Prosodie, a subsidiary of Capgemini, manages data exchanges for large corporations and administrations that take place with end-clients, consumers, users and employees. Prosodie is a multi-channel transactional flow operator and has five main areas of expertise: telephone systems, facilities management for critical front-office applications, process automation, payment systems, and new developments in connectivity, such as mobile applications and online TV. Every day, Prosodie processes thousands of voice, Web and financial transactions generated by hundreds of thousands of people.
Enables the company to effectively market and provision critical service-performance reporting to customers by ensuring a flawless level of quality and performance
Customer Reporting Requires Faultless Performance
Last year, Prosodie processed close to two billion minutes of mobile phone calls and almost 300 million text messages while also managing an average data flow of 40 TB per month. The ability of the Prosodie IT infrastructure to handle these volumes while ensuring the high levels of service expected by clients and end-users was of key importance.
Prosodie previously implemented a business intelligence application to provide customers with statistics for calls handled by Prosodie telephone systems. The need for quality operational reporting reflects the key business requirement this represents for Prosodie clients. Furthermore, these reports must facilitate immediate decision-making for business transactions in progress since their impact on profits can almost be measured in real time. Prosodie must therefore ensure quality and guarantee faultless performance of this service to their users.
In practice, each call generates a ticket at the telecom switch level. These tickets are inserted into a database and used to show the number of calls received per 10-minute segment, per hour, per day and per month via a Web interface and within a daily e-mail. Performance requirements are high, including response times under five seconds for Web requests; data feeds refreshed every 10 minutes; and processing capacity of 10 million tickets per day.
Accustomed to a high volume of transactions, Prosodie made its initial business intelligence framework decision: “Initially, Sybase recommended Sybase IQ, but we preferred to stay with Sybase ASE, which we were already using successfully for other applications handling large volumes,” says Thierry Fourquet, the Design, Research and Development Manager for the Prosodie IT Department.
Spikes in Customer Activity Require Higher-Performing BI Capabilities
For front-end analysis, Prosodie relies on Crystal Enterprise reports from SAP BusinessObjects.
Although the Sybase ASE/SAP BusinessObjects system was stable and functioned without any problems for two years, the level of performance started to drop due to severe spikes in customer activity.
“The number of calls exploded, and we experienced massive usage spikes during specific events such as televised games,” Fourquet says. “These became increasingly difficult to manage, and the increases in volume caused slowdowns, additional costs, and dissatisfaction for the teams and for customers. The system became increasingly difficult to manage to the point where our administrators and developers were constantly occupied by recurrent problems—to the detriment of functional changes requested by our project managers and customers.”
In response to this situation, Sybase repeated its recommendation that Prosodie migrate to Sybase IQ, which is designed specifically for high-volume business intelligence applications. A proof of concept demonstrated spectacular results in just four days. The fast transfer of data to the Sybase IQ database allowed quick testing of requests to be performed, and the results speak for themselves: Response times were five times faster for daily reports and almost 1000 times faster for an annual summary report. The process time for monthly billing dropped from three hours to only eight seconds.
Although the promise of high analytical performance had been met, Prosodie remained concerned about the incoming data-processing capacity for high-frequency, variable-volume data. However, by modifying the processes for data injection and aggregation for Sybase IQ, the real-time update capacity of the database was achieved. Eventually, even the load time for the biggest batch was vastly improved. It now takes just over two minutes—a lot less than the allotted 10 minutes and 13 times faster than before.
The Multiplex Option: Another Sybase IQ Advantage
Thanks to the multiplex option that Sybase IQ offers to separate data reading and data writing, continuous updating of the database during the day no longer restricts application performance. This capability provides end users with more fluid operations. “All of our requirements were met easily, so we chose to migrate to Sybase IQ,” Fourquet says.
Prosodie then launched a full migration project including an update for the front end to SAP BusinessObjects XI, which offers additional functionality and can be easily integrated with Sybase IQ.
System Performance Remains Stable While Support Issues Drop Dramatically
The business intelligence framework of Sybase IQ and SAP BusinessObjects is now in place to support any functional changes to Prosodie’s services and its geographic expansion across Europe. Although data volumes have doubled since the deployment and integration of the two technologies, system performance has been maintained, and the time spent by administrators on recurrent problems has decreased by more than 80 percent from 2010 to 2011.
“The power and robustness of Sybase IQ allows us to reliably supply data that meets the requirements of our customers,” Fourquet concludes. “And having SAP BusinessObjects on the front end makes it easy for our users to quickly run and interpret users. The two technologies combine to offer an effective business intelligence solution.”