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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
June 10, 2005 Issue
  By DM Review Editorial Staff

Schwab Selects Teradata Data Warehouse Technology to Enhance Customer Service and Reduce IT Complexity

Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation, announced that Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., the brokerage subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation, has selected Teradata data warehousing technology to support the firm's reporting and analytical needs.

As one of the nation's largest financial services companies, Schwab selected Teradata's data warehouse for its high-performing parallel database technology, linear scalability and ability to support real-time business intelligence. With both historical and current operational data consolidated into one central warehouse, front-line employees can have direct access to a single version of information for both analytics and decision-support needs. In addition, the consolidation of data marts will also help the company reduce information-technology complexity and improve customer service at lower costs.

By consolidating and simplifying our data warehousing platforms, we believe that considerable cost savings and operating efficiencies can be achieved across the company," said Scott Strait, chief technology officer at Charles Schwab. "With both operational and customer data stored in one central repository, the business can easily manage, access and analyze information for faster decision-making and improved customer service.

GoldMine Helps JewishGen Users Trace Their Roots

When JewishGen, a worldwide online resource for Jewish genealogical information affiliated with Museum of Jewish Heritage, found its rudimentary contact management system could not handle the rapid growth of its database of records of donors and users, the 18-year-old organization based in New York City turned to GoldMine software from FrontRange Solutions and FrontRange Partner Professional edge for customization services.

Founded in 1987 as a message-based bulletin-board system, JewishGen moved to the Web in 1994 and now offers people around the world access to nearly 9 million genealogical records. The organization incorporated as a not-for-profit entity in 1996 when it acquired the hard copy records of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, which has grown into the Internet version of the JewishGen Family Finder available today.

In the last several years, JewishGen found its rapid growth of users and donors doubling to more than 50,000, which was overwhelming its very basic contact management system. Susan King, JewishGen's Founder and Managing Director, retained Professional edge to provide a customized GoldMine solution that would enable her to interface with various legacy databases and pinpoint potential donors and volunteers for specific initiatives.

Professional edge customized GoldMine to provide several critical capabilities:

  • Central User Registration Environment (CURE) - CURE allows users to register once and provides them with a unique JewishGen identification number. King can track a wide range of individual user activities on the site, including log-ins, areas of interest and donations.
  • GoldMine's Details Plus - Details Plus creates a volunteer management system that tracks information about volunteers' interests and contributions, as well as their material donations.
  • RE SQL Interface - CURE interfaces with JewishGen's SQL List Server, so that when a user registers through CURE they are automatically added to JewishGen's mailing list, streamlining processes and strengthening relationships.

"GoldMine is a common thread that runs through our business," King said. "Before GoldMine, sorting through 50,000 names in multiple databases was an unmanageable task. Our database is now almost at 100,000 users, and we are averaging 5,500 new registrations per month." ing's future plans for GoldMine include migrating some aspects of JewishGen into fee-based subscription services to augment donations and continue to develop value-added features.

Briggs & Stratton Harness the Power of SAS BI Company Wide

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, a manufacturer of air-cooled gasoline engines, provides the power for lawn mowers, generators and other outdoor equipment for thousands of original equipment manufacturers around the world. But when it comes to interpreting and using massive amounts of data for strategic advantage, Briggs & Stratton turns to SAS Business Intelligence to power its decision-making abilities.

Briggs & Stratton is now taking its company intelligence to a higher level by implementing the SAS Enterprise BI Server, putting critical information in the hands of users throughout the organization. SAS provides executives and managers at Briggs & Stratton with stronger, more strategic information than ever before, information that supports better decision-making. The result is higher-quality work and more informed workers throughout the company, which leads to happier customers and greater profitability.

"The SAS Enterprise BI Server has greatly narrowed the gap between data and users in our organization by providing consistent data across the board for many of our operational managers and users throughout the world," said Grant Felsing, manager of decision support at Briggs & Stratton and a long-time SAS user. "SAS BI is fast, accurate and consistent so our executives and those who make decisions here can have great confidence in the intelligence at their fingertips."

Briggs & Stratton, in the outdoor power equipment business for more than 90 years and based out of Wauwatosa, Wis., employs 1,000 users that are identified for the distribution of reports across the company, from accounting to engineering to service and operations control. More than 50 are hands-on information producers using SAS, according to Felsing.

"SAS BI allowed us to consolidate our information assets and deliver it globally to our manufacturing offices - particularly North America, China and Europe - in a report that's easy for our non-technical users, and all on one single BI platform," said Felsing. "It's given us a global reach with reporting on a level we've never had before."

Beverly Enterprises Selects DataDirect Technologies for Business-Critical .NET Application Development

DataDirect Technologies, a leading provider of components for connecting software to data, announced that Beverly Enterprises, a premier provider of healthcare services for the elderly, has achieved significant results after integrating DataDirect Connect for .NET into its business-critical financial application. DataDirect Connect for .NET is implemented in Service-to-Cash (S2C), a custom-built application that facilitates and expedites the accounts receivable processes for its nursing homes, therapy operations and hospice centers across North America.

Reaching the limitations of its 20-year-old legacy systems, Beverly Enterprises developed S2C to accelerate the company's payment processes and reduce the amount of time it took to receive payment for services rendered. For S2C to realize its promise, the application needed to have a simple user interface for the hundreds of personnel accessing the system from various locations across the country. In addition, Microsoft's .NET Framework allowed the application development team to build a very usable front-end interface, but it was still faced with the complex challenge of accessing critical data stored in the existing IBM DB2 mainframe database.

To address this need, the company turned to DataDirect Technologies to provide reliable and high-performance data connectivity from its .NET application to its DB2 mainframe database. Beverly Enterprises found DataDirect Connect for .NET easy to install and maintain, providing the speed, simplicity and scalability to run S2C on a daily basis. The driver was such a success streamlining payment processes that it contributed to a 22 percent reduction in accounts receivable, a 34 percent reduction in credits and a 17 percent reduction in days sales outstanding.

"Building a .NET application on a DB2 mainframe database is a challenging job, but DataDirect Connect for .NET was the missing puzzle piece that saved us a lot of time and money," said Conrad Wolf, systems architect and database administrator at Beverly Enterprises. "DataDirect Connect for .NET is truly the backbone of our S2C application, accelerating payment processes, reducing collection time and directly benefiting the bottom line."

Albridge Solutions to Provide Princor Financial with Web-Based Portfolio Accounting and Performance Reporting Solution

Albridge Solutions, an industry leader in enterprise financial data consolidation and portfolio accounting and performance reporting, announced that Princor Financial Services Corp., a member of Principal Financial Group, the nation's 401(k) leader and total retirement solutions innovator, has selected Albridge Solutions' Web-based Wealth Reporting application for their registered representatives.

Albridge Solutions' extensive data interface capabilities will consolidate the proprietary mutual fund and insurance products offered by The Principal along with brokerage and other non-proprietary investments to provide Princor Registered Representatives with an automated and comprehensive view of their clients' assets.

Looking to expand its "virtual office" capabilities for enhanced efficiency in providing timely and accurate data quickly, Princor will also be utilizing Albridge's Web Services platform. Albridge Web Services will seamlessly and securely pass valuable consolidated client, account and holding information from the Albridge web application to other critical applications used by Princor representatives in their practices, such as eMoney Advisor for financial planning and Morningstar's Advisor Work Station for mutual fund analytics.

Princor Financial Services has also subscribed to Albridge's Replicated Data Services to help expand the back office data warehousing capabilities at Princor. Albridge's data replication delivers a fully reconciled and consolidated set of files encompassing the prior day's investment activity, including transaction and position data.

"Princor Financial Services is committed to enabling our representatives with the best tools and support available in order to provide the best client services available," said Marty Richardson, vice president - Broker/Dealer Operations, Princor Financial Services. "Albridge's bundled solutions help us attain those goals while also enhancing our internal processes."

The Albridge Wealth Reporting Web-based application provides system users at all levels the ability to securely view, analyze, and report on their respective clients and/or account information. Advisors can create households or portfolios of any combination of clients or accounts; generate in-depth reports to use in their practices; and automate the preparation and distribution of regularly scheduled reports to clients, saving time and manual labor. This allows Advisors to devote more of their time to productive, client acquisition and retention activities.

JReport Empowers Cubist Pharmaceuticals with Sophisticated Online and Offline Reporting Capabilities

Jinfonet Software, a leading provider of 100 percent J2EE embedded reporting solutions, announced that Cubist Pharmaceuticals, makers of the antibiotic Cubicin, has embedded JReport into their sales force automation tool to add reporting functionality.

The Web- and mobile-enabled application supports Cubist's sales team by managing key information, including account details, account planning, contact management, Cubicin sales data, and upcoming events. It also houses an extensive document library and drug collateral order requests. JReport's reporting capabilities help Cubist's account managers to better monitor and report on all of these critical data categories, and lets them create sophisticated, customizable reports that explore relationships between data points so they can better address the needs of their customers.

"We have been pleased with the capabilities achieved by our implementation of JReport," said Anthony Murabito, Cubist's vice president of information technology. "JReport was quick and easy to install and integrated seamlessly with our sales data mart. JReport's powerful reporting capabilities provide our field force with the ability to produce instant reports to manage both user and account level business activities. Because JReport's ad hoc reporting capability is so intuitive, our entire field force was able to use it to extract data with minimal training or IT support."

JReport was the only reporting tool that was flexible enough to seamlessly integrate with the application and support its unique deployment model, which allows online and offline usage. In online usage mode, the user is connected to the application server and can run the application through Internet Explorer on any machine. In this mode, the user can browse a catalog that features a wide variety of report templates and select the one that best fits their current reporting needs. Reports created from templates are deployed via the application interface in DHTML and are fully actionable; end users can easily sort, filter and drill through reports in real-time to meet the specific data presentation requirements. Reports can be exported to a wide variety of standard formats, such as e-mail, Excel and PDF, and distributed to colleagues, partners and customers.

When a user is offline, JReport functionality is almost identical to online usage. Users can create static reports on sales data from any of the JReport templates that were preloaded on their remote computer. Once the computer is connected to the Cubist network, generated reports sync with the JReport server and immediately become actionable. At that time, users can access the full range of JReport interactive capabilities.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Business Intelligence, CRM, DW Administration, Mgmt., Performance, Query & Reporting and Web Services.

This piece has been brought to you by the DM Review Editorial staff.

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