Implementing IBM Cognos ICM at Varian
Varian Medical Systems is a leading silicon-valley firm in the field of medical devices. A decision was made in 2010 to evaluate and transform the commission plans. This endeavor revealed to stakeholders that the spreadsheet based system used to calculate these plans didn’t work well, and would be a challenge to update to support new plans. Which is something the sales force knew very well, as they were used to seeing and reporting errors in their pay.
Based predominately in Excel workbooks with complex formulas, multiple worksheets for each of the 70+ payees, hundreds of manual entries, and updates to the files every quarter, errors were the norm rather than the exception, and payees expected and reported them each quarter. This process required two weeks of work for four employees dedicated to manually updating data, checking and updating formulas, importing data, and creating manual reports for each payee.
This resulted in hundreds of hours each quarter spent on a manual system that ultimately created more work in correcting its errors that were only detected after the payees received their quarterly payments.
Varian picked IBM’s Cognos ICM software, then known as Varicent, to replace the manual spreadsheets. The initial implementation in 2011 ran i to several hurdles and the project was put on hold, to be resumed later in 2012.
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