will either be under-resourced during build, over-resourced during maintenance, or the Business Intelligence activities will be performed at a rate that is inappropriate for the organisation. With the Montage virtual team, the team size is always the right size for the phase the organisation is in.

Improves responsiveness

Unlike traditional contract based relationships, that are focused on the delivery of long-winded formal specifications, the Montage virtual team seeks to establish a long-term relationship with the business. If business priorities change, then Montage will change to suit. There is no re-negotiation needed. The business is always in control.

Guarantees long-term staff availability

Barring sudden unforeseen circumstances the Montage virtual team size will be maintained regardless of staff leaving for other positions, maternity leave or extended vacations. Montage will ensure that competencies will be maintained over the long-term.

Increases return on investment

With the Montage virtual team, the fees you pay are all you pay. There are no hidden costs of education and training, no recruitment fees, no health or other benefits to pay. Added to this, the specialist nature and skills of the Montage team make them more than twice as effective. Unlike typical consulting arrangements that have large contingencies adding to the cost of your solution, the Montage virtual team is based on size, making it the most cost effective approach to outsourcing possible.

Increases quality of solutions

The quality of our solutions is paramount to our continued success. As an ISO 9001:2000 registered company, Montage takes quality seriously.

Integrates learning from a wide range of organisations

The Montage virtual team can contain as many or as few of a client's staff as needed to integrate the Business Intelligence knowledge into the client's skill set. Internal staff will gain greater Business Intelligence skills and knowledge as they will be working closely with industry recognised experts. This is a far better training ground than can be achieved through commercially available training.

Avoids the discontinuity of arranging independent consultants

Independent consultants will often push a specific solution and when more than one consultant is involved, the solution is often to replace prior systems, no matter how effective they are. With Montage, you will get not only independent advice that is not keyed to a specific software solution, but you will get a long-term Business Intelligence roadmap that will build the Business Intelligence solution over the long-term.


THE PARTNERSHIP STRUCTURE

Scope

The scope of the agreement includes work in six main areas:

  • Team Management
  • Act as the primary interface between the client and Montage Business Intelligence staff
  • Ensure the right people are used for the right tasks
  • Ensure work is scheduled and executed in a timely manner
  • Ensure the client's business needs are met
  • Provide traceability and accountability for all work undertaken, or queued
  • Ensure that competencies in the client's Business Intelligence systems and environment are maintained
  • Ensure that a knowledge of the client's business is maintained
  • Provide regular reporting of activities

Maintenance

  • Provide resources for the maintenance of the client's Business Intelligence systems developed by Montage.
  • Provide resources to diagnose and repair business intelligence software, tools and databases, where this is unable to be performed in-house
  • Provide resources to support the client's staff in performing general day-to-day housekeeping of Business Intelligence systems
  • Provide resources to design, build and implement additional features that enhance the functionality of the client's Business Intelligence systems

Business Facing Systems

  • Provide resources to aid in the selection or trialling of business access and reporting tools
  • Provide resources to aid in the implementation of business access and reporting tools
  • Provide resources to aid in the implementation of business reports where this is unable to be performed in-house

Requirements and user satisfaction

  • Provide resources to ensure an up to date appreciation of the client's business is maintained, and that the needs of the business are reflected in the client's Business Intelligence system or planned for the future, as appropriate

Strategy

  • Provide resources to transfer knowledge of up-to-date Business Intelligence concepts, methods and strategies to senior client staff to ensure the long-term success and outcome focus of the Business Intelligence system, as well as an appropriate fit with the client's strategies
  • Pro-actively manage business intelligence activities to ensure long-term strategic fit of business intelligence systems
  • Provide roadmap describing long-term business intelligence activities, architecture and positioning within the client

Training

  • Provide "Montage real training™” on up-to-date Business Intelligence concepts, methods and toolsets

Out of Scope

The scope of the agreement specifically excludes:

  • Supply, installation or configuration of hardware
  • Support or maintenance of the client's infrastructure, including network or server availability, backup or restore
  • Support or maintenance of the client's system software, or software purchased from other vendors
  • Supply, installation, configuration or other maintenance of systems unrelated to business intelligence or customer intelligence
  • Provision of first level support
  • Support of systems currently under project management
  • First and second level help desk