What is most valuable?
It has good dashboarding. Also, being an Oracle product, it's good for ETLing in and out. It has a very good ETL process to get the data in and out of the data warehouse system. Also, it does have very good integration points to different products, such as Big Data, Hyperion, or Financials. You can pull everything up, project it and dashboard it. It's a good business intelligence platform.
How has it helped my organization?
For advanced users, they can build their own custom reports. You can actually create a custom dashboard for your upper management, and for your middle management. You can provide required reports at all levels of management for decision making. You can get data from different systems into it. It works well with other products, where you can bring in data, and then project it. It's got a very good ETL process, which makes it easy for you to bring in data.
What needs improvement?
They should focus more on performance. Basically, no one has the time. They also have to compete with big data analytics. They ought to keep that in mind and see how this product could eventually, down the line, be replaced. They should take some measures to actually make it stay.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
For stability, in the back end, you have the Oracle database. You can use In-Memory.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
You can fund it well, scale it well and size it well; all of these things. It's a good product.
It's not distributed. You can’t do distributed scaling, per se. Whenever you use the algorithm, if that's the case, you can always use a RAC system or something like that. On the application side, you can use however many servers you want. You could redirect your traffic accordingly, based on different servers. You can cater to different customers or to different business end users, depending on their priority. It's pretty scalable, but not distributed in nature. For example, it’s not good for big data analytics and that kind of stuff.
How are customer service and technical support?
I don’t know about technical support these days. Overall, Oracle support is not that impressive, which it used to be. We are living with it. If you have a stable product like Oracle, if it’s going good, most of the time, it's fine. The only challenges come whenever you try to upgrade, and then it'll be a little rocky for a while. You'll be okay, but during that rocky period, you don't get enough support. There isn’t enough documentation. It's a huge product. Those are some of the challenges.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used a custom reporting solution, like Crystal Reports and so on, then we actually moved into this OBIEE a few years back, when OBIEE first came out. It's been a long journey with OBIEE.
How was the initial setup?
Setting up is pretty easy in terms of infrastructure and so on. When customization comes along, that's when it's never easy. Any customization is never easy. It's always complex.
What other advice do I have?
Look at big data and other open-stack solutions. See if that actually fits; otherwise, you might want this kind of solution, ready to install. Don't customize. If you have a lot of customizations, see if this product will work; do a PoC. I strongly recommend to check big data, and go from there.
When I’m choosing a vendor to work with, the most important criteria are scalability and how well it works with other products.
Another thing is that we shouldn't be locked in to a vendor. We should be able to move vendors in and out if we really want. I don't like vendor lock-in. That's another thing. It should be scalable in a distributed way.
My rating is because of the performance and scalability. We did scale it well and we did size it well, but there are still some limitations in achieving the kind of performance that we want. It's not always consistent in its performance.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dec 19 2016