Chess piecesVELUX is a €2.3bn provider of roof windows and skylights, headquartered in Copenhagen in Denmark. The VELUX name is derived from “ventilation” and “lux” (light in Latin), and it’s one of the strongest global brands in building materials.

Anders Reinhardt, head of global business intelligence for Velux recently gave presentations at two key European events, explaining the company’s business intelligence strategy –

Gurus of BI event in Oslo, Norway
SAPinsider BI2013 in Amsterdam

VELUX has been using business intelligence for over a decade. Like many other organizations, they had been struggling to find the right model to provide better business intelligence services to internal departments, at a lower cost and with fewer resources.

After a thorough investigation of fast-changing user and data needs, the company is implementing a plan to move from a centralized, report-based strategy to a more flexible, user-friendly self-service model, using SAP’s analytics technology.

In his presentations, Reinhardt explained how the company started implementing a BI strategy in 2000, faced with many different “versions of the truth” across the organization. These efforts culminated in 2010 with a VELUX performance model that provided “one version of the truth.” The solution was anchored in the Finance function and used a centralized platform based on SAP Business Warehouse and BEx Analyzer.

In 2011, the team realized that although the BI strategy had met the original goals, technology possibilities and user expectations had been rapidly changing. They decided to take a step back and looked at business intelligence from a more holistic perspective.

There had also been massive changes to user patterns and behavior. A new generation of tech-savvy business users expected direct access to the data they needed to do their jobs. This meant that business intelligence solutions had to be suitable for every employee, not just financial controllers and analysts.

In common with many other IT organizations around the globe, there was also strong pressure to deliver more, faster, with fewer staff, even as data volumes and user demands were rising.  To address the challenges identified, VELUX has invested in SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects, to provide fast, self-service access to information.

Since the introduction of SAP BusinessObjects two years ago, the company has seen a massive increase in the number of users. There are already more than on the previous system, and the company believes this will eventually expand to around 4,000 users, compared to just 800 on the old platform. The self-service nature of the tools has meant the team has not seen any significant increase in support requirements.

Conclusion: A New BI Strategy, Now More Than Ever

In conclusion, VELUX had a lot in common with many other mature, BI-using organizations. If your organization is still primarily pursing a centralized, top-down BI strategy, it’s time to take a look at the new technology possibilities to get more data and control into the hands of business users, and pursue a “network of truth” BI strategy.

To learn more about Velux’s BI journey, key findings and successes, please read my full blog post on SCN, including a video of the Gurus for BI presentation and a one-on-one interview with Anders Reinhardt from Velux by Thierry Audas, SAP.


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