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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
January 27, 2006 Issue
 
  By DM Review Editorial Staff

Restoration Hardware Deploys Retail Business Intelligence Solution from Netezza and QuantiSense

Restoration Hardware has successfully deployed an integrated retail business intelligence solution from Netezza Corporation and its partner QuantiSense. The solution combines the Netezza Performance Server system and the QuantiSense BI software suite. By deploying this solution, Restoration Hardware, a multichannel retailer, has achieved a single view of critical business information down to a very granular level. Although still in the early stages of implementation, the integrated Netezza/QuantiSense solution has enabled Restoration Hardware to gain in-depth insight into its business through comprehensive analysis of merchandise, inventory and sales data.

Restoration Hardware is a provider of high-quality textiles, furniture, lighting, bathware, hardware and decorative accessories. With thousands of stock keeping units (SKUs) across multiple channels and a growing business, the retailer required a business intelligence system that would quickly return results. The NPS data warehouse appliance and QuantiSense enable Restoration Hardware to view merchandise information from retail, catalog, e-Store and outlet channels by simplifying and consolidating data into a central repository. As a result, the retailer can now query data such as sales, inventory, merchandise hierarchy and geography to make informed business decisions.

"The combination of QuantiSense's integrated multichannel retail BI solution running on Netezza's powerful platform puts very detailed information at our fingertips and, in the short time we've been using this system, we're seeing benefits from the improved business intelligence," said Jeff Turner, chief information officer, Restoration Hardware. "The Netezza/QuantiSense solution delivered on the promise that it would be implemented and delivering results in less than 100 days."

Netezza and QuantiSense partnered in 2005 to provide retailers with an industry-specific business intelligence appliance that enables comprehensive retail analysis against a terabyte-sized data warehouse. QuantiSense's retail BI application offers easily deployed yet sophisticated data modeling and an array of quickly configured dashboards, reports, metrics, agents and workflow options. The application also provides data extraction services that join a variety of data sources, providing an accurate and thorough picture of the entire retail operation. With the Netezza Performance Server system underneath, reports and queries come back with blinding speed.

Sony of Canada Selects Firstlogic's Data Quality Platform Supporting End Goals of More Targeted Customer Campaigns, Cost Savings

Sony of Canada Ltd., Canada's leading electronic and computer products solutions provider for consumers and business, has selected and deployed Firstlogic's data quality technology with SAP solution-based connectivity to manage the cleansing of its enterprise-wide, million customer databases. With the Firstlogic technology implementation, Sony of Canada expects enterprise wide customer data accuracy and cost savings for the organization.

Sony of Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, is using Firstlogic's natively integrated Global Data Quality Connector, which offers global address assignment, comprehensive duplicate detection, and convenient record searching at multiple touch points within the SAP R/3 and mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) solutions. Sony of Canada is a long-time SAP customer, having implemented SAP R/3 in 1997 and mySAP CRM in2000.

"Firstlogic's data quality solution was selected in large part due to the product's tight integration with SAP solutions," said Harold Lewkowicz, manager of SAP applications for Sony of Canada. "It fits seamlessly into the SAP solution-based process from the user perspective. We have been very pleased with our results to date."

According to Lewkowicz, mySAP CRM and the SAP Marketing and Campaign Management packaged solution were implemented initially to support Sony of Canada's rapidly growing B2C site. Lewkowicz said the major challenge the company faced was integrating and enriching the consumer database, with names entering the system through a wide variety of sources including warranty cards, retail stores, Sonystyle Web site and the service center, as well as the Sony Help Desk Interaction Center.

"We initially wanted data cleansing tools for the consumer database," added Lewkowicz. "With multiple source systems providing us names, we were concerned about generating more than one distinct record per customer. We have implemented the online version of Firstlogic's data quality solution into our contact center so that customer validation and address cleansing can occur in real time against the Canada Post file before the data is loaded into mySAP CRM. We are working towards cleansing from all of our touch points enterprise-wide."

American Identity Selects Information Builders as Its Business Intelligence Standard

American Identity of Overland Park, Kansas has selected Information Builders' WebFOCUS software to create and deliver reports for finance, sales, client services and other business functions.

"WebFOCUS has become our corporate standard for enterprise reporting," said Mark Sullivan, IT Director at American Identity. "The software is ideal for organizations that want to place responsibility for reporting in the hands of business users. It is a great product that is instrumental for many activities."

From creating the first eStores to developing its own line of apparel and headwear, American Identity has been a leader in the branded merchandise industry for more than 50 years. Approximately 350 companies in the Fortune 1000, along with numerous small and midsize companies, have chosen American Identity to create and sell custom merchandise such as mouse pads, shirts, hats, key chains and coffee mugs.

American Identity's initial objective with BI technology is to drive down the cost of reporting by supplying end-user reporting tools to the entire organization. The company was careful to select a BI environment that is accessible to a broad base of users not just application developers or systems analysts. American Identity favored WebFOCUS due to its tight integration with Microsoft Excel, its unique approach to parameterized ad hoc reporting, and its mature facilities for report bursting and distribution, which allow developers to parse lengthy reports and distribute specific portions to designated users by email. They also appreciate Information Builders' licensing terms, which stipulate no charge for end users who simply run standard reports.

American Identity worked closely with Information Builders' Consulting and Education departments to implement the WebFOCUS software and replace approximately one dozen field sales and commission reports that had been created with a legacy reporting package. Seven software developers have been trained to use WebFOCUS to create business intelligence applications for accounting, inventory control, e-commerce, client support and other departments. American Identity is also using WebFOCUS to develop external reports for customers who need to access information about activity at their Web Stores. "With our former reporting software, we had to modify reports whenever a user wanted something as simple as a specific date range," Sullivan noted. "With WebFOCUS, users can make these changes by themselves."

NYU School of Medicine Selects Compellent Storage Area Network for Continuous Protection of Critical Data

NYU School of Medicine, one of the nation's leading centers of advanced biomedical learning, has selected Compellent's Storage Center storage area network (SAN) for continuous protection of email and student data.

The NYU School of Medicine IT team manages email, file servers and other administrative software for the schools more than 12,000 faculty, students and staff, who rely on email as their primary communications tool. After three years of utilizing data storage and recovery tools that frequently required a day or two to resurrect a lost volume, the school recognized the need to move to an enterprise storage solution.

Delays in recovery and email downtime can have serious consequences, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in funding if grant deadlines are missed. "As a world-class medical school, our students and faculty rely on IT services to share research data, submit grant applications and distribute course materials," said Jeff Berliner, director of systems for NYU School of Medicine. "Compellent gives me the security to know that I can immediately recover to any point in time in the event of data loss or even just a deleted file. Compellent allows me to perform as a world-class IT shop."

FE Global Selects QlikTech to Boost Real-Time Supply Chain Management

Leading global electronic components distributor FE Global Electronics has adopted QlikView, QlikTech's fast and flexible business analysis solution, to analyze and improve its business performance. FE Global selected QlikView for its ability to consolidate data from various business sources, including supply chain data from SAP systems, and provide a common view of key performance indicators to decision makers across the company.

Over the past 15 years, FE Global has seen spectacular growth from 2.3m in 1991 to 260m in 2004. More than 700 staff are employed worldwide, dealing with 80 major suppliers and 1,000 active customers. Such wide distribution coverage created a complex web of supplier and customer relationships, each requiring careful sales analysis, management of inventory levels and proactive monitoring of accounts. As a result, decision makers struggled to get consistent, usable information from their existing reporting systems. To remedy this, FE Global embarked on a business intelligence (BI) initiative to improve business analysis and performance.

"Our business runs at very competitive margins, so we needed a BI solution that would help us completely understand and manage our cash flow. We initially looked at traditional OLAP-based products, but after taking a closer look at QlikTech we decided to go with QlikView," said Tay Hung Chuan, senior IT manager for FE Global. "We liked the architecture of QlikView; the ease of data consolidation was a key consideration. At the same time, portability was important for our users throughout the region to work with the system online or offline, and only QlikView offered that."

Intuit's QuickBooks 2006 Achieves Fast, Easy Data Integration with Pervasive Software

QuickBooks from Intuit, a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, consumers and accounting professionals, now contains Pervasive's data integration software. The Pervasive Integration Engine is embedded within the QuickBooks Data Conversion Tool, allowing seamless, do-it-yourself data conversion to QuickBooks. The Data Conversion Tool supports all 2005 and 2006 registered versions of QuickBooks including Pro, Premier, Enterprise and all industry specific solutions.

Previously, Intuit used a "high touch" conversion process that utilized a team of hourly employees taking calls and performing manual exports, data manipulation via Excel macros, manual imports and data entry that required, on average, three to five days per conversion. With the new Data Conversion Tool, new QuickBooks users can easily, quickly and cost effectively convert data from competitive products.

Traditionally, potential customers of accounting systems are hesitant to switch products, even when products such as QuickBooks better met their business needs. Pervasive was able to create a simple, wizard-based conversion tool that effectively eliminates that barrier. Intuit reports that in the first three months the tool has been available, six times as many customers have converted from a competitive product to QuickBooks than all of the previous year.

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For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Business Intelligence, Business Process Management, Data Integration, Data Quality, Storage and Supply Chain.

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



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