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Vodafone Global Information Systems saves time and resources with international IT governance

Vodafone, a globally-operated mobile communications company, is a significant market player in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the US. Continuous growth, spurred by the company's success, has resulted in new challenges for Vodafone's IT architecture and related processes, such as reporting.

Vodafone Global Information Services (VGIS), a subsidiary of Vodafone, strives to ensure governance and smooth IT processes for optimal productivity. The group's mission includes achieving a clear reduction of costs for hardware, software and operations across all Vodafone companies. VGIS turns to SAS for IT management to achieve this governance, reducing cost per server by 50 percent while decreasing needed resources.

"Today – three years after project launch – there is already more than twice as much data. And yet, we have been able to increase processing speed by 50 percent, while decreasing our use of internal resources by half," says Stefan Pannen, Service Reporting Specialist.

Calling all systems to be integrated
Vodafone's rapid growth and global acquisitions of mobile communications providers have led to a very diverse software structure. VGIS needed to integrate systems to allow for uniform and real-time IT reporting. User-specific access had to be easy and uncomplicated, independent of the user's location. Starting with the Milan and Ratingen sites, data from more than 20 internal customers – ranging from national companies to additional group subsidiaries – had to be integrated into the reporting structure.

VGIS pursued a comprehensive strategy of groupwide standards to ensure effective IT governance, including a consolidation of existing and new IT services. "We are confident that SAS is the right solution for handling data from various sources and for building strong data warehouses," says Michele Casalena, Head of Service Reporting. "SAS' reporting and analysis solutions are, in concert with the portal, simply much better than the Oracle BI Suite we used before."

Saving time and resources 
With SAS, VGIS collects data automatically from all critical system management applications and integrate them in a uniform database. In addition, SAS helps to create interfaces with various data sources and databases so that Vodafone can make analytical evaluations quickly and easily.

On the reporting side, SAS standardized existing IT tools under a common architecture, providing users access to consistent reports with comprehensive parameters. This allows VGIS to manage large volumes of data and integrate many more users – while reducing manual effort required to make sense of all the data. The automation also reduces the cost per server by 50 percent.

With SAS, VGIS now realizes how their IT resources were being used and thus how to better allocate those resources to improve data processing speed. Overall, the group has abandoned homemade solutions in favor of uniform high-performance architecture with a high level of availability.

"What is particularly good about this is the fact that we can now get an actual big picture at the push of a button. And being able to look at all aggregate processes at the same time is exactly the situation we wanted to create. SAS has been a great help in achieving this," adds Casalena.

Global standardization goals mirrored by SAS
VGIS rolled out the project to Milan, Italy; Ratingen, Germany; and numerous national companies. SAS mirrored this global approach, with both SAS Italy and SAS Germany being actively integrated into the implementation. This collaboration provided VGIS with consistent local SAS contacts at both sites. Periodic video conferences, as well as the ongoing direct cooperation at the sites, resulted in true teamwork between the two companies.

"We work globally with the long-term goal of truly international IT and service standards. SAS fulfilled the requisite demands for a software partner at all times in the most reliable manner, and proved itself competent for project work across countries," says Pannen.

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Vodafone Global Information Systems

Challenge:
Consolidating IT structures across multiple countries and introducing user-specific data accessibility
Benefits:
VGIS gained an understanding of how IT resources were being used – and thus how to allocate those resources to improve processing speed of twice as much data by 50 percent. At the same time, VGIS decreased needed internal resources by half

We have been able to increase processing speed by 50 percent, while decreasing our use of internal resources by half.

Stefan Pannen

Service Reporting Specialist

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