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HP masterminds one of the largest Enterprise Data Warehouses


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by Susan Twombly, April 2007

Follow HP's journey as it builds one of the world's largest Enterprise Data Warehouses — optimizing business information to drive decision making and actions across the company.

Hundreds of terabytes of data can certainly weigh heavy on a CIO's mind. No one knows that better than Randy Mott, executive vice president and CIO at HP. With a company the size of HP, Mott anticipates HP's Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) could end up being one of the largest in the world.

To get there, HP IT is on a mission to consolidate more than 750 separate data marts and data stores across the company into the EDW. The goal? To create a single, global enterprise-wide database of shareable information that delivers a unified, accurate vision of the business.

Far from being just a stagnate reporting tool to tell what's happened, the aim is for the EDW to be a dynamic decision-making engine for employees at all levels — empowering everyone at HP to make the right decisions and take the right actions for the right business outcomes.

To an HP customer, that outcome could mean getting a complete and accurate answer to any question, anytime and anywhere. To HP itself, it's having a complete, consistent picture of business operations — everything from how the company is managing the supply chain and marketing products to servicing its customers — to lower costs, reduce risk and accelerate revenue growth.

Hidden truths buried within

Why HP Neoview?
Better business outcomes.

HP Neoview is an enterprise-class data warehouse platform, created to turn mountains of data into decision-making, actionable information for positive business outcomes: reduced risks, lower costs and increased revenue growth.

Learn more about HP Neoview:

» HP Neoview website
» HP Neoview video: Get expert insight from HP CIO Randy Mott on why having an Enterprise Data Warehouse is now a requirement for every organization, and how the next generation HP Neoview platform delivers better business outcomes.

Feature stories:

» Seize the gold
» Do business intelligence right: Four tips to avoid project failure
» Build a better data warehouse

If data warehousing is just about delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, then why does it become so complex for most enterprises?

When it comes to data, more isn't necessarily better. The sheer volume of data in most enterprises makes gleaning actionable data difficult. Information tends to become trapped in silos and poorly integrated across the enterprise.

At decision-making time, people start scrambling and the reports start running. Yet, they're often generating incomplete or out-of-date information, cobbled together from disparate databases around the company, making it difficult to find the hidden kernels of truth within.

When Mott arrived at HP in July 2005, an EDW project was already underway. Like many of its Fortune 50 counterparts, HP was experiencing a data glut — lots of good information stored in multiple applications and data marts across departments, business units and geographies. "There was certainly no lack of data," Mott says. "But there was a lack of consistent, timely data spanning different parts of the business."

When decisions needed to be made, data was gathered from multiple sources, cross-checked and double-checked to ensure accuracy. It was a time-consuming and inefficient process. Multiply that by a corporation with more than 150,000 employees making decisions every day and it's easy to see why Mott wanted to pick up the pace of HP's EDW project.

Moving from data glut to information glory

Mott was no stranger to enterprise data warehouses. In fact, many see him as an expert. As CIO of Wal-Mart in the early 1990s, he convinced executive management to invest in a multi-terabyte data warehouse, making it possible to collect and analyze customer data to reveal buying trends. Later, he put that experience to work at Dell.

Moving forward, Mott wanted to succeed where he knew many of today's EDW initiatives get stuck: Supporting only select segments of the business. "A true enterprise data warehouse should contain all necessary information needed to support and service customers, partners and more — 100 percent of the data a company generates," Mott says.

Where most of today's EDW platforms were designed to house more static information, largely supporting off-line reporting and data gathering, Mott believed HP's EDW called for a different approach: Not static, but dynamic. Not off-line, but online and available to global users on a 24x7 basis to support decisions and actions.

"For business leaders to make good, informed decisions they have to have all the right data, collected quickly and globally and analyzed properly," Mott says. "We face many of the same issues other large companies face in accomplishing this. That's what our IT team is focused on, and where HP Neoview came in."

HP Neoview: A new approach to EDW

HP Neoview is an enterprise data warehouse platform designed to support informed, active decision making that defines what next-generation data warehousing is all about.

"If you look at the offerings in the EDW marketplace, there are solutions out there that meet some of today's IT requirements but not all. We really needed a different approach, one that could do it all and continue to scale. That's where Neoview came in."

It's the dynamic nature of HP Neoview — the ability to simultaneously load hundreds of terabytes of data every day, run complex analytics against it and all while global users fire queries at it 24x7 — that will enable the EDW to become a more active, integral part of business operations than ever before.

More 'plugged' in to operations, HP Neoview is capable of delivering a more accurate, real-time view of the business that companies can count on to make the right decisions and take the right actions.

For HP, HP Neoview is the 'do-it-all' solution Mott wanted, with the scalable platform he'll need for a $94 billion company: By completion in 2008, Mott anticipates the EDW will exceed its current size threefold — as 50,000 global employees depend on it to drive decisions and actions every day.

Watch for a follow-up feature in May 2008 to learn more about how HP is leveraging the new HP Neoview platform to roll out its own enterprise data warehouse.

Get more information

» Business Technology
» Adaptive Infrastructure
» Business Information Optimization
» Business Technology Optimization
» View the video: Neoview for better business outcomes
» Read the news release
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Portrait of Randy Mott

"Our top priorities are getting better information for the company, driving better efficiencies and reducing our risks, while at the same time being a showcase for enterprise data warehousing."

Randy Mott,
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, HP

HP's enterprise data warehouse project is part of a three-year IT initiative to consolidate operations.

This massive undertaking includes reducing the number of applications HP uses from 5,000 to 1,500 and consolidating 85 data centers to just six.

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