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  Product News published in DM Direct Newsletter
February 16, 2007 Issue

Claraview Retail Data Warehouse Selected by Shoppers' Stop

Shoppers' Stop Ltd. is a leader in the Indian retail sector and one of the pioneers in setting up a large format department store chain in India. Shoppers' Stop has a national presence, with close to one million square feet of retail space and over 200 international and Indian brands represented. Shoppers' Stop has selected Claraview Retail Data Warehouse solution as the foundation for their enterprise data warehouse.

With Claraview, Shoppers' Stop will be able to analyze transaction level data to better understand the buying patterns of their loyalty card customers, analyze sales and inventory data, and create a system that can be scaled throughout their enterprise.

"Claraview's compatibility with our chosen technologies and deep experience in retail data warehousing made them an ideal partner to assist us in crafting a complete vision of our data warehouse. We wanted a solution that met our current needs, yet still provided the scalability to support our retail group including HyperCity Retail and Crosswords Bookstore brands," said B.S Nagesh, managing director. "In licensing Claraview's Retail Data Warehouse's out-of-the-box analytics, we expect to have our new data warehouse up and running in 90 days."

TMB Banks on IBM's Open, Standards-Based Approach to SOA to Enhance Market Agility and Responsiveness

TMB Bank, one of Thailand's top five banks, is streamlining business processes and improving efficiency while enhancing customer satisfaction with a service oriented architecture powered by IBM software.

As a leading Thai Bank offering a comprehensive range of consumer and commercial financial products and services with more than four million customers and 464 branches, TMB's first strategic SOA project is its Unsecured Personal Loan System to enable competitive responsiveness in the highly profitable and competitive personal loan market.

Prior to the SOA deployment, the loan processing procedure entailed data entry into multiple systems as well as numerous manual steps to perform credit checking, resulting in operational inefficiencies and lengthy customer response times. Now, with its SOA-based Unsecured Personal Loan System, business processes are streamlined through an integrated framework enabling automation of client information update, loan account opening and money transfer into the deposit account upon loan approval. Unsecured Personal Loans are now processed 50 per cent faster and, with the elimination of much of the duplicate data entry, with greater accuracy.

Through the ability to create an application once and share that data with other business applications, the SOA also enables TMB to share loan processing data with other business applications across their enterprise, providing deeper client insights in support of organic growth initiatives. With this open-standards based SOA approach, TMB can reduce application development costs and time and respond quickly to changing market dynamics.

"TMB is committed to enhancing our customers' experience with our breadth of world-class financial product and services and agile business operation capacity," said Saipin Kittipornpimol, chief information officer of TMB Bank. "With SOA, TMB is transforming its technology infrastructure to improve overall corporate agility and to enable long-term return on investment. TMB trusts IBM's SOA technology leadership and expertise to help us achieve our objectives."

TMB, in collaboration with IBM and IBM Business Partner, Blueprint Solutions Corporation, deployed the SOA based on IBM WebSphere software. The open standards solution enabled TMB to connect its previously isolated silos of critical data and software applications, enabling business process improvement, reduction of manual tasks and operational risk in compliance with Basel Capital Accord (Basel II) regulations.

State of Michigan Receives Award for its Human Resource Optimization Project

The state of Michigan, a Lawson Software Human Capital Management customer, recently received a "2006 Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Information Technology in State Government" from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). The award honors Michigan's Human Resources Optimization project, which used advanced self-service technology and a shared services model to drive multi-million dollar operational cost savings through a collaborative effort among the state's 19 departments and numerous agencies.

"This project is an excellent example of how important it is to have the business and technology areas working together to achieve the same goal. Working collaboratively with our Department of Information Technology, we were successful in streamlining business processes while leveraging technology to fundamentally change the way we deliver HR services," said Jim Farrell, state personnel director for the State of Michigan and project manager for the HR Optimization Project. "We are on track to achieve $28 million in operational savings over five years while increasing efficiencies and maintaining high levels of customer service and satisfaction."

NASCIO is the premiere network and resource for state CIOs and an effective advocate for information technology policies at all levels of government. The annual NASCIO Recognition Awards program highlights state government IT programs that exemplify best practices, support the public policy goals of state leaders, help government officials perform their duties and provide cost-effective services to citizens. Key criteria for selection include a project's significance to the operation of government; the benefits realized by service recipients, taxpayers, agency, and state; and return on investment.

Michigan's HR Optimization project focused on three key components. These included expanding Web-based self-service tools to enhance direct employee access to the Department of Civil Service's HR computer system; augmenting these tools with an "intelligent" knowledgebase to give employees data tailored to their specific employment situation; and establishing a multi-tiered service center to directly support employees and perform routine transactions thereby optimizing HR systems and reducing resource allocations statewide.

The state of Michigan earned the NASCIO award based on a number of tangible benefits:

Cost savings : Since beginning operations in August 2004, the HR Optimization project has delivered $6.9 million in cumulative savings and reduced the number of HR positions required to support the state's 55,000 employees.

Efficiency gains : During a group insurance open enrollment period, the project's shared service center handled 8,000 calls and 6,000 transactions with no reported errors. By centrally managing such routine HR tasks, the service center allows state agencies to redeploy administrative and HR support staff to more strategic activities.

Enhanced customer service : The system resulted in a fourfold increase in the use of enhanced employee self-service regarding basic HR information, giving employees greater control of their state employment experience. All service center calls are answered within 30 seconds. As a result, 97 percent of respondents to a state employee survey said they are satisfied or very satisfied with HR service.

Michigan is the nation's tenth-largest state with 9.9 million residents and the state's third-largest employer with 54,000 state employees. The Center for Digital Government's 2006 Digital States Survey ranks Michigan as first in the nation in the use of information technology to transform government. Michigan was also ranked first in the 2004 Digital States Survey and second in the 2002 Digital States Survey.

RedPrairie Announces Adoption of BlueCube Enterprise Workforce Optimization Suite by Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor has selected Red Prairie's BlueCube Enterprise Workforce Management suite to bring a more disciplined approach and process to resource and labor deployment in its stores. The agreement leverages several BlueCube Enterprise Workforce Management components, including Forecasting, Optimized Scheduling, Dashboard, Business Process Workflows and e-Learning Courseware as well as the system's Metric Reporting and Analysis components.

Scott Knaul, director of Store Operations at Ann Taylor said, "We wanted a robust tool to help our managers deploy labor more effectively in response to client traffic in our stores. We evaluated a number of providers in this area and, following a successful pilot of the BlueCube Enterprise Workforce Management suite from RedPrairie, ultimately felt that they were the right partner for us."

Prometric Selects Vantage Learning to Provide Automated Essay Scoring for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Vantage Learning and Prometric jointly announced that they have entered into an

agreement to provide intelligent, computer-based essay scoring to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for the writing section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

The agreement to utilize Vantage Learning's IntelliMetric scoring engine beginning in

2007 marks a significant step in Prometric's full implementation of the systems and procedures necessary to provide comprehensive computer-based testing (CBT) services to the AAMC. Using Intellimetric to score the MCAT exams will provide enhanced consistency in scoring, and faster results to students taking the test.

Under a separate agreement signed last year, Prometric announced an exclusive agreement with the AAMC to convert the paper-and-pencil MCAT to computer-based format. Instead of only two paper-and-pencil MCAT administrations per year, AAMC can now offer students 22 fully-computerized MCAT administrations per year at hundreds of Prometric testing labs throughout North America and select sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East.

IntelliMetric is an artificial intelligence program capable of scoring open-ended and constructed-response questions with documented levels of accuracy and reliability exceeding that of human expert scorers. It consistently applies the pooled knowledge (scoring rubric) of expert scorers to the essays it receives. The MCAT is a standardized

examination designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking and writing skills in addition to knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. It is administered to approximately 70,000 students annually to demonstrate proficiency in various academic areas necessary for success in medical school.

For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Analytics, DW Design, Methodology and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

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