Government // Enterprise Architecture
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2/23/2010
08:13 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO Quick Take: GoodData Helps Enterasys Master The Cloud

GoodData's technology, management philosophy, and "market-disruptive price point" have helped Enterasys drive more business value from IT.

Enterasys CIO Dan Petlon brings a decidely no-nonsense approach to IT leadership and over the past few years has skinned about $2.6 million in costs out of the IT budget while also insisting that user experiences meet a very high standard.

"My goal is if I go around to everyone in the company and ask them how good IT is, they've gotta say 'IT rocks!' or at a bare minimum, 'IT is pretty darn good.' Because if the business sees you as a productive partner, then you're spending your time together talking about ideas and growth rather than always wrestling over budgets. But if I'm a pain in the neck and always causing problems, then yeah, they will spend all their time wrestling you for the funding."

So Petlon and director of IT applications Ben Doyle have spent the past couple of years overhauling Enterasys's infrastructure with some aggressive cloud projects, upgraded and virtualized data centers, and seamless comunication across all systems regardless of platform.

During its journey into the cloud, a key partner for Enterasys has been GoodData, which specializes in helping clients get through the messy integration issues that come with tying SaaS and cloud deployments into traditional legacy systems. It's no stretch to say that Petlon and Doyle are big fans of GoodData, and here's their story in their own words:

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"BI is one of those tough things because you can have huge investments with Cognos or Business Objects but it all ends up being shelfware requiring three people to maintain it even as it sits on the shelf," Petlon said. "You wind up in a situation where our businesspeople think they're too complicated to do what they want, so they don't ask anymore, and they don't use the tool anymore, and you end up having three or four specialists making reports that nobody even looks at.

"So we were looking for easy-to-use BI tool, knowing the GM for our division is very good with spreadsheets—he really likes to get in there and slice and dice the numbers—but also knowing that the tool needs to be simple enough for our sales guys to use easily and quickly."

Enterasys has been using Salesforce.com since 2003 but felt its dashboard and presentation features weren't up to speed, so Enterasys first went with a company called Lucidera to handle those functions. But Lucidera went out of business, leading to a bake-off won by GoodData.

"We selected GoodData because we wanted to leverge what we'd learned across other parts of the enterprise," Doyle said. "So now we're aggressively deploying GoodData across not just Salesforce.com but also all of our SAP applications—we'll be using GoodData as the presentation layer or front end because it's got a nice UI, and it's very accessible for users to build dashbrds and do ad-hoc analysis."

Added Petlon:

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