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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
March 10, 2006 Issue
  By DM Review Editorial Staff

Abacus Selects MicroStrategy for Enhanced Marketing Campaign Reporting and Analysis

Abacus, a leading provider of data-driven marketing services, selected MicroStrategy to provide enhanced database reporting and analysis services for its clients. MicroStrategy anchors the Abacus ClearEDGE marketing database solution, designed to improve the way multichannel merchants plan, coordinate and manage targeted marketing campaigns.

Using MicroStrategy, Abacus helps its clients collect, manage and interpret data that gives them greater insights into their customers, enabling them to improve customer acquisition and retention with direct access to transactional data. With MicroStrategy's intuitive Web interface, Abacus clients can drill down to the granular level of their data to better understand customer buying behavior, including where they shop, what they buy, what marketing promotions they respond to, and which sales channels they use to make purchases.

"We chose MicroStrategy over the other BI products because it was clearly the best fit for our clients," said Jeff Hassemer, Director of Product Strategy for Abacus. "Our clients represent a broad cross-section of catalogers, specialty retailers, and B2B marketers from a wide variety of industries. We continually seek ways to provide them with better information, and MicroStrategy provides the reporting flexibility and analytical capabilities that our clients demand."

Crystal Xcelsius Helps TNS Deliver Projects on Time

TNSInfo, the online information analysis and reporting specialist from TNS, has deployed Crystal Xcelsius, the interactive data visualization and analytics solution from Business Objects, to instantly provide its management team with clear signposts to keep research projects on track.

TNSInfo uses Crystal Xcelsius to create project-monitoring portals to track progress and provide headline results of its multinational European surveys. This includes its high-profile European Union Standard Eurobarometer project based in Brussels.

Teams in each of the 33 participating countries log on to the portal and input their status online. These results are then updated in the company's SQL database and Crystal Xcelsius is used to rapidly update this information within the graphical management console.

TNSInfo uses Crystal Xcelsius to display the information in a map format that uses traffic light colors to show the status of each country. With its stunning visual analytics, Crystal Xcelsius enables managers to quickly and easily see if there are any problems, either in the number of questionnaires being completed or the responses being given.

"Our work is time-critical for our clients, so we have to ensure that we deliver what the clients need, when they need it," explained Ulf Andersen, Head of TNSInfo. "What Crystal Xcelsius gives us is the ability to see the status of projects in multiple countries at a single glance, and then resolve any issues before they become problems, saving time and money."

IKEA Deploys DataCore Virtual Storage Solutions Globally

IKEA has selected DataCore's SANmelody disk server software to manage, protect and virtualize their data storage. The SANmelody software will transform standard Dell PC servers and their disks into storage networking capable "disk servers," which can then be supported from a single central location in Werne, Germany. SANmelody enables disk capacity to be served and provisioned to a wide variety of different Windows and UNIX systems, including enterprise IBM AIX Clusters.

SANmelody added a new level of data protection to IKEA's storage. DataCore's high availability data mirroring and seamless failover technologies enable the data to be served continuously to support business critical applications, especially those in warehousing and logistics. The Swedish furnishing house has also benefited greatly from the performance acceleration that SANmelody delivers and, in some cases, IKEA has witnessed a tenfold increase in performance.

DataCore's SANmelody was recommended after testing by IKEA's Global Infrastructure Group, the largest IT department within the Swedish furnishing giant and the IT group responsible for all internal data storage and high availability system designs. Previously, IKEA used IBM SSA storage technology, which will not be supported into the future - hence, IKEA launched an evaluation to find a new storage solution. SANmelody was selected for its flexibility and because of the fact that it outperformed in terms of price performance the hardware- based solutions that were tested.

"High availability, performance and flexibility were the decisive criteria and factors we used in choosing a storage solution," said Andreas Trockle, technology specialist of IKEA's Global Infrastructure Group. "After having been convinced of the functionality and reliability of the SANmelody solution through intensive testing and with the installations proceeding very smoothly so far, we are more than satisfied with our decision in favor of our choice to use DataCore for critical storage operations. The performance gains were a bit unexpected as we saw up to a tenfold factor of acceleration in comparison with the IBM SSA systems, which was a real quantum jump."

Macy's Northwest Fashions a Best-Selling Data Protection Solution with BakBone's NetVault

Macy's Northwest, one of five regional Macy's divisions nationwide, has deployed BakBone NetVault Backup for Mac OS X to protect more than 10 terabytes of business-critical data across its heterogeneous environment while expediting the company's server-driven digital workflow initiatives.

Macy's Northwest is the first region in the department store chain to switch exclusively to digital photography, even for on-location photo shoots. While moving to an all-digital workflow saved Macy's more than $1 million annually by eliminating film and film-scanning costs, the all-digital transition created a surge in storage, as well as backup and recovery requirements.

Traditionally, the group relied on tape-based data protection, which became unwieldy and too time consuming to manage. Additionally, Macy's Northwest found limitations with its Macintosh-based EMC Dantz Retrospect and Software Generation's FlashNet backup and recovery software, which proved inadequate for scaling its growing Apple enterprise.

In seeking an enterprise-class data protection platform, Macy's Northwest sought disk-based backup and full interoperability with Macintosh and Sun Solaris environments. Of the department's 35 servers, Macy's Northwest supports 25 powerful Xserve G5 servers, Xserve RAID delivering cutting-edge, self-contained storage, as well as complete storage area network (SAN) integration and management via Xsan. According to Uwe Nausner, director of technology for Macy's Northwest, only BakBone Software had a solution that was interoperable with Apple's server and storage product lines while also delivering full heterogeneous platform support.

"Through centralized management, BakBone NetVault Backup for Mac has significantly reduced the time required to manage our environment," Nausner adds. "Backups are 10 times faster and restores also have been greatly improved. If an end user accidentally deletes an original graphics file or loses data, we can restore it in minutes instead of days. BakBone's VDL technology enables us to leverage the latest RAID technology for the fastest possible backups and restores of our critical marketing data."

Prominent Swiss Bank Completes IMS DB to Relational Database Application Migration Project with BluePhoenix

BluePhoenix Solutions has announced the completion of an IMS DB to DB2 application migration project for a Swiss bank in partnership with Ness Technologies, a global provider of end-to-end IT services and solutions. The BluePhoenix DBMSMigrator for IMS tool was used to perform the database and application migration.

"Consolidating and migrating to a new relational database will not only give the organization greater flexibility, but will significantly reduce costs involved in maintaining dual production environments, especially as the migration concerns a complete and fully integrated banking system for a prominent Swiss bank," said Bernard Ferber, Managing Director of Ness Switzerland.

IMS (information management system) is a hierarchical database and information management system created by IBM in 1966. Today, the majority of the top worldwide companies still use IMS to run their daily operations. DL/I (data language/I) is the hierarchical database management system for VSE (virtual system environment), an older IBM operating system designed for smaller mainframes.

"Companies in the financial services industry are branching out, offering new services, modernizing processes, and seeking to deliver ever-better customer service in order to stay competitive," said Shai Onn, executive vice president of business development, at Ness Technologies. "However, in order to be able to do this they must first modernize their large, aging IT infrastructures. Together with BluePhoenix, we are now able to offer these organizations a comprehensive and efficient way to modernize."

The BluePhoenix DBMSMigrator for IMS tool was used to perform the migration from IMS to DB2 offering the organization a secured and largely automated execution of the project while allowing the organization to continue the application development and maintenance during the entire project.

Pacific Select Group Selects SunGard's Protegent for Brokerage Compliance

Pacific Select Group (PSG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Life Insurance Company, has chosen SunGard's Protegent Surveillance brokerage compliance solution. PSG will roll out Protegent Surveillance as part of its AdvisorConnect integrated suite to independent firms within PSG's broker/dealer network to assist the firms and their registered representatives with determining suitability of investments for their clients, analyzing the quality of supervision and practice, and responding quickly to regulatory and legislative requirements.

Mike Graham, vice president of technology at PSG, said, "Protegent Surveillance is one of the most comprehensive compliance solutions available. It will provide our broker/dealers with a more efficient, cost-effective way to automate and accelerate review of trades in the field. Not only will Protegent Surveillance help to expedite trading for reps, it will provide efficiencies for our broker/dealers' home offices and compliance officers."

PSG's independent broker/dealers will use Protegent Surveillance as their primary tool for determining suitability and providing surveillance. By integrating with PSG's AdvisorConnect platform to perform pre- and post-trade review, Protegent Surveillance will give compliance staff the ability to automatically identify exceptions. Protegent Surveillance will augment AdvisorConnect's automated trading process, providing reps with the ability to open a brokerage account and enter trades online, conduct trades more efficiently and provide more comprehensive service to their clients.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), Compliance, Data Visualization, Database Marketing, Query & Reporting and Storage.

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

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