“Working with I.R.I.S. ICT and their Managed Operations division Ondit enables Numius to offer an ‘industrial-strength’, managed business analytics service
As a full-service specialist in business intelligence, performance management and business analytics, Numius offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions to medium-sized and large companies operating across various sectors. In addition to providing advice on how to define a business analytics roadmap, Numius also implements and manages highly innovative solutions for its clients. Established in 1999, Numius is an IBM Premier Business Partner, with extensive technical and business knowledge of IBM solutions. With a turnover of EUR 5.36 million in 2010 and a staff of 35, Numius is Belgium’s largest business analytics service provider based on IBM software.

Need for a managed BI platform

In spring 2009, one of Numius’s largest clients was considering the prospect of outsourcing. The client also asked whether or not Numius could manage its business analytics platform for it, a request that prompted Numius into a year of fieldwork, negotiations and development. Around the same time, at an event in Rome on “information on demand”, Numius came into contact with IBM, who immediately showed an interest in Numius’s outsourcing project and offered to bring in their skills to assist. Finally, through a shared customer with a similar problem, Ondit – the Managed Operations branch of I.R.I.S. ICT – also became involved in the project, as it became clear that the market was ready for a cloud computing package.

Numius Platform Services

Research was fed into the development of the ideal solution. A qualitative study revealed that companies were no longer willing to invest in assessing technologies for endless months. Instead, they tended to look for more flexible, cost-effective solutions that would provide addedvalue on specific problems as part of a straightforward, general package” In February 2011, after months of development, “Numius Platform Services” was finally able to be launched. This flexible solution now offers business analytics as a service, based on a monthly subscription package. The offering is targeted at those medium-sized and large companies that want to become operational with the latest business analytics tools as quickly as possible, while still being able to focus on their own business and innovation themselves. With the solution, Numius is able to offer a professional platform that guarantees flexibility, security and performance – and equally enables companies to gain fast, reliable access to accurate information, without them having to set up their own business analytics environment internally to achieve it.

Platform Services gives customers unprecedented flexibility in defining their own requirements, both in terms of functionalities and capacity. Such flexibility translates immediately into cost-savings because, by enabling them to purchase the exact capacity they need at a particular moment, customers are able to avoid over-investing or under-investing. This goes hand in hand with a dramatic reduction in risk: There is no need for customers to conduct extensive analysis into the functionalities and capacity they need beforehand, because they can constantly adjust their intake up or down to suit requirements. Customers simply pay a price – per user, per month – which means they can allocate costs with accuracy to the right cost centers within their own organizations. In so doing, Platform Services helps them to transform IT from being a cost center into a revenue center.

Customers can also evolve smoothly to a broader form of agreement, in which services such as service-level agreements (SLAs), functional helpdesk, data stewardship, report development and information analysis all form part of the package of services provided. The solution also makes new applications much simpler, such as mobile business analytics or business analytics for customers and citizens.

Ondit Managed Operations

Numius Platform Services is based on IBM hardware with IBM System Storage, Information Management and Business Analytics software (IBM Cognos 8 and IBM Cognos 10, IBM InfoSphere Warehouse Enterprise Edition with IBM DB2, IBM InfoSphere DataStage, IBM InfoSphere Gardium). The solution runs at the Ondit data center. Ondit manages the Numius infrastructure to ensure business continuity and monitors the infrastructure 24/7 to detect defects quickly and accurately before they lead to bigger failures. Detected errors are dispatched via alerts to Ondit and Numius, so that adequate measures can be taken. According to Jo Coutuer from Numius, “Working with I.R.I.S. ICT and their Managed Operations division Ondit enables us to offer an ‘industrial-strength’, managed business analytics service. Their international experience in hardware, software and related services, combined with our professionalism in business analytics and information management, means we can offer our customers 100 percent certainty that they will have a secure, high-performance and stable service.” The solution uses the full architecture capabilities of IBM Cognos, in which customers are able to work in an optimized environment. And all of the components are redundant, which ensures business continuity.

Solution recognized by various prestigious IBM Awards

At the beginning of February 2011, Numius won the “IBM Software Solution Award” for its Platform Services, as a result of the solution’s innovative use of IBM components. Numius and I.R.I.S. ICT also won the “IBM Innovation Award,” due to the unique collaboration between the two companies (and because Numius Platform Services innovatively combines cloud computing and business analytics, two of the four strategic growth areas that will spearhead IBM’s strategy in the years ahead). Numius was also one of the finalists in the category for “Cloud Computing Innovation – Cloud Builder” at the prestigious “IBM Beacon Awards”, presented at the IBM Partnerworld Leadership Conference in Orlando on 16 February 2011. These awards are given to business partners who have used their innovations to make a difference for their customers. I.R.I.S. ICT was also voted “IBM Southwest Europe Business Partner of the Year.”

Clear Vision for the future

Numius also sees the platform as the starting point for other partners in the market who have functional or sector-specific knowledge, but who would like to add a business intelligence component to their solutions without having to bring the skills required to do so in-house. This means they would be able to benefit from an “out-of-the-box” solution of business intelligence applications to offer their customers – which is just one reason why Numius now has a ready-to-use launch platform for future initiatives.

The partnership with Numius inspires Ondit to seek similar partnerships with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), who sometimes lack the necessary skills to think along with their clients as far as infrastructure is concerned. Ondit can offer them a management or consultancy layer and guide them towards a Software-as-a-Service or cloud model.

I want to know more

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Telephone: +32 (0)2 251.66.50
Fax: +32 (0)2 252.57.55

Contact Address:
Mechelsesteenweg 542
1800 - Vilvoorde