MetLife, a global provider of insurance and financial services, wanted better access to business intelligence (BI) tools and data in its Portuguese division. The company implemented a Microsoft solution, including a data warehouse and new BI
tools to take advantage of built-in capabilities and integration with familiar office programs. MetLife Portugal is improving access to information, accelerating the adoption of BI tools, and making business decisions more quickly.
MetLife, a leading provider of insurance and financial services, has 90 million customers in more than 50 countries. After acquiring the global American Life Insurance Company in November 2010, MetLife knew it had to streamline operations. Each business
area needed specialized tools to handle different products and had to work with multiple data sources. As a result, users had limited access to information, and needed IT help to generate BI analysis and reports.
||Everything can now be done very quickly, naturally, and intuitively. Today, SQL Server 2008 R2 is an integral part of all our core business processes.
| Nuno Costa
Director of Direct Marketing and Communications
To improve service to its user base, MetLife decided to optimize the data warehouse in its Portuguese division. The company wanted to maintain a single data repository so that users could get aggregate information themselves without having to request it from
the IT department. “The idea was to create views of the information through a BI process,” says Paulo Rodrigues dos Santos, MIS Manager at MetLife Portugal. “We wanted end users to be able to obtain the data directly in the required form from a business perspective.”
Although MetLife already operated database systems from multiple vendors, it ultimately chose Microsoft for a BI and data warehouse solution. The company decided to implement Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise data management software running on the
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system. The company turned to BI4ALL, a Microsoft partner with a Gold Business Intelligence competency, for help with the project. BI4All designed an optimized, highly scalable solution based on Microsoft SQL Server
Fast Track Data Warehouse reference architecture.
MetLife chose Microsoft products for both business and technical reasons. Rodrigues dos Santos says, “We liked the ease of obtaining market know-how. An abundance of technicians made the cost of obtaining Microsoft specialists less than the cost of hiring
specialists for other platforms.”
The licensing costs were also more affordable, and the company could work with built-in capabilities. “We could use SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services at no extra cost, which is a big advantage,” says Rodrigues dos Santos. “It works easily with Microsoft
Excel 2010 spreadsheet software, a favorite application among our users.”
In addition, the new infrastructure will better support the growing volume of users and data at MetLife Portugal. As a result, MetLife is considering companywide deployment.
By implementing a Microsoft solution, MetLife has improved access to business data and BI capabilities. As a result, employees can make business decisions faster and more easily.
Easier Access to Business Data
By deploying a solution based on SQL Server 2008 R2, MetLife has improved access to information for business users. As a result, the company has noticed a sharp reduction in requests for help to the IT department. “Before, there were always problems in managing
requests and priorities, often with tight timing such as the end of the month or year,” says Rodrigues dos Santos. “Now, we have made significant improvements in the ease of obtaining data, and in the speed of accessing information.” Business users are more
productive, and IT staff has more time available for other projects.
Accelerated Adoption of BI Tools
Integration with Microsoft Office products also makes it easier for more people to take advantage of BI tools. “Excel is something they are already familiar with, so working with it eliminates any preconceptions they have about the difficulty of using BI
tools,” says Rodrigues dos Santos. “The use of familiar applications with SQL Server 2008 R2 capabilities clearly facilitates the embrace of a new technology.”
The company can enhance its BI capabilities while users continue to work with the same programs. “Improvements can be made without changing the tools that people need and use in their daily routine,” says Rodrigues dos Santos. “As such, SQL Server 2008 R2
is more supportive of the end user than any other competing solution.”
Faster Business Decisions
MetLife employees can make decisions faster with better access to BI tools. “From a simple campaign performance analysis to a product performance analysis or even a performance analysis for a specific commercial, everything can now be done very naturally,
quickly, and intuitively,” says Nuno Costa, Director of Direct Marketing and Communications at MetLife. “Today, SQL Server 2008 R2 is an integral part of all our core business processes.”
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