Carter Holt consolidates analysis to Business Objects

SAP Business Objects chosen over Microsoft

Carter Holt Harvey is the first high-profile New Zealand company to select SAP Business Objects since SAP bought the business intelligence software company for $NZ8.8 billion 16 months ago.

CHH manufactures and markets wood-based building products in New Zealand and Australia.

Andy Willis, business intelligence manager at CHH, says the purchase was strategically important.

“Most of the Building Supplies Group had existing business intelligence software in place, but they were disaggregated. We had too many solutions that weren’t well used, which meant we weren’t sufficiently leveraging our information assets across the organisation,” he says.

CHH is running a mix of Microsoft and Crystal Enterprise business intelligence and reporting tools. (Crystal, which is used by CHH in Australia, is a Business Objects product.)

“We short-listed both because of our existing investment in those technologies,” Wills says. “But there would have been a degree of new training with Microsoft.

“The lack of ability to generate additional reports with Microsoft was jamming up the business, while our Crystal team had moved on.”

Business Objects was chosen because of its usability from an end-user’s perspective.

“For example, employees will create their own reports without relying on the IT department to generate them, allowing them access to valuable information and enabling them to make better, faster decisions. We anticipate that standardised reporting will be one of the key business benefits for Carter Holt Harvey,” he says.

“Many of our users have prior experience with Business Objects. That existing expertise and familiarity with the tool sets will benefit us as we go through the implementation process.”

Wills says the roll-out, which will deliver operational reports, analytics and enterprise dashboards, begins this month. It is expected to take four to six weeks and cost $300,000.

The deal with CHH was signed last October. SAP New Zealand manager Graeme Riley says CHH was the first of SAP’s customers to see the advantages of the integration Business Objects offers.

“Since then, we’ve had four major sales, into the utilities market, agriculture and local government,” he says.

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