Exalead, a global provider of search-based business application (SBA) technology, today announced that Natixis Private Equity has selected the Exalead CloudView platform to equip its 300 financial analysts with more intelligent access to the group's information assets.
Natixis Private Equity is the leading provider of private equity services in France for SMEs (businesses valued from €50 to €500 million) and a branch of Natixis, the corporate and investment bank owned by France's second largest banking group, BCPE. NPE's 300 employees are organised into 20 teams in 10 countries, and manage a €4billion portfolio of 695 investments.
To make the wisest investment decisions possible, private equity professionals need both a deep understanding of the markets they serve as well as perfect visibility into the companies in which they currently or may potentially invest. Accordingly, in 2007, Natixis Private Equity sought to equip its analysts with more effective access to information within the group's CRM system (Microsoft Dynamics) and a collection of nearly 15 million documents (2.2 million documents, 1.5 million active e-mails, 10 million archived e-mails, and 120,000 press articles).
After an unsuccessful two-year experience with Autonomy, Natixis Private Equity decided a change of strategy was required, and they turned to Exalead CloudView to meet their information access needs.
"Our first attempt with Autonomy was difficult, but it provided us with valuable insights. From that early experience, we knew we needed a tool that was at once full-featured but also simple and flexible, one that we could easily adapt and evolve as our needs changed. This was exactly the solution we found in Exalead, in addition to a closer, more responsive support team,"explained Brice Delons, CIO at Natixis Private Equity.
Natixis Private Equity was able to integrate CloudView into their information systems in just five days, with the out-of-the-box interface delivering an immediately satisfying user experience. CloudView's dynamic data classification and categorisation capabilities hide the complexities of Natixis Private Equity's heterogeneous information systems, and the platform provides simple tools for adapting the solution to the group's unique body of knowledge and research habits.
"Our staff now has easy access to reliable and timely information," declared Mr. Delons. "With Exalead CloudView, we are able to provide our employees with unified access to our enterprise data, regardless of the source or format and independent of the original application. More importantly, it permits a cross-referencing and enrichment of information across these heterogeneous applications, helping our analysts to better understand the available information and to make smarter investment decisions as a result."
A Limited TCO and a Rapid ROI
Natixis Private Equity chose Exalead CloudView after an extensive study of the information access technologies available in the marketplace. "We were impressed with the indexing capacity and performance of CloudView, and we quickly realised that Exalead's solution - in contrast to the platform we had originally chosen - would allow us to deliver a search service that would bring real value to our end users while enabling us to control our total investment (software, service, hardware and maintenance)," noted Mr. Delons.
"In addition, we were able to integrate the solution into our existing architecture quickly and non-intrusively, while meeting all our security requirements. The platform offered native connectors for all the information sources we wanted to index, and consumes very lean resources. As a result, we achieved a significant reduction in costs while gaining important functional enhancements for our users - a key accomplishment."
Going Further with Exalead
Natixis Private Equity now plans to extend the search service to additional data silos, and to explore new navigational and reporting possibilities for their newly unified information assets.
"With Exalead CloudView, the team at Natixis Private Equity is benefitting from a highly innovative service that permits them to at once improve their productivity and to gain a more comprehensive vision of information - a real asset when one is striving to achieve a clear understanding of opportunities and risks against a backdrop of large volumes of data," explained Alain Cotte, CEO, Exalead. "It's a solution that perfectly represents the value of search and search based applications: to rapidly make information more accessible, timely, and relevant in order to deliver a significant bottom line benefit to businesses."