Telefónica O2 Germany supports corporate strategy with SAS® Forecast Server
Given market saturation and margin pressures, telecoms need early, precise forecasts in order to navigate whatever may develop. That's why for its decision-support needs Telefónica O2 Germany uses SAS Forecast Server.
In the past, the company used a system composed of local SPSS single-user installations that were not networked. "We used it to create analyses and forecasts for our corporate management and planning," explains Thorsten Kühlmeyer, Head of Analysis at Telefónica O2's Business Intelligence Center (BIC). "However, the pressure from the competition and the demands from management meant continuously shorter update cycles – our existing solution was just not up to the task."
Moreover, the single-user solution made it difficult to collaborate. And the available portfolio and forecast methods no longer met the increased demands for a business analytics solution.
"The inquiries we receive from the strategic environment differ greatly, and most of them are extremely time-critical," says Kühlmeyer. Results of those inquiries support corporate planning and management decisions.
So Kühlmeyer and his team sought out a high-performance analytics solution that could meet their demands.
"We were able to enhance the precision of our forecasts considerably," says Kühlmeyer. "Before, we were achieving approximately 80 percent for last-minute sales forecasts. Today, we are right 98 percent of the time."
Andreas Gimber, Senior BIC Project Manager, adds: "Moreover, we have become much faster, thanks to the uniform central data layout we now use – three times faster than before, to be precise."
The BIC supports top management with the analytics required to set corporate strategy.
"The switch to SAS has proven itself to be the absolutely right strategic step," says Markus Heimann, Vice President of Business Intelligence. "With it, we have been able to expand our analytical competence in the field of BI considerably – and take the corporate planning and management at Telefónica O2 a decisive step further."
"Implementing a new infrastructure always means that the users will have to change how they think," he says. "Thus, it is important to be able to identify with the new solution and to emphasize the advantages and benefits to the users."
Moreover, he recognizes the value of targeted expectation management: "You have to be careful that the users and management do not expect a magic box that performs miracles at the press of a button," he says. "It is important to make it very clear to all users and future customers that the success of the solution depends on precise planning, clear specifications and a healthy database."
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
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“"Before, we were achieving approximately 80 percent for last-minute sales forecasts. Today, we are right 98 percent of the time."”
Head of Analysis