Jedox Cloud delivers high-performance, scalable BI for Bonnier

Bonnier Business to Business publishes business news and several niche publications for decision-makers in ten countries throughout Europe. Aside from its extensive portfolio of print and online magazines, periodicals, and guides, it also hosts digital training, educational platforms, and conferences in several countries. The company is part of Bonnier AB, a global media group that has been family owned and operated in Sweden for seven generations.

Need for detailed information

The company aims to deliver relevant business news, knowledge, and insights to keep decision-makers up to date and informed on all business matters. Within the organization, the finance team applies that same standard to its weekly and monthly management reports. Since the group’s reporting and consolidation tools work with very high-level information, it had deployed Hyperion Essbase several years back to enable more granular, informative reporting.

No internal IT resources

Over time, however, the system had become too slow and rigid. Since the department has no access to internal IT resources, it also was very time-consuming and expensive to maintain. “Hyperion Essbase is a very powerful tool, but for the way we were using it and what resources we had available, it just wasn’t the right system for us,” explained Chris Stiebel, CFO of Bonnier Business to Business. “It was just too much work for the people we had using it.”

Cloud-based solution

The team wanted a cloud-based solution that was more flexible, user-friendly, and scalable. Dynamic calculations and remote data uploads through the web were also important to streamline the monthly and weekly reporting cycle.

Persuasive proof of concept

After evaluating several solutions based on Microsoft technologies and a compelling proof of concept, Bonnier Business to Business chose Jedox Cloud. The software had been recommended by its Danish daughter company, Clio Online, and Qbit, a Scandinavian BI consultancy specializing in Jedox deployments.

Competent support from experienced Jedox partner

Qbit served as the system architect for the project, which was broken down into two phases for monthly and weekly reporting. Based on a detailed description of the system and performance requirements, the consultants built the reporting solution in Jedox from scratch. The team at Bonnier Business to Business tested the solution and provided feedback throughout the phases of the implementation.

Ongoing maintenance through finance

Qbit had also trained the project team, who later held their own trainings for the local users. Today, two controllers oversee the day-to-day maintenance of the solution. Qbit also supports the team as needed with more complex issues.

More local responsibility, less bottleneck

Previously, the financial data was sent centrally to the controllers who processed, uploaded, consolidated, and worked with that data. With Jedox, the local companies now upload their financial data, run a few simple validations, and double check their entries all from a web interface. This increases local responsibility while reducing the bottleneck.

Meeting monthly deadlines without overtime

The central finance team then maps the local chart of accounts to segment the data into various dimensions. Currency conversions and cost allocations in Jedox are dynamic. In the past, the finance team had to run scripts, which were frequently very slow. In Jedox, the data is available as soon as it is uploaded. “Our monthly reporting deadlines are very tight,” Stiebel added. “We were frequently burning the midnight oil, working late nights in the past because the scripts had taken so long and there were only two people who could upload the data. Jedox has definitely saved us time, which we use to add value in terms of analyzing the quality and the actual business operational results for the month.”

Bigger plans ahead

“We are extremely pleased with Jedox and the solution and services that it delivers,” summarized Stiebel, who has big plans for the software in the future. Bonnier Business to Business is currently implementing Qlik® Sense, so the executive team can utilize the information from Jedox in dashboards and PowerPoint reports. The CFO also sees a very good possibility to use the software to standardize BI, forecasting, and planning in all local companies.

“Jedox is a very strong, very flexible, very stable tool – and a very good value for the money. We have only scratched the surface of the possibilities that the software can do for us in the long run.” – Chris Stiebel, CFO, Bonnier Business to Business