Peter Edwards, PresidentToday’s global and connected economy makes it increasingly difficult for companies to maintain their competitive advantage and protect margins and profitability. A company’s survival and growth depends on the ability to understand key trends and drivers of business performance, often in real time, and facilitate strategic decision making through meaningful insight and analysis. Traditional functions such as finance, technology, operations or marketing are under significant pressure to transform themselves from a “cost center” into a trusted business partner and driver of value.
“We are not just a systems integrator. We are a trusted advisor that helps companies streamline their business process and deliver robust and scalable solutions that improve efficiency, provide insight and create capacity for value add activities,” says Peter Edwards, President and CEO of Application Consulting Group (ACG). Based in Parsippany, NJ, ACG is a premier IBM business partner and specialist in Financial and Operational Performance Management. Over the last 25 years, ACG implemented dozens of complex solutions for large multi-national companies but also assisted many mid-market companies improve controls, increase operational efficiency and support growth.
ACG focuses on the IBM Cognos product family and specifically the IBM Cognos TM1 platform. TM1 is an in-memory OLAP engine that provides a number of benefits including real time calculations and aggregations of data, flexibility in updating reporting and organization structures coupled with a flexible and intuitive user interface. It is a powerful tool that facilitates effective planning, forecasting, reporting and analysis and is extremely popular with users in finance as well as other areas.
“Over the years we had the opportunity to work with many market-leading and emerging technologies. We landed on IBM Cognos TM1 as a platform that provides the most value to our customers in terms of flexibility and analytical power coupled with a relatively low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),” says Edwards. IBM has been consistently improving the platform since its acquisition of Cognos and previously Applix, the creator of TM1.
We are not just a systems integrator. We are a trusted advisor that helps companies streamline their business process and deliver robust and scalable solutions
With the continued transition of applications to the Cloud, IBM’s latest release of Planning Analytics Workspace combines the power of TM1 with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence (BI), SPSS and Watson Analytics. This technology stack provides a fully integrated analytical platform with state-of-the-art tools to address our customer’s needs. “IBM Planning Analyticsis a forward-looking offering that facilitates demand for advanced analytics, which is on the strategic roadmap of most companies,” notes Edwards.
In addition to delivering customized solutions to address specific needs of individual customers, ACG has developed a number of standard tools and accelerators to facilitate the efficiency of application development. These include specific application models that are common across many companies, such as Workforce and Compensation Planning, Operating Expense, Capital Expenditure and other. Furthermore, ACG has developed a number of industry-specific models focused on revenue, global product pricing, demand planning and others.
Training and knowledge transfer is a key area of focus in our methodology. This incorporates a range of options from standardized training courses for end-users to customized ‘boot camps’ for power users, developers and system administrators. ACG works with companies to maximize solution ROI by driving user adoption and reducing ongoing system maintenance costs. A new area of focus is e-Learning, a web-based interactive training platform that leverages gamification techniques to maximize engagement and measure effectiveness of the curriculum with specific users and user groups.