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DI Solution at Altera: A Better Way


"There are lots of DI Solution fans here at Altera," says Rajiv Kumar, MIS manager for the $400M semi-conductor company. Altera recently replaced their previous OLAP tool with Dimensional Insight's DI Solution. Before the switch, Rajiv says, "We'd been using our previous software for about a year and a half. There were two major problems - response time and system maintenance. Simple queries often took many seconds, sometimes minutes. Complex queries would take up to fifteen minutes. Users were frustrated. And making changes was so complicated that we often had to use the vendor's consultants to do the work, making the system very expensive to maintain."


Altera Corporation develops and markets programmable integrated circuits to telecommunications and networking companies such as Cisco, AT&T, and BayNetworks. Their business continues to increase rapidly. Realizing their existing OLAP tool wasn't keeping up with their growing need for fast ad hoc data analysis, they went searching for a better solution. "We'd heard good things about DI Solution from our friends at StrataCom." says Rajiv. "We got the demo software, and converted the biggest database we have, our point-of-sale database, into a DI Solution Model. Upon testing, we were amazed at the speed of response. Queries regularly took a few seconds or less. Everyone was pleased, so we worked with DI to prototype all our other Models."


Rajiv says there were very few problems getting users to make the switch to DI Solution. "We do training classes in 60 - 90 minutes, and most users are able to use DI-Diver with just that instruction." Currently, about 100 users from several areas of the company (Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, and Operations) use DI-Divers to access and analyze data, and that number is expected to grow. Most of the users work at Altera's corporate headquarters in San Jose, California, but offices across the country and around the globe also access the Models via a WAN. How do users feel about DI Solution? "People are ecstatic!" Rajiv says. "We used to get constant complaints. Now we get constant compliments."


Altera has discovered how versatile and useful DI Solution Models can be. Besides their large point-of-sales data Model (rebuilt monthly), they maintain several mid-sized Models (rebuilt daily) for tracking booking and billing information, sales order status, backlogs, and lead-time-to-delivery information. An additional Model helps track their registered-user data.


Very happy with the performance of DI Solution, Rajiv now admits to experiencing a typical problem for MIS managers. "Our users are so thrilled that they finally have fast, intuitive access to their data that, now, of course, they want even more data available, even faster!" Oh, well. Life is full of good news and bad news, right Rajiv?

Copyright 2008. Inroads Ltd, Hong Kong.