A leading Canadian Telco has a highly integrated database enterprise data warehouse (EDW) that permits many different questions about a customer and the clients business operations to be asked.
One part of the business wanted some data added specifically to meet their needs and to get access to that central repository of data. Unfortunately the cost of integrating their information into the central base was more than they were willing to spend on the project. With a traditional cost structure and methodology that was not supportable in this case.
How to proceed and not build a stand alone orphan system that would be difficult to maintain and not leverage the value of an enterprise data warehouse?
Working with the client, we helped leverage and shape a data warehouse version of their RAD/lean development method and create a new solution methodology. Based on the knowledge of the database, an interim step was created to provide data structures that co-existed with the integrated database and was able to access the other data. Thus for a fraction of the price and time, the client was able to test the concept and decide whether complete integration was worth the expenditure. This interim step provided a way of testing the concept with live data. In order to have a completely operational system, additional work is needed but the client tested the concept and got the initial results at a reasonable price
This was a major breakthrough for the group. This project really demonstrated the value of the central repository. So we have created a way of getting access to the central data without going thru a very costly process to try it out. Doing things faster and cheaper is the big payoff. The cost was approximately ten percent of the cost. The client has a new method available to them for fast deployment into the EDW.
One of the challenges that is faced in the WDS is getting from the Working concept into a productionized mode of operation. That is what ever solution is put im place initially must be made production ready before it can be supported by the group(s) that manage the production environment. Expectations need to be set and monies need to be set asside to do this work. Otherwise the solution will remain in WDS mode forever which will drive the cost of the solution up over the long term.