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2002 World Class Solution Awards
DM Review is proud to announce the 2002 World Class Solution Award winners. This marks our seventh annual presentation of these awards, which have grown both in participants and scope since their inception. In this banner year for these awards, we received more than 80 entries divided among nine categories, and our expert panel of judges selected one winning solution per category. All entries were required to adhere to predetermined guidelines. The winning entries demonstrated innovative solutions that enable more than was previously possible and provide quantitative business value.
DM Review sincerely thanks the following judges without whom we would not be able to present these prestigious awards. The 2002 judges, in alphabetical order, are: Sid Adelman, president of Sid Adelman & Associates; Joyce Bischoff, president of Bischoff Consulting; Larry P. English, president and principal of INFORMATION IMPACT International; Jane Griffin, partner in charge of the Data Management Practice for Andersen Business Consulting; Richard Hackathorn, president and founder of Bolder Technology; Douglas Hackney, president of Enterprise Group Ltd.; Claudia Imhoff, president of Intelligent Solutions; Bill Inmon, the "father of the data warehouse"; Michael Jennings, specialist in business intelligence, enterprise performance management and Web-based delivery strategies and architectures at Hewitt Associates; Stephan Kudyba, founder of Null Sigma Inc.; David Loshin, president and chief technology officer of Knowledge Integrity Inc.; David Marco, president of Enterprise Warehousing Solutions; William McKnight, founder and president of McKnight Associates, Inc.; Dan Meers, president of The Meers Group; Nancy K. Mullen, leader of Accenture's Data Architecture Specialty; Susan Osterfelt, senior vice president in strategic alliances and investments with Bank of America; David M. Raab, principal of Raab Associates; Philip Russom, independent industry analyst and consultant; Len Silverston, data management consultant with more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises integrate data; J. D. Welch, chief technology officer of BIGPIPE; and Colin White, founder of DataBase Associates.
2002 AWARD WINNERS:
This year's winners will be featured in the June 2002 issue of DM Review. Recipients of DM Review's 2002 World Class Solution Awards are:
Dominion and SAS
Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the leading electric power and natural gas companies in North America. Dominion relies on SAS Risk Management to power risk management efforts for its energy marketing and trading operations. SAS Risk Management helps Dominion analyze and mitigate the variables that can affect energy prices and Dominion's earnings including changes in customer demand, power production and energy costs. Analysts at Dominion employ the SAS solution to construct predictive models and what-if scenarios. Dominion executives can now devise business strategies and commodity trading plans that not only limit their business risks, but also allow them to exploit risk to the company's advantage. "Our chairman can look at a report that gives him a snapshot of the entire risk portfolio of our business, and he has drill-down capability to see each business unit's contribution to that larger risk picture," says David Holden, VP of enterprise risk at Dominion. "Additionally, executives responsible for each business unit can look at their specific risk pictures."
of Veterans Affairs, Northwest Network and ProClarity Corporation
The mission of the Veterans Healthcare System is to serve the needs of America's veterans by providing primary care, specialized care and related medical and social support services. In 1996, the VHA divided the country into 22 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs). This new organization meant that the Northwest Network VISN-20 needed to make better decisions on a regional, facility and per patient basis by analyzing combined data from eight facilities in four states. Their world-class analysis solution based on ProClarity, first instituted by VISN-20, is now being used by decision-makers in every other VISN in the country. The specific business benefits the VA and VISN-20 have derived from successfully implementing ProClarity include significantly enhancing the quality of patient care, potentially saving lives by more easily tracking the alerts of drug interactions published by drug manufacturers, better managing pharmacy recalls and simultaneously lowering costs. VISN-20 can more closely monitor and enhance the quality of care for specific patient populations. Pharmacy costs, drug interactions and utilization rates are now monitored closely as are patient outcomes, enabling the VA to establish and implement guidelines and "best practices" for patient care. The project has already paid for itself multiple times over.
Bank and Harte-Hanks, Inc.
Fifth Third Bank embarked on a customer relationship management (CRM) project with several end goals in mind. The bank wanted to stem attrition rates that were sometimes as high as nine out of 10 accounts through corrective, proactive action. The bank also wanted to better track and manage customer accounts and changes within them, with the ultimate aim of providing exceptional value and making Fifth Third a trusted and important financial advisor. To make this happen, the bank is utilizing the Allink Daily Deposit Builder (DDB) from Harte-Hanks. The behavior-driven marketing application enables Fifth Third to examine its customer data and quickly see account changes that should be addressed. The Allink DDB has been rolled out to more than 1,000 Fifth Third banking locations where it is used to spot account anomalies. Once noted, customer service representatives or branch officials can contact the account holder to determine if there is a problem that needs to be corrected or an opportunity to provide further services. During the first four weeks of piloting the program, the bank had realized enough savings to pay for the project. The total cost of the project was less than $1 million, and the ROI generated to date is in the 200 percent range.
As one of the UK's largest offshore operators, Expro produces 21 percent of the country's oil and 13 percent of its gas. Expro needed an independent data management tool that was designed to recognize disparate information such as geographical boundaries, various product categories and structures and was capable of providing information in a simple, accessible business format. Managers needed seamless access to all corporate information in order to make informed decisions; but with data held in different systems, coherent planning and management information was difficult to obtain. Implemented in April 2000, the KALIDO Dynamic Information Warehouse provided Expro with the ability to manage data stored in disparate locations and inconsistent structures. By using data from a single source within the KALIDO Warehouse, Expro's accuracy and efficiency of long-term business planning have vastly increased. Report generation time has decreased from 14 days to just four days and freed approximately 10 man-years of analyst resources. Originally implemented at Expro to minimize the time to extract and process data for reporting, the KALIDO Warehouse exceeded management expectations by enabling actual versus estimated financial forecasts. KALIDO's ability to manage organizational change over time without any software reengineering is truly innovative.
International University (FIU) and IBM Corporation
The High Performance Database Research Center (HPDRC) at Florida International University's School of Computer Science researches new applications of data management systems. One of the HPDRC's most important projects has been a collaborative effort with the U.S. Geological Survey and major satellite data suppliers to create an easy-to-use, online geographical data visualization and analysis solution. Called TerraFly, and delivered through a public Web site at www.terrafly.com, the solution enables users to "fly" over two-dimensional aerial imagery and drill down into data associated with the images. Running on one of the largest, publicly accessible databases on the Web, TerraFly can accommodate thousands of concurrent sessions and is expected to attract millions of users within the coming year. IBM DB2 Universal Database, running on an IBM RS/6000 SP cluster and on Linux servers, stores and manages the vast amount of data needed to display high-resolution aerial images. Part of the solution's performance capability can be attributed to the database engine's ability to take advantage of parallel processing and clustered server configurations. TerraFly also takes advantage of IBM DB2 Net Search Extender, a database extension that both indexes large DB2 volumes very rapidly and enables high-speed searching with numerous concurrent users.
Cascade Office Products and Trillium Software, a division of Harte-Hanks
Boise Cascade Office Products (BOISE) is a multinational distributor of office and technology products, office furniture and paper. BOISE's customer satisfaction was rated among the highest in the industry. However, executives saw the potential to lose customers as the differentiators between the competition decreased and, therefore, determined it was necessary to take their systems and services to the next level. To leverage exceptional customer service to build stronger, more lucrative customer relationships and increase first-contact resolution, BOISE devised a plan revolving around integration of customer relationship management, integrated databases and inclusion of all customer touchpoints. The process began 1.5 years ago, when BOISE decided to integrate its e-commerce system with its AS/400 legacy system which was backed up by a mainframe that handled billings and other back-end processing. Then, BOISE added the CRM package and a campaign management package, which were integrated into the transaction system and the e-commerce system, and built an integrated data warehouse to sit behind all of these systems. The Trillium Software System is integrated into the system, and BOISE is using it in building databases (to clean the data going in), as well as integrating it into the front end to minimize the introduction of duplicates or misinformation into the system. The Trillium Software System is also used for periodic data cleansing. Without clean and standardized data, BOISE would not have a unified view of its customers. Trillium's technology enables BOISE to gain a unified view of customers through real-time connectivity with their e-commerce pipeline. The business benefits include increased sales, greater customer retention and reduced operating expenses. Even in the difficult economic situation of 2001 when sales were down, the company's operating profits were up.
International and EMC Corporation
MasterCard doesn't sell widgets; it sells transactions. The company aims to be a global payments leader available anywhere, anytime, every time. Therefore, MasterCard's data infrastructure must be flawless. When the time came to open a new data center, more than 60TB of non-EMC data had to be switched over to the new site. Using SRDF (Symmetrix remote data functionality) and EMC's Timefinder, software files were migrated to the new site without interruption to merchants worldwide. Now, equipped with 130TB of EMC disk-based storage, the facility saves MasterCard both time and money. The daily backup of its Oracle financial database that used to take 18 hours now takes 30 minutes, with complete system availability and expanded levels of service. The move of a tremendous amount of information was conducted in 48 hours, with no disruption to banks, retailers and cardholders. Information infrastructure isn't supporting the business it is MasterCard's business. EMC's AutoIS strategy (Automated Information Storage) reduces storage management complexity in an open environment and rich portfolio of information management. The advanced architecture of EMC Symmetrix and Clariion storage systems and software makes it cost-efficient to grow MasterCard's information infrastructure even as it becomes more complex.
Knowlton, Inc. and Intraspect Software, Inc.
For Hill and Knowlton Public Relations (H&K), an international agency, employee knowledge and expertise are vital company assets. However, with account information scattered across 71 offices in 32 countries, H&K struggled to capitalize on its vast resource of knowledge. The work of more than 1,900 employees resided in individual e-mail inboxes and hard drives, making it impossible to manage and share with others. To streamline account management and provide greater value to clients, H&K worked with Intraspect Software to develop HK.net, a customizable intranet and extranet based on Intraspect Software's collaboration platform and Customer Collaboration Application that allows employees and clients to collaborate online and save knowledge for future reuse. Deployed across H&K's extended enterprise, HK.net incorporates elements of knowledge management, document management and project tools with a robust search engine into a collaborative enterprise application. HK.net increases productivity and establishes a standardized business workflow for coordinating global accounts and completing daily tasks. HK.net has proven immensely helpful as an enterprise information portal, providing immediate access to relevant information, past work and topical experts throughout the company. HK.net enables better decision making and issue response time, international availability of information around the clock, and a faster transfer of knowledge to clients, facilitating an overall improvement in the efficiency and timeliness of business communications.
Steel Corporation and Princeton Softech
National Steel Corporation produces more than 6 million tons of steel annually. The company's IT organization has spent thousands of hours optimizing corporate databases to enable quick decision making and sub-second response time. In addition, IT must be prepared to research and restore historical data to satisfy customer inquiries and resolve claims. To meet these challenges, National Steel struggled with data access and performance issues for years writing and maintaining custom archiving software in-house. These custom archiving solutions were becoming increasingly more difficult to manage, draining precious IT resources. Princeton Softech's Archive for DB2 not only guarantees the referential integrity of DB2 data, but it is the only product National Steel encountered that understands "application-managed" relationships and accounts for them during the archive and restore processes with 100 percent accuracy and integrity. Princeton Softech's customized Active Archiving Workshops helped National Steel understand issues key to archiving their data and brought the team up to speed on these issues quickly. Success of the project was determined by: measurable ROI benefits through reduced upgrade costs, more efficient deployment of IT resources and increased operational efficiency; reduced maintenance time, improved application availability and faster run times; and ongoing performance enhancement including faster response times, greater user access to data and transaction operations.