Business Objects calls real-time at the bar

Mitchells and Butlers, the company that runs the All Bar One and Harvester Restaurant chains, has begun upgrading its IT...

Mitchells and Butlers, the company that runs the All Bar One and Harvester Restaurant chains, has begun upgrading its IT infrastructure to support real-time business reporting.

The company has started deploying Business Objects’ integration, reporting and data analysis tools as the first step to achieving its goal.

It has replaced its original 35-user Business Objects licence, which allowed staff to build their own reports, with a 1,000-user web-access version, which will

allow managers to view reports online.

Paul Tomkinson, integration manager at Mitchells and Butlers, said the business faced a problem in providing web-based intelligence to the 2,100 outlets it managed. At the same time, company chairman Tim Clarke wanted to get data to the business more quickly.

A non-executive board member at Debenhams, Clarke was impressed by the department store’s ability to report data in real time and set the same goal at Mitchells and Butlers.

Real-time access to business information is one of the ways IT can have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line, according to analyst company Gartner, which has coined the term "real- time enterprise" to describe the free flow of information across a business.

Tomkinson will support the new reporting system by upgrading the networks of existing outlets to ADSL, replacing servers in bars and restaurants and deploying a new point of sale system. When the roll-out is complete, he said, "A pint of Carling sold at the Dog and Duck at 10pm would be on our system by 10.15pm."

A key benefit of the reporting system, Tomkinson said, would be its ability to allow Mitchells & Butlers to monitor fraud in real time.

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