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Name: Eelco Spiker
Position: Hyperion & SAP BW Application Specialist
"Maxxium is a joint venture between four large 'spirits and wines' producers: Remy Cointreau (FR), Jim Beam Brands (US), The Edrington Group (UK), and Vin & Sprit (SE). Our most famous brands are Remy Martin cognac, Jim Beam bourbon, the Famous Grouse whisky, and Absolut vodka. Maxxium provides global marketing, sales and distribution (to wholesalers, hotels and bars, and large retail chains) and we are present in 60 markets with 1800 employees and an annual turnover of 2 billion euros (07/08). Reporting all these sales to our four shareholders is of course the fourth function of Maxxium, and this is where Jeroen Nathalia and Top Dimension have played an important role.

Maxxium started in 1999 with a multitude of local transactional systems and all markets had to report flat files, via email, which were then uploaded into Hyperion Enterprise and OLAP TM1 and finally distributed to management in the form of Cognos Powerplay cubes. This was all Remy legacy and the first big evolution was to implement Hyperion Essbase with the Executive Viewer on top. An implementation partner started work on our complex model, which requires ten reporting dimensions and currency conversion, but performance was slow and because of long loading and calculation times, the maintenance was quite difficult. Jeroen Nathalia, whom I knew from my previous company Vanenburg, was asked to do a quick scan of our Essbase model. He estimated he could bring our calc time from hours to minutes…and he did!

Over the past seven years, Jeroen and Top Dimension have added many improvements to our Essbase model. Most notably a cube rotation system that allows one cube to be reloaded and recalculated while another remains available for reporting. That means we no longer have any downtime for loading and maintenance, which is a huge advantage if you have operations in all time zones. They also added an eleventh virtual dimension to Essbase that merges specific combinations of products and markets into 'focus categories'.

In 2002, Maxxium was the first company in the Netherlands to implement Hyperion Financial Management (HFM). From that moment on we could collect local results through the web, perform consolidation in HFM, and feed Essbase from our SQL database. Top Dimension are familiar with our ETL process and have helped us through several upgrades.

Today, Maxxium has a global SAP ERP system with SCM, CRM, FICO and Business Warehouse. Nevertheless, the flexibility of our Essbase model and the user-friendly Executive Viewer front-end have remained the core of our management reporting. I believe that the long term relationship we’ve enjoyed with Jeroen Nathalia and Top Dimension, and their insight into our business model, can be considered one of the key success factors of the Maxxium Finance function.
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