It is critical to deliver tangible, measurable business benefits as an outcome of any BI/Analytics program or initiative. A sharp and potent mix of specialist technical skills and business acumen is required to transform data into critical business insight, which in turn leads to tangible business value for the organization.
GrayMatter delivers true business value to its clients by adopting a consultative approach to BI and Analytics engagements. A globally reputed BI and Analytics specialist, GrayMatter has an in-house center of excellence for SAP BI solutions with expertise in SAP BOBJ, SAP BW, SAP HANA, and SAP BODS. The company has implemented SAP BI projects across data integration, dashboarding, reporting, consulting, migration, support, and training as well as in advanced analytics, for marquee customers across the globe.
Founding Story of a Successful Venture
Progress and inclusive growth through collaboration has been the GrayMatter mantra from the days it took its baby steps in Jan 2006. Business Intelligence and Analytics were on the cusp of a dramatic shift globally, in terms of providing enterprise-wide coverage with capability to deliver real-time analytics, handle unstructured data, enhanced data visualizations, user friendly BI applications and so on. It was the vision of the founder members of GrayMatter to create an organization that would deliver business value through compelling BI & Analytics solutions, with open source technologies working as one of the key levers in these pursuits.
Emergence of Global SAP BI Experts
Powered by a strong foundation of pioneering excellence in delivering high value decision support systems, GrayMatter moved ahead globally with rapid strides. As part of this meteoric rise, GrayMatter adopted and evolved a sharp focus on SAP BI offerings. GrayMatter’s Center of Excellence for SAP offerings was set up in 2009, a key milestone in the emergence of GrayMatter as a leader in this space.
Today GrayMatter’s SAP BI offerings are in tune with and enabled to meet the needs of the latest trends of big data, machine learning, cloud, mobility, superior UI/UX and the overarching need for complete digital transformation of the customer’s business. GrayMatter’s industry analytics solutions such as airport analytics, insurance analytics, finance analytics and manufacturing analytics are certified by SAP. GrayMatter’s Airport Analytics solution has also been showcased on SAP solution explorer portal. GrayMatter’s custom components are featured in SAP Analytics Extensions portal.
Notably, GrayMatter is partnered with SAP as OEM and Reseller partner. As part of its joint go-to market activities with SAP, GrayMatter has co-sponsored industry analytics events, which have successfully served as a platform to ideate the future market needs expected from SAP BI. These include events like annual meet for Airport SAP users group conducted at SAP HQ at Walldorf, Germany. SAP and GrayMatter are jointly conducting the upcoming Airports Day, to be held in Lisbon, in September 2017.
GrayMatter’s Center of Excellence for SAP BI (SAPBICoE)
GrayMatter has a dedicated SAP BI center of excellence (SAPBICoE) that ensures that the industry trends and best practices are constantly incorporated in its offerings. The entire range of offerings from ETL to reports, dashboards to predictive analytics on SAP are governed and directed by the center of excellence, for every single engagement, including project management, program management as well as executive guidance.
GrayMatter is powered by the technology assets created by SAPBICoE including 20 different data models, 30+ source system connectors, 20+ custom components, migration effort calculators, 10 dashboarding techniques, “RADIUS” dashboarding framework etc. As an illustration of the span of coverage of these assets, the source system connectors include ECC connectors, BW connectors, connectors to unstructured data using BODS, connectors to data on cloud and so on. GrayMatter has streamlined knowledge management processes by which reuse of experiential learnings, technical components, templates, checklists etc. happen. Strong process adherence ensures standardization and quality in offerings. GrayMatter also has best-in-class processes in place that make project success easily repeatable. All these measures along with experience of around 200 projects create a risk-free delivery mechanism for customers and thereby makes GrayMatter a vendor of choice for customers across the globe.
Vikas says, “GrayMatter has proved its mettle time and again, in competitive scenarios. For example, GrayMatter won projects with Montreal Airport, AIA, Panasonic, Mindtree and many others, in the face of stiff competition from industry leading software vendors.”
Strong Domain Expertise
A sharp focus on SAP BI along with the enablers provided by the CoE has made GrayMatter a leading SAP BI consulting firm. It is noteworthy though, that the strong domain expertise that the firm possesses has also been a key success factor.
GrayMatter has domain experts catering to various industries, which enables excellent understanding of various businesses. This in turn leads to a very good understanding of the KPIs and metrics that business users from these industries look for. In fact, its pre-built analytics solutions for industries like airports, insurance, manufacturing and finance have been a major success because of its outstanding domain capabilities, coupled with technical excellence.
To illustrate the depth of these industry analytics solutions, take for example Airport Analytics (AA+) solution that consists of 10 functional areas, 150+ dashboards, 400+ KPIs and have data from 50+ systems integrated as well as 3+ years data integrated. The GrayMatter team structure deployed for client engagements always includes domain experts who ensure a deep dive into the functional needs and follow it up with a requirements blueprint that leads to precise, effective software, with minimal rework during the software lifecycle. The software assurance is cemented by a validation team working under the guidance of senior business analysts who can certify that the final product is in compliance with the requirement blueprint. Customers across industries have experienced the superior functional understanding and domain expertise that GrayMatter has demonstrated. The fact that GrayMatter has gone ahead and defined industry KPIs which have been accepted by clients across the globe, bears testimony to its domain strengths.
A Key Influencer in the BI World
GrayMatter believes in being one step ahead, not only as a success factor for business growth but also as a philosophy for the benefit of the larger BI community, to be able to guide the BI consumers towards better and greater adoption. A lot of this is possible due to GrayMatter’s unrelenting focus on research and innovation.
GrayMatter’s R&D facility houses data scientists and BI architects who are constantly innovating and devising improvements to existing solutions, as well as creating new solutions. Some of the path-breaking innovations that it has done in the recent past include:
- GrayMatter addressed certain requirements that are not available out-of-the-box in tools like SAP Design Studio, SAP WebI, for example processing of data, capturing and saving user inputs, connecting to web interface etc. To address such requirements, GrayMatter has created many services and interfaces which are used across Design Studio and WebI. All these services are created using Java based web technology that can be easily deployed and managed in the web servers.
- Data quality and data governance process have been implemented by integrating BODS and ProcessMaker where the data quality is automated using BODS with a design to scale easily to add more Data Quality rules. Process Maker is integrated using standard web interface with BODS to bring automation to the workflow of data governance requirements
- Predictive analytics systems have been devised using a mix of R and BODS e.g. car park revenue management system to predict car park slot prices.
- Enabled data loads and file management from cloud (AWS) using latest BODS adapter
- Designed BO universes to overcome the limitations of Sybase IQ SQL functions like top, rank etc.
It is pertinent to mention that besides SAP BI, GrayMatter’s expertise extends to other technologies and tools as well, like, Microsoft, IBM, Qlik, Oracle, Pentaho, Hadoop, Kafka, Flume, Apache Spark, SAS, R, ProcessMaker, Informatica, Tableau, and Talend and has successfully delivered value to customers on these stacks.
Driven by Inspirational Leadership
GrayMatter, like any other business, has had its own share of challenges and obstacles. The differentiating factor has been in the way the organization has responded to adversities under the stellar leadership of the CEO and CTO of GrayMatter, Mr. Vikas Gupta.
Vikas possesses over twenty years of varied technology and industry experience. It is the passion of Vikas to bring changes in the way BI industry and products are designed and deployed that has driven GrayMatter team to chart a path of glorious success.
Some of Vikas’ path-breaking inventions include Airport Analytics, Insurance Analytics, Manufacturing Analytics and Finance Analytics products. His platform agnostic, industry specific BI product approach (The 4W questioning logic– What, Where, When, Why) with pre-built KPIs, dashboards and DWH with highly intuitive user interface, is a ‘game changer’ for the industry. The value provided by these industry specific analytics products to Airport, Manufacturing, Retail, Insurance businesses is vindicated by numerous marquee customers worldwide who have successfully used these solutions
Vikas is naturally inclined towards building enterprises with an entrepreneurial spirit, driven by a culture of meritocracy and ownership that has led to innovation & excellence in services, products and solutions delivered to delighted end-users.
People Matter at GrayMatter
GrayMatter believes in a meritocratic culture wherein equal opportunities are available for every employee to utilize and prove themselves. The organization also believes in equipping their associates with more and more learning through a mix of training sessions as well as through exposure to a diverse range of tasks. This includes the opportunity to up-skill and cross-skill that helps in employee development.
The organization practices an open-door policy whereby transparency is ensured. Vikas asserts, “As an organization, our value statements are very clearly defined including OWN for ownership for every single activity, S3 for simple, structured and scalable in all that we do and FIX, to fix a problem instead of complaining about it.”
Every single member of GrayMatter’s well-knit team is on the same page with regards to these principles and in fact its attrition rate, which is lesser than industry average, which is an overall indicator of employee satisfaction.
GrayMatter is looking forward to a promising future full of exciting opportunities and possibilities. GrayMatter’s focused approach on domain-centric products, industry-leading technology stacks (SAP, Microsoft, Pentaho) as well as a conscious monitoring and adoption of latest industry trends ensures a strong positioning for the years to come.
GrayMatter has dedicated practices for Big Data, Data Science and Machine Learning. These practices ensure constant enhancement in competencies to meet the demands, the ever changing needs of the analytics world. GrayMatter has a clear focus on creating superlative UI/UX for every single dashboard/ report through a team of expert designers. With regards to SAP, GrayMatter aims to be the top provider of SAP BI solutions, in the next couple of years.