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Specsavers Powers Enterprise Business Intelligence Applications With Pentaho and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

UK's Most Trusted Optician Delivers Enterprise Business Intelligence Using Integrated Solutions From Pentaho and Red Hat

ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 06/16/09 -- Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence, today announced that Specsavers, the UK's most trusted optical retailer, is deploying business intelligence (BI) to its international hubs, based on a platform using Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform and Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition. The deployment allows Specsavers to standardize information delivery and metrics at a regional level to help drive continued growth and to maximize corporate agility.

Historically, consistent transaction and customer data from Specsavers UK, the Republic of Ireland and Netherlands stores has been collected centrally as part of the normal daily process. For the last ten years, Specsavers has employed multiple BI systems to analyze and report on this data. However, growth over the last few years has focused on new markets in Scandinavia and Asia Pacific with the acquisition and merger of multiple companies, inheriting their disparate legacy systems and data sets. With a desire to provide meaningful reporting and metrics in this mixed international environment, and to be able to respond quickly to market opportunities and provide the best possible service to its customers, Specsavers carried out a review of its BI strategy, resulting in its decision to deploy Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition to support more than 2000 retail stores around the globe.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux was selected for superior performance, reliability and security at a significantly reduced cost in comparison with proprietary solutions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is running on an Intel platform on Fujitsu Siemens hardware for both servers and store desktops. Specsavers is also using Red Hat Satellite Server to centrally monitor and update all Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations.

"Pentaho continues to deliver customer success on Red Hat platforms for small-and-medium businesses and large enterprises alike," said Phil Andrews, regional director for the United Kingdom and Ireland at Red Hat. "Pentaho continues to show strength in the BI market, and is an important part of many of our customer deployments like Specsavers. Pentaho continues to be a key partner for Red Hat."

Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition was selected based on its breadth of BI capabilities, its proven deployability in sophisticated and large-scale BI environments, and its significant cost advantages compared to traditional proprietary BI solutions. Pentaho Data Integration is used to extract and integrate information from multiple internal applications and databases into a MySQL-based data warehouse. Pentaho Reporting provides interactive web-based information access as well as regular, automated e-mail distribution of standardized corporate reports, while Pentaho Dashboards provide immediate visibility into key company, regional, and store metrics for users at all levels of the organization. Finally, Pentaho Analysis is used for interactive data exploration, allowing business users to analyze information by multiple business dimensions, comparing product lines, stores, regions, and time periods across a wide range of metrics.

"Red Hat and Pentaho provide a great BI solution for us," said Michel Khan, chief information officer at Specsavers. "We're delivering enterprise-wide applications, and continuously improving our ability to use technology to benefit our business, while reducing and containing costs by using proven commercial open source software from leaders like Red Hat and Pentaho."

About Specsavers: Specsavers was founded in 1984 by Doug and Mary Perkins, who opened their first Specsavers value-for-money, quality eyecare opticians in Guernsey and Bristol, followed shortly by stores in Plymouth, Swansea and Bath. For the past eight years it has been voted Britain's most-trusted brand of opticians by Reader's Digest.

The company has grown rapidly and it is now the largest, privately owned optical group in the world. It pioneered the joint venture partnership approach to eyecare and in 2002 extended its value for money offer to include hearing services. Specsavers now has 1400 optical and hearing stores in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand. It also has its own lens manufacturing laboratories -- three of the largest in Europe and two in Asia Pacific, which means that it is able to supply the latest high-tech lenses at high volume and low cost.

Specsavers is also market leader in contact lenses, with its own brand of easyvision monthly and daily disposable lenses. It has also pioneered the use of continuous-wear lenses and is estimated to have over 30 per cent of the UK market. Furthermore, Specsavers is the largest provider of home-delivery contact lenses in Europe through its Lensmail service.

Specsavers has always maintained the Perkins' philosophy of providing affordable, fashionable eyecare for everyone. The company keeps its prices low, but does not stint on quality, investing in new technology and continuing to scour the world for fashionable frames to suit all ages.

About Pentaho Corporation

Pentaho Corporation is the commercial open source alternative for Business Intelligence (BI). Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition provides comprehensive reporting, OLAP analysis, dashboards, data integration / ETL, data mining and a BI platform that have made it the world's leading and most widely deployed commercial open source BI suite. Pentaho provides support, services, and product enhancements via an annual subscription that can lower total cost of ownership by 90% compared to traditional, proprietary BI offerings. Since its 2004 founding as the pioneer in open source BI, Pentaho's products have been downloaded more than five million times, with production deployments at companies ranging from small organizations to The Global 2000. For more information, visit www.pentaho.com.

Pentaho Media Contact
Samantha Hallock
Eastwick Communications
650.480.4071
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