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2003 World Class Solution Awards

2003 World Class Solution Award

DM Review is pleased to announce the winners in our 2003 World Class Solution Awards competition. The World Class Solutions Award, a symbol of excellence within the business intelligence and data warehousing industry, originated in 1996. Entries were accepted in categories that reflect mission-critical segments of the market as determined by feedback from you, our readers.

Industry-expert judges Sid Adelman, Les Barbusinski, Robert Blumberg, Larry English, Eddie Francl, Richard Hackathorn, John Hansen, Dave Hay, Claudia Imhoff, Mike Jennings, Chuck Kelley, Stephan Kudyba, John Ladley, David Loshin, David Marco, William McKnight, John Monczewski, Susan Osterfelt, Dan Sullivan, Colin White and Jonathan Wu comprised our expert judging panel and selected the following winners from a pool of more than 100 entries based on each solution's impact, relevance and innovation.

Click on the winners to read summaries of these World Class Solutions.

Business Intelligence
ICICI Bank Limited with Teradata, a division of NCR

Product Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard, Inc. with PolyVista, Inc.

RBC Royal Bank with Information Builders

State of Tennessee Dept. of Financial Administration with MicroStrategy Inc.

Packaged Analytic Applications
Bayer CropScience with SAS Institute Inc.

Custom Analytic Applications
Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Services with Oracle Corporation

Corporate Performance Management & Balanced Scorecard
WorldTravel BTI with Hyperion

Data Acquisition and Integration
ING U.S. Financials with Informatica Corporation

Data Management, Administration, Design
HBOS plc with Kalido

LexisNexis with Teradata, a division of NCR

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee with McDATA, Corp.

Staples, Inc. with Plumtree Software, Inc.

Knowledge Management
MWH with IBM Lotus Software


This year’s winners are featured in the June 2003 issue of DM Review. Recipients of DM Review’s 2003 World Class Solution Awards are:

ICICI Bank Limited
with Teradata, a division of NCR

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

ICICI Bank is India’s largest private bank and second largest among all banks in India with assets of more than INR $1 trillion. It caters to the financial needs of more than 11 million customers, both corporate and retail. It offers a wide range of products through a network of approximately 450 branches and 1,675 ATMs. The bank has been growing at a rate far outstripping the rate of growth of the industry and has achieved market leadership in most retail businesses such as vehicle loans, mortgages, etc.

Originally set up as a development project finance institution in 1995, ICICI Bank began its retail foray in 1995. As ICICI Bank entered different retail businesses, each of its group companies built their own customer databases and operating systems. In the late 1990s, ICICI Bank started moving toward becoming a universal bank. A key requirement was obtaining a single view of the customer. Around the same time, the liberalization of the financial sector in India saw the development of a strongly competitive environment with increasingly demanding customers and growing commoditization of financial products. ICICI Bank quickly recognized that to compete effectively, it needed to develop its capability for customer focus.

The project objectives leading to this World Class Solution were to: resolve disparate relationships across multiple products; understand the behavioral and financial profile of customers; leverage this understanding to effectively target specific customer segments with relevant offers and communications; and frame strategies from a customer perspective rather than the predominantly account-centered perspective. ICICI Bank chose a Teradata data warehouse and CRM platform as the solution.

The first phase of implementation took seven months and centered on building the technical foundations of the data warehouse. Key challenges in this phase were:

  • Customer consolidation – a far more complicated task in India due to the lack of a nationwide unique identifier (such as a Social Security Number); and
  • Data integrity – ICICI Bank was aware that accuracy and completeness of data was a potential pitfall in the developing economy context.

Running on an NCR 4400 server, the initial implementation collated data from eight separate operational systems and established a solid customer database platform. The warehouse contains information about each user's product set (checking, deposits, credit cards, online broking services, etc.), balances and channel usage (ATMs, branches and online). The result is a single view of the customer and the customer's banking habits.

Phase II involved putting reporting and analytical tools to work. The primary analytical tools included:

  • Teradata Behavior Explorer: Based on Cognos PowerPlay Cubes, the Behavior Explorer cubes feature tools for standard and interactive reports with drill-down capabilities.
  • Cognos Impromptu: A drag-and-drop query interface that allows the user to run ad hoc reports and configure standard reports.

Using Teradata Behavior Explorer and views, data warehouse users develop customer profiles and run ad hoc queries. Analysts then use these results to guide product development and marketing campaigns based on aggregated information about customer needs and wants. Campaigns address each individual's total customer requirements, instead of just pushing products.

ICICI Bank has benefited as follows: users across 220 cities access reports and other ad hoc analysis from one source, ensuring a single version of the truth and increased data credibility; revenue enhancement – generating more business from existing customers via cross-selling, up-selling and retention initiatives; reduced time-to-market for campaign execution from an average of 10 days to three days – more than 150 large tailored marketing campaigns have been run generating 2.6 million leads, with response rates ranging from eight to thirty-six percent, a cost saving of more than $30 million (INR) in customer acquisition costs (approx. $600,000 USD); and strategic decisions aided through analysis such as channel usage patterns, value migration, product basket analysis, etc.

Current effectiveness measures revolve around the objectives set out at the start of the project:

  • Effectiveness of targeted marketing campaigns measured by the following parameters: time-to-market, response rates and ROI.
  • Reduction of load on OLTP systems by shifting fulfillment of the user's information requirements to the data warehouse.
  • Recency and accuracy of the information contained in the data warehouse.
  • Ease of access to information; user-friendliness of the tool or process; and time taken to get required information.
  • Number of users/queries; number of end users of the information contained in the data warehouse to measure how actively the solution is being used across businesses.
list of winners

Product Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard, Inc.
with PolyVista, Inc.

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

HP-PSG wanted to implement an early warning/detection solution to transform their warranty and quality management processes from reactive to proactive. With a massive number of call center records and millions of components to consider across numerous product lines and manufacturing locations, this was a daunting task.

Management knew they would need more than ad hoc querying/reporting and/or classical data mining capabilities. Business analysts looked for a way to provide sophisticated discovery of hidden root-cause trends to these nontechnical product-line experts. The PolyVista solution was deemed the most innovative, unique and valuable due to its automated discovery-driven approach and simplicity.

Using PolyVista, product managers and quality engineers were able to create an "early warning" system that helped pinpoint problems and root causes before they reached crisis level. Algorithms uncovered new information daily and analysts immediately explored them for value. Problem identification and response times narrowed from months to only days. As new problems are found, the analysts crosscheck and validate the results by using the integrated OLAP query capabilities of PolyVista; or the analysts may even run the algorithms interactively themselves. If the problem identified by the algorithm needs a resolution, it is prioritized and placed in a queue. A swat team of people from different departments is dedicated to fix the problems. When there is a need to catch a new or different type of problem, discovery algorithms are defined and scheduled by the power users.

The primary benefits of this World Class Solution are early warning, improved customer satisfaction and product quality, and reduced costs relative to warranty parts management. By bringing together customer contact, survey and warranty parts data, HP-PSG now makes more intelligent design and component decisions that factor in customer feedback and service experience. PolyVista reduces the analysis process time from weeks to hours/minutes and generally offers much greater insight into the real business situation.

HP-PSG realizes additional value through: better component selection based on historical part performance and service records; improved negotiating position and communications with component suppliers based on historical performance; better management of service level agreements with large accounts; ability to surface patterns or anomalies indicative of entry errors or possible fraud; evolution from flat spreadsheet to multidimensional analysis; and significant quality improvement by addressing issues in the middle of product cycles.

HP-PSG noted a 20-point increase in service-event satisfaction within the initial 12 weeks of the solution. During the same time frame, first-event resolution rates increased 13 points and response time to quality issues increased 40 percent. This solution not only helped reduce service calls but also decreased manufacturing and inventory costs. An estimated $6.1 million dollars were saved on these and other warranty-related costs in the first year. An IDC-authored financial analysis (over 5 years) including benefits, expenses, depreciation and taxes results in an ROI of 400 percent, NPV of $23.4 million and 0.6-year payback.

list of winners

RBC Royal Bank
with Information Builders

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

RBC Royal Bank (RBC), a leading North American financial services organization based in Toronto, serves more than 12 million customers from 1,200 plus branches. Until recently, personnel at RBC's operations service centers had to reconstruct personal transaction statements by combining legacy information systems with microfiche records. To make this process more efficient, RBC initiated the Bankbook Reconstruct, an Information Builders’ WebFOCUS application that completely automates the process of constructing and printing bank statements.

The application was developed to decrease the amount of time and resources required for personnel to produce complete historical transaction records for customers, improve the customer experience and minimize costs for those customers. Some of the advantages include: reports made available on the Web immediately; scalability to meet growing demand – using resources efficiently and providing the flexibility to customize and personalize applications; and delivery of real-time information in any format.

The Bankbook Reconstruct accesses data stored in multiple mainframe systems and pulls it all together, handling all the calculations automatically to improve turnaround time. More time can now be allocated toward greater customer service. The customers have benefited from virtually instantaneous access to historical transaction documents with minimal fees, a drastic improvement upon their experiences from the pre-Bankbook Reconstruct days. RBC already had an enterprise data warehouse of transactional data that managers were using to analyze business opportunities and spot trends. What was needed was an application to bring it all together and conduct analysis to reconstruct statements.

The most staggering benefit of this World Class Solution is its unprecedented 1,218-percent return on investment. A three-week report can now be produced in 30 seconds or less. Additionally, RBC has been able to pass huge savings to the customer. Finally, Credit Management and Recoveries, concerned with bank overdrafts and loans, has used Bankbook Reconstruct to evaluate the credit history of claimants applying for loans, mortgages or lines of credit, thus enabling the bank to make better-informed decisions on their approval. RBC has been able to re-deploy 11 employees to other departments where help is needed.

list of winners

State of Tennessee Dept. of Financial Administration
with MicroStrategy Inc.

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

The State of Tennessee has been facing intense pressure to spend limited resources wisely. To respond to this challenge, State of Tennessee decision-makers needed information that would help determine the true cost of providing government services, quickly track the performance of government services, eliminate activities that do not add value, and compare internal costs with the cost of outsourced alternatives. Unfortunately, state decision-makers did not have systems or tools that could readily access and analyze needed financial data for performance management.

To address this problem, state agencies had developed hundreds of homegrown systems to perform financial analysis; this included rekeying data from the state's central accounting system. This offline process required thousands of man-hours for writing, testing and rewriting special spreadsheet or database programs. Of even greater concern was the fact that these applications, developed by different individuals over different time periods, raised the risk that the resulting reports might contain data that was inaccurate, misinterpreted or not up to date. Also, the systems were not suitable for analyzing data across multiple agencies or processing large volumes of data (the state generates more than 12 million financial transactions per year).

The state selected the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform to serve as the analytical tool for the financial data warehouse application – now called the Financial Data Access System (FDAS). The solution provided the ability to conduct financial analysis across multiple dimensions using OLAP and included an easy-to-use Web-based interface for state decision-makers to build new reports, execute queries and schedule reports. The MicroStrategy solution is also highly scalable for processing and analyzing millions of financial records in an efficient manner – a major requirement.

In 2001, in-house programs were written to extract and cleanse data from the state's central accounting system to load into the FDAS data warehouse housed in a mainframe DB2 database. This extract process loaded data into a central financial data warehouse from which specific data marts would be developed. The first data mart consisted of budgetary expenditure and revenue data. This data mart went live for five pilot agencies in June 2001. Over the following 14 months, representatives from the rest of the state agencies and commissions were trained and given access to the FDAS system.

The state is now in the process of building additional data marts from the central FDAS data warehouse system. This World Class Solution has reduced costs and significantly improved the quality of financial information for decision making. State decision-makers now get financial updates daily instead of monthly. Centralized quality control has helped to ensure that financial calculation formulas are accurate and logical. Centralized standard definitions of financial data ensure that everyone understands the source of the financial data and what it means. The FDAS system also provides new, statistical and analytical formulas that can be used for financial analysis. Trends can be analyzed and predicted by using the multiyear data maintained in the FDAS system.

With this access to timely financial data, state decision-makers are more confident in making decisions on how best to spend and manage the state’s financial resources. State success stories made possible with this World Class Solution include the following: state agencies are saving hundreds of hours in preparing and tracking their annual budgets; one agency was able to identify and correct a $10 million dollar financial accounting error; agencies are able to access financial numbers for decision making that that had not been previously accessible; using the FDAS system in conjunction with state audits has reduced the time and cost of the audit process.

list of winners

Bayer CropScience
with SAS Institute Inc.

CATEGORY: Packaged Analytic Applications

Executives at Bayer CropScience recognized opportunities to leverage existing resources and achieve enhanced efficiency and synergy. One significant opportunity revolved around reducing materials costs and supplier risks while maintaining a steady flow of direct and indirect goods from the company's 16,000 suppliers.

As a result of an ERP integration undertaken to address challenges with purchasing data, the company realized that 60 percent of its spend was not handled in purchase orders, giving it zero visibility in the ERP system. Also, some five percent of the spend occurred in expense reports and corporate credit cards. Several million dollars were spent on purchase cards, but the data was outside the ERP system's realm, making it difficult to determine how much was spent on what and by whom. It became evident that the new ERP system lacked the capability to retrieve and analyze the data required to support purchasing processes. Bayer CropScience required easy access to purchasing data and the ability to turn that data into information to drive strategic business decisions.

The project team implemented SAS Supplier Relationship Management. The scalable application could easily meet Bayer CropScience’s needs: 25 to 35 users total – five power users accessing the system on a weekly basis, up to 10 every couple of months and the remaining users as necessary. This enables the company to proactively manage and leverage both purchasing and procurement information already being collected.

SAS' multiplatform capabilities allow for the extraction of data from the company's ERP system, from systems for purchasing, travel and entertainment, and from external sources such as D&B. The SAS solution provides detailed analysis and decision support in a point-and-click environment that allows for simple to advanced analytics, data manipulation and reporting capabilities. Users are able to drill down into the supplier data – regardless of the source – subject it to query after query and build a complex picture of the company's supplier landscape.

Intelligence derived from this process is then used to enhance overall supply chain strategy. A supplier scorecard allows the company to score suppliers in many areas and rate overall satisfaction with each supplier. The spend analysis tool enables Bayer CropScience in the United States to identify not only the companies from which it is buying, but also what is being purchased from each supplier. The solution's ranking capabilities provide the company with the tools needed to establish an objective, repeatable and adaptable measuring system that reliably identifies best suppliers and responds effectively to changing business conditions. Weighted averages add balance and flexibility to the ranking process, helping the company objectively narrow, measure and rank which suppliers are best suited to the company's needs at a particular time.

The benefits realized with this World Class Solution are as follows. In combination with several other business initiatives, the SAS solution has created quantifiable value. The company expects SAS Supplier Relationship Management to enable $10-15 million in savings by 2003 and expects even greater savings each subsequent year. The solution provides the procurement staff and company executives with a complete picture of procurement spending, supplier behavior and procurement contract compliance. Additionally, with an accurate view of total spending over time, Bayer CropScience in the United States has been able to: rank its supplier base, identifying suppliers that the company does not need and negotiating better contracts with those it wants to keep; match business objectives with individual supplier performance; identify areas for cost consolidation; and predict optimal procurement strategies.

list of winners

Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Services
with Oracle Corporation

CATEGORY: Custom Analytic Applications

Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) handle 43 percent of new financial services business in the UK. Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Services (WIFAS), a division of Barclays, has grown to be the UK's second-largest IFA company with approximately 400 advisors and 155,000 customers. WIFAS's vision was to become the UK's most successful IFA player. To achieve that goal, it had to transform from a paper-based business selling face to face-to-an automated operation that would give a 360-degree view of the customer, the customer relationship and a full transaction history. WIFAS also needed to analyze customer profitability and identify opportunities for maximizing individual customer worth. The WIFAS Management Information Reporting process was extremely labor intensive at a time when the business was facing rapid growth. Poor use of existing resources and tools resulted in a time-consuming process involving the reformatting of data into Excel. Cross-brand queries could not be performed, as they were reporting from separate brand operational databases. WIFAS users urgently required a single point of access that provided tailored and timely reporting in a self-service format. Merging data sources would also enable queries across the different company brands including compliance data, providing financial advisors and managers with a single source of truth about customers, products, and key business performance indicators on a daily basis.

WIFAS aimed to:

  • Establish single point of access to reports for business users,
  • Leverage business intelligence to obtain accurate, consistent information in a timely manner,
  • Integrate disparate data sources into a single data mart, and
  • Implement a low risk, low-cost business intelligence solution.

WIFAS's strategy for BI application development is to use "pre-integrated" products to lower implementation cost. The technical architecture includes Oracle9i Warehouse Builder for ETL, Oracle Discoverer for ad hoc query and analysis, Oracle9i Reports for enterprise reporting, Oracle9i Application Server for the application infrastructure and Oracle9iAS Portal as the portal framework. Hardware includes Unisys and Dell servers on Windows NT. This application is a part of the overall CRM initiative for WIFAS. WIFAS adopted Oracle's Trading Community Architecture (TCA) that provides a 360-degree view of customer data and centralizes all aspects of customer information and management.

With demographic, financial and transactional customer information all in one place, WIFAS could begin to develop comprehensive customer-segmentation models. Customers were analyzed along multiple dimensions, including industry, geography, purchasing behavior and profitability. Consolidating data under the applications in the business flow eliminated data quality problems. All flows use the same physical data store and thus have immediate access to all updates. All data is consistent at every point along the path, thereby eliminating the need for multiple-error prone conflict resolution processes.

With this World Class Solution, WIFAS can pick up the trail of a customer from the moment he/she is referred to the company and quickly put the right financial advisor in front of the customer, thus providing improved customer service as well as up-sell and cross-sell opportunities for WIFAS.

The implementation involved transforming data from three company operational databases and two other data sources using Oracle9i Warehouse Builder with an Oracle8i database. Oracle9iAS Portal was used to create the Daily Business Information Portal Page with active links into the Oracle Discoverer ad hoc query and reporting tool. The Daily Business Information Portal Page provides WIFAS business information in five information areas:

  1. Headlines - Add text, pictures or links
  2. Portal Reports - 2x reports with drill through to lower level Discoverer Reports
  3. HTML report from operational system reloaded every 2 hours - Discoverer Report generated from operation database and exported to HTML
  4. Office Performance Chart - Bar chart displaying office performance % to target, drill through to lower level Discoverer reports by Office
  5. Links to specific Discoverer Workbooks and Discoverer Viewer

The information areas are maintainable by the WIFAS Business Intelligence Team via links from the Daily Business Information Portal Page, therefore reducing reliance on the IT department.

As a result of the quality of information now available online, the staff required to support each customer-facing IFA has decreased significantly – 60 percent over four years (equivalent to £11 million savings). The number of managers required for each IFA has decreased 21 percent over the same period (equivalent to £7.6 million savings).

The customer base has increased from 52,000 to 155,000 customers. There has also been an increase in the number of products sold per customer – 29 percent for new customers and four percent overall.

The automated back-office sales and marketing tracking system gives the WIFAS finance department insight into every customer transaction. Where needed, WIFAS staff can drill down into customer accounts to individual policies. Oracle's end-user-focused business intelligence tools enable IFAs to report more quickly and accurately to customers.

WIFAS achieved significantly better revenue growth than its competitors in the life and pensions IFA market sector. Over four years, WIFAS grew cumulatively by more than 250 percent compared with 75 percent cumulative growth published for the market as a whole.

WIFAS exceeded its growth target by more than 150 percent (£39 million). Of this achievement, the company credits £16.3 million to cost savings and £6.8 million to productivity benefits.

list of winners

WorldTravel BTI
with Hyperion

CATEGORY: Corporate Performance Management & Balanced Scorecard

At WorldTravel BTI, we developed our pilot balanced scorecard in Excel to illustrate proof-of-concept. Robin Bermudez, director, balanced scorecard, was responsible for tracking and gathering scorecard data for 40-50 scorecards. It took Bermudez approximately six hours to gather the reports, enter them into Excel and then forward hard copies to the teams. The reports contained a section for comments from the various managers to explain the performance variances. When the comments were returned to her, Bermudez consolidated them into a rolled-up scorecard for her director of operations. The entire process took two weeks. After a few months, Excel could not store the historical information (including statistics and graphical trends).

Once senior management understood and committed to building scorecards for employees serving clients in managed corporate travel programs, WorldTravel BTI purchased Hyperion Performance Scorecard. With Hyperion, the process timeline was reduced from two weeks to one day to manage everything from data collection to distribution. Because Hyperion’s application has a feedback mechanism, we can communicate to each other live. What a difference!

When we introduced the Scorecard concept to our clients, we quickly found that each account had different visions objectives and goals in their corporate travel programs. One client wanted the primary focus to be on policy compliance, another on supplier contracts and another on savings opportunities. Because the Hyperion product could be tailored to each program, we could not only customize scorecards to individual accounts, but could collaborate around real-time data based on WorldTravel employee performance that was previously not available. Our main objective was standardization. Standardization of operational processes was important for everything from back-office systems to reservations, accounting and customer consulting. Hyperion’s Performance Scorecard got us thinking about standardizing the offerings within our training program, offering different reporting packages to different customers and how we approached customer loyalty and retention. We were able to use the solution to look at the numbers since January 2000, to illustrate the productivity of the agents dedicated to accounts, and show how we're managing their business and how we're adjusting the size of the team that is dedicated to them.

Hyperion Performance Scorecard has helped our organization transform the traditional role of travel agents from an order taker/service deliver commodity to a business partner, by supplying the front-line managers with a broader understanding of their business and analytical tools to assist them in their decision making. This World Class Solution has provided the following benefits:

  • With Balanced Scorecard, we communicated and discussed common goals and objectives across the enterprise, illustrating our clients’ goals and determining how we can do a better job to ensure these goals are met.
  • WorldTravel can look at a customer's business strategy and find out exactly what's going on within their business and how we can help them through our travel procurement and service. We gravitate toward cost containment, customer satisfaction, quality reservations and to provide the best support team possible. The Balanced Scorecard provides a measurement of travel counselor productivity and helps us make adjustments to ensure that the client is maximizing the value of their dedicated team.
  • Additionally, many of our scorecards have been jointly developed with our customers linked to incentive programs for their dedicated teams. A customer approached us regarding an incentive program for their travel counselors and we recommended that we evaluate their existing scorecards and incorporate key items that were important to that customer. We monitored hotel booking rates because all hotels booked with us translate into dollars directly back to the client or savings directly on the hotel rate. The program began in April 2001 and by August 2001 the hotel booking rates increased from 23 to 61 percent and preferred airline bookings increased by 1 percent, which translated into and increase in revenue of $10,000. In the end, $3,000 was paid to agents for incentives, and the customer received approximately $7,000.
list of winners

ING U.S. Financials
with Informatica Corporation

CATEGORY: Data Acquisition and Integration

With the largest network of independent financial advisors in the United States, ING U.S. Financials provides its clients with an array of comprehensive services such as life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, employee benefits and mutual funds, through a variety of distribution channels. ING's rapid expansion through acquisitions left business and IT leaders facing skyrocketing amounts of data locked in unconnected silos, many on proprietary legacy systems.

ING was looking for ways to consolidate resources in order to cut costs. At the same time, it wanted to boost corporate performance by ensuring that everyone – executives, line of business managers and customer service representatives – had the most complete and up-to-date information available. A critical need of the company was to achieve a unified customer view.

To do this, the company needed to integrate data from across divisions to create a holistic picture of its customers, better target sales and marketing efforts and equip service agents with complete information. ING also needed to satisfy increasingly stringent federal regulations such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Patriot Act. These objectives required a solution that enabled the company to move from a batch-processing model to a near real-time model.

ING's solution is used by more than 5,000 employees and processes millions of dollars of transactions in real time every day. The entire project is powered by Informatica PowerCenter, an industry-leading enterprise data integration platform for building, deploying and managing enterprise data warehouses.

Using PowerCenter, ING integrated more than three terabytes of data from 10+ heterogeneous systems and incorporated five separate financial service operations, each with different architectures, into a single system capable of processing in real time. Each operation has huge stores of data and constantly generates more. The solution incorporates real-time capabilities and bidirectional feeds to ensure that changes to items such as 401(k) fund allocations are immediately recognized and updated throughout the system.

Significantly, ING integrated all of its systems and moved to real-time data processing while serving existing business needs. During the project, the system maintained complete accuracy and data integrity, ensuring that ING's customers received appropriate levels of service and the company did not fall out of compliance with SEC or NSCC regulations.

ING's solution is broken into six specific areas. The Stage area approximately mirrors the data structures of the source systems on an RDBMS. Data from flat files, mainframe and other sources is staged in the STAGING database. This helps avoid locking the business rules in the source programming language/proprietary database structures, which allows easier data analysis, greater extensibility and unlinks the ETL process from source system changes.

The Information Hub consists of ETL cross-reference tables, which store source-system keys and data elements. Its primary purpose is facilitating ETL processing and acting as a channel for bidirectional updates.

In the Operational Data Store (ODS), which drives the call-center and various operational projects, information is further refined and filtered. Storage formats are consolidated across multiple source-systems, and database objects are optimized for transaction-based business requirements. The ODS holds data for multiple cycles and supports real-time financial, work management and miscellaneous reporting. It also provides near real-time information to various applications. Here, the cross-reference table holds the source system business keys and generated keys.

Data moving from the ODS to the Data Warehouse is refined, transformed and loaded into tables which allow maintenance of historical data. The information is also transformed to accommodate OLAP, ad hoc reporting, decision support and archival business requirements. The data warehouse delivers a consolidated and consistent source of information to meet specific user needs.

To provide users an appropriate format to analyze and use the information, it is loaded from the Data Warehouse into dimensionally modeled Data Marts. The techniques used include replication, creating virtual data marts via "views" and aggregation. Materialized views and data cubes enable Data Marts to support business requirements. The data formats enable provisioning of OLAP-based analysis and allow segregation of data to control access for different sets of users.

ING has dramatically improved its corporate performance as a result of the new infrastructure. Of critical importance, the system allows ING to cost effectively satisfy regulatory compliance deadlines. Prior to the Informatica implementation, the process required to meet the growing number of federal regulations was labor intensive and contained redundancies that increased ING's operational costs. With the integration solution, ING has cut the costs of regulatory compliance by 20 percent. Furthermore, by automating processes and consolidating resources, ING saves more than $400,000 per year in personnel costs. The increased accuracy of the newly automated data transfer process has allowed ING to considerably improve its operational efficiency.

Finally, a soft benefit that resulted from ING's consolidation of data is that it united the company's divisions and created a new sense that the subsidiary divisions were truly one company.

Seeking to quickly gauge ROI, ING first measured their World Class Solution in terms of savings, where it exceeded expectations by $200,000 in the first year – reducing costs by more than $450,000.

ING's analysis of the solution's long-term effectiveness centered on its remarkable improvements to customer service and sales. Before the implementation, data inconsistencies and silos resulted in missed sales opportunities and uneven customer service because the company's most valuable customers were not recognized across divisions. By providing marketing, sales and service agents with holistic views of customers, the solution enabled ING to target campaigns, increase cross-sell and up-sell capabilities and improve customer service.

list of winners

HBOS plc
with Kalido

CATEGORY: Data Management, Administration, Design

In September 2001, Halifax Plc and Bank of Scotland (BoS) merged to form one of the largest banking and financial organizations in the UK - HBOS plc. One of the primary objectives of the merger was to deliver £300 million ($450 million) in cost savings overall. The HBOS Group Procurement Team led one of the first projects to support this major cost savings initiative by identifying areas for making significant savings in the newly merged procurement function.

With a total spend of more than £1.7 billion per year, procurement is a vital business process at HBOS. The head of Group Procurement recognized that the key to generating cost-saving opportunities was to develop a management information system capable of analyzing and reporting on procurement performance across the newly merged organization. To achieve this, the team needed to quickly bring together quickly the procurement information from both banks despite their differing systems and structures.

Due to the many different systems operating within the Group and its subsidiaries, the procurement environment had become inherently complex. Furthermore, the operational systems used for procurement in Halifax and BoS were structured very differently, and there was also a wealth of information in separate ledger systems. It was imperative to be able to collect data from these systems in order to offer a single view of suppliers, both at a group and subsidiary level; but this proved to be both difficult and time-consuming.

Preliminary studies demonstrated that modifying existing procurement systems to fit each other would prove expensive and time-consuming, and would not deliver the flexibility to cope with future changes. With consultants from Acuma, the Group Procurement team devised an end-to-end data warehousing and business intelligence solution with the KALIDO Dynamic Information Warehouse from Kalido Group as the basis to allow the department to integrate and report on data from across the newly merged business and its subsidiaries. This new solution merged supplier information together into a central repository for group analysis without forcing either of the banks to standardize on one operational system, which would have taken many months, if not years.

The HBOS supplier relationship management project (SRM) uses KALIDO software to integrate, store and manage data from disparate data structures, allowing continuously up-to-date consolidated management information to be produced and analyzed. The adaptive architecture of the KALIDO software means it can deliver integrated information even through periods of change. Ascential ETL tools handle initial data preparation, and business intelligence software from Business Objects is used for Web-based reporting and analysis. The system architecture was based on a Windows 2000 Server Platform.

This World Class Solution provided a consistent group-wide commodity structure, eliminating duplicate listings, consolidating 17,000 account codes and re-ordering them into just 27 commodities split into 142 categories. Users in five locations now have a consistent view of all procurement data merged together from the source systems. With the KALIDO software capabilities, users can "slice and dice" the output to get the information they need in a Web-based report most useful to them.

Users can view procurement spend in numerous ways and drill right down from aggregated information to the level of individual transactions. New account codes can be mapped by business users, so the solution is much more responsive to change and puts less strain on the IT function.

The HBOS SRM project has enabled Group Procurement to rapidly collate and analyze supplier data, leading to faster, more accurate reporting on procurement performance and identification of cost savings initiatives.

Furthermore, the consistent management information gives the team more power to negotiate with suppliers.

HBOS has also been able to add new areas to further assist procurement management. One example is "influenceable spend" - commodities are now categorized according to how much influence procurement has over them, making it easier for users to concentrate on the most significant factors.

The system's flexibility allows HBOS to report on spending in different ways and gives them the ability to extend this capability within other organizations such as subsidiaries and partners. HBOS SRM also reduces the time spent by users on data sourcing and preparation.

The effectiveness of the SRM Project was measured by the increased decision-making power of the procurement team. HBOS has seen improved business performance in the management of business information and knowledge across the entire organization, the delivery of new and improved products and services, increased collaboration across business units, cost savings and increased streamlined efficiency of business processes. With spend data at their fingertips, the Group Procurement team can now monitor actual group spend per supplier and procurement category, and thereby identify and manage cost-saving initiatives and improve negotiation on new and existing contracts.

Prior to the HBOS SRM Project, it was impossible to see costs split across Halifax and BoS. The solution now makes this easy, empowering and enabling procurement users to manage even the most complex supplier relationships. Furthermore, the Group Procurement team can track compliance with Group contracts for added efficiency.

list of winners

with Teradata, a division of NCR

CATEGORY: Data Management, Administration, Design

LexisNexis is the global leader in legal, news and business information services. Its online services combine searchable access to more than four billion documents from thousands of sources. LexisNexis also includes some the world's most respected legal publishers, such as Martindale-Hubbell, Matthew Bender, Butterworths, Les Editions du Juris-Classeur, Abeledo-Perrot and Orac.

The company’s growth plans include acquisitions, customer retention, wallet share growth of existing customers and new customer acquisition by offering differentiated, high-quality service and products. Its mission: to be the preferred information provider to professionals in legal, business and government markets.

In order to meet its objectives, LexisNexis wanted to actively mine customer accounts to shift from a product-oriented to a customer-oriented view. LexisNexis had the data it needed, but that data was trapped in disparate systems. Its traditional offline publishing data was in separate systems from its online business, which made it difficult to accurately segment customers. Because one customer might have 10 or 15 accounts, it was difficult to gain a single view of each customer. The constraints of legacy technology were a roadblock to effective decision making. That's why LexisNexis chose to implement its business intelligence (BI) solution running on an enterprise data warehouse.

The LexisNexis Business Intelligence solution runs on an enterprise data warehouse from Teradata, a division of NCR. The BI system enables 700 users in marketing, finance, product development, strategy and sales support to gain a single, integrated view of its business and customers across the enterprise. As a critical decision-support system, users rely on it to grow existing businesses, reduce customer churn, fairly price services, and to perform market and customer analysis. The system is also used to provide 7,800 monthly reports to customers detailing service usage.

The BI system uses an enterprise approach to provide the means to integrate a large amount of data from online and offline publishing businesses. Combining such data provides a complete customer-centric, enterprise view of its online and offline businesses. LexisNexis can understand such issues as monetization, up-selling opportunities and a more comprehensive picture of what a customer is buying across the LexisNexis product line. The combination of offline business and customer information with online information in one, central repository is fairly unique among any industry. Even with more than 1.4TB of data, the power of the BI solution gives users near-instant access to data for timely analysis and decision-making.

The Teradata Database provides the engine for LexisNexis' enterprise data warehouse. Data is loaded from several source systems, primarily fulfillment and distribution systems. Data is exported from source systems to the mainframe where the extract, transform and load processes are performed using a mainframe/COBOL approach then loaded to the Teradata Warehouse system. Fulfillment data is loaded weekly; billing and online data is loaded monthly. Trillium is used for deduplication, specifically address correction and verification. User access is through the Hummingbird BI Query tool to run ad hoc queries and canned reports. Approximately 50 power users write their own complex SQL queries. The system handles a load of more than 328,000 queries each month.

The BI system's data model was designed in third-normal form and captures detailed data rather than using a typical aggregated star or snowflake schema. This database design allows for the use of a flexible, easy-to-modify data access layer that simplifies user access. The data storage and data access designs are independent of each other and allow for maximum flexibility in that the underlying schema can change without having to retrain users. Aggregation of the data can also be staged or performed in real time without sacrificing supporting details. This is possible because of the high performance the BI system.

The BI solution has generated millions of dollars in annual cost savings and incremental revenue benefits. It provides actionable information for strategic and tactical decision making, giving LexisNexis analytical capabilities that were previously impossible to achieve.

Three key contributions:

  • Provides users across the company with a single view of its business and of each customer.
  • Improves customer segmentation, and more effective sales and marketing campaigns. Tremendous time savings in analysis and preparation for executing campaigns. Has made much more targeted, sophisticated campaigns possible, while reducing mailings and increasing response rates.
  • Price Realization (X-Factor Analysis) and Customer Retention. Subscription fees generate substantial revenue. Fees are typically based on a prospect's expected use of services. X-Factor is analysis of actual subscription usage, which was previously difficult to analyze. Now, fees are easier to set based on actual usage. Low X-Factors also identify customers at risk of leaving.

LexisNexis has documented annual cost savings and incremental revenue in the millions of dollars with this World Class Solution. Major areas impacted include (with documented benefits):

  • Price Realization (X-Factor Analysis) – $4 million annual revenue gain.
  • Campaign Effectiveness – $7.4 million in increased revenue and cost savings.
  • Customer Reporting Capabilities – $500,000 in cost savings.
  • Risk Management – $1 million in retained business (conservative estimate).
list of winners

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
with McDATA, Corp.


Explosive data growth, triggered by a record year in both sales and enrollment, left the IT team at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) wondering how they would meet growing requirements today and into the future.

Prior to implementing a McDATA SAN, the BCBST IT team supported and managed four distinct application environments. The four environments (UNIX, NT, Mainframe and HP MPE) were supported by their own server and storage infrastructure with more than 200 servers and 70 storage devices. Servers were directly connected to storage that limited how many servers could be attached to the storage devices.

BCBST's current distributed storage infrastructure proved difficult to manage and unable to adapt to anticipated growth needs. In addition, their infrastructure was unable to provide desired economies of scale. The BCBST IT team identified the following issues that needed to be addressed:

  • Limited storage utilization
  • Increased storage acquisition cost
  • Increased application downtime risk
  • Increased management costs

BCBST was faced with the challenge of addressing high data growth and managing multiple application environments. BCBST needed to gain control of their rapidly growing and disparate storage infrastructure with a solution that could easily scale with future growth and lower its overall IT costs. They also needed to do this in a manner that was non-disruptive to their day-to-day operations.

BCBST consolidated their NT and Unix environments onto a single storage network. This effort enabled the consolidation of storage and higher disk utilization. As a result of implementing a single network, NT and Unix application servers now share a common storage pool and are supported by a high-availability storage area network (SAN) infrastructure.

The storage network solution implemented is comprised of McDATA's high availability 64-port Intrepid Directors, Sphereon 32-port Fabric Switches and 8-port Loop Switches. In addition McDATA SANavigator management software was implemented as a single control point for the entire network.

With this World Class Solution, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee was able to simplify their overall data infrastructure by providing a single infrastructure to support their NT and Unix application environments, provide redundant any-to-any connectivity, enable seamless scalability to support anticipated growth needs and create a resilient network providing 99.999 percent availability with the ability to upgrade and expand non-disruptively.

Through consolidating data storage into a single networked environment and implementing a McDATA-based SAN solution, BCBST was enabled to:

  • Increase storage utilization by 40%.
  • Decrease storage expenditures by 60%.
  • Decrease storage maintenance costs by 70%.
  • Reduce data network related downtime exposure by 50%.
  • Increased staff efficiency and decreased management expense by 50%

One year after implementation, the return on investment to BCBST from their McDATA SAN solution has been substantial with a 3-month investment payback period and an estimated first-year cost savings of $596,467.

The effectiveness of the solution was measured by the benefits above. According to Bob Venable, manager of enterprise systems for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, "SANavigator's asset management feature saved us a considerable amount of money almost immediately after we deployed the application. In fact, we estimate cost savings of between $1.5 and $2 million per year that are directly linked to our McDATA SAN and SANavigator software."

list of winners

Staples, Inc.
with Plumtree Software, Inc.


An $11.6 billion company with 58,000 associates worldwide, Staples needed a way to facilitate communication and information sharing between its growing and highly distributed associate base. With more than 1,400 stores across the world, Staples wanted to build a cohesive Web platform to increase employee effectiveness and productivity, as well as lower information delivery costs. A more focused and productive workforce for Staples would mean more attention to customer service – a key part of Staples’ commitment to make buying office products easy.

Staples determined that Plumtree would provide the most cost-effective way to integrate their existing applications into a personalized Web platform to deliver new e-business services quickly to its distributed organization.

The Plumtree-powered portal, known as Staples@work, assembles performance metrics, help desk capabilities, promotional materials, sales and inventory reports, store layouts and HR self-service tools, helping the company reduce inventories, improve customer service and streamline corporate communications. As the single integrated platform for all of Staples' business applications and information, Staples@work has become an essential daily working environment for more than 40,000 Home Office and field associates across 1,400 locations. Most product, promotion and company information and communications between stores, distribution centers, call centers and the Home Office is delivered through the portal.

Staples@work integrates a wide variety of Staples' enterprise applications through Plumtree portlets, portal components that integrate electronic resources from enterprise applications and Internet sites. With Plumtree's granular security, Staples can customize individual end-user views of content and applications based on role, location and job responsibility.

Store general managers, cashiers and service associates access Staples@work daily via "smart registers" and kiosks within all Staples stores in the United States. Store managers log in to the portal to see:

  • Communications from the Home Office
  • Labor scheduling and planning
  • Marketing promotions
  • Store layouts or planograms
  • A Communication Central portlet that dates and prioritizes tasks
  • Sales and financial reports
  • Rebates and coupons in PDF format

Store associates log in to the portal to:

  • Access Web-based training
  • Submit ideas and suggestions to improve processes
  • Gain enterprise support via the Helpdesk

Home Office users go to Staples@work to access associate services and company communications, including:

  • eHelp Desk, a support system from Remedy, which allows users to submit help desk tickets over the Web
  • PeopleSoft HRMS applications
  • A job posting portlet, which allows submission and routing of resumes
  • HR Express for HR administrator access, manager self-service and associate inquiry and training
  • Company news and information
  • Policy and procedure sign-off
  • Searchable forms library and templates
  • Performance metrics
  • Promotion planners
  • A store tracker
  • Best practices and solution articles
  • An associate phonebook
  • Publications from Finance, HR, IS, Internal Communications and US Superstores

This World Class Solution has helped the company to:

  • Empower store managers with performance metrics and self-service tools: Staples estimates extensive productivity savings from having the portal on point-of-sales systems as managers and associates can access relevant information more quickly, allowing them to make better decisions regarding store operations and spend more time serving customers.
  • Communicate to associates at lower costs: The portal eliminates binders and paper content distributed to stores via traditional mail or e-mail, reducing printing, mailing and network storage costs.
  • Increase return on a wide range of headquarters' systems: The portal provided Staples a cost-effective way to integrate their existing applications such as PeopleSoft HR, Remedy Help Desk and Reflexis task management in a personalized Web platform, accelerating end-user adoption and increasing ROI on those systems.

The success of Staples@work was measured by the amount of usage and activity in the portal as well as the impact of the portal on various business units. For example:

  • The Store Operations Group reduces printing, mailing and network storage costs by having the portal be the central communication vehicle to general managers in more than 1,100 stores.
  • HR increases productivity and response time from having a Web-enabled version of PeopleSoft available via the portal to make HR changes.
  • IT saves valuable time and resources by enabling service ticket distribution to various help desks throughout the organization via the portal, resulting in lower hand off between support staff.
  • The portal saves store managers from having to open 25 separate applications independently.
list of winners

with IBM Lotus Software

CATEGORY: Knowledge Management

Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH) has traditionally been an environmental engineering firm but has extended its offerings over the past several years to include infrastructure creation, program management, construction services, business consulting and enterprise technology solutions.

In order to maintain its edge in a competitive field, MWH recognized the need to develop and implement a comprehensive knowledge management solution. With more than 6,000 employees located in 140 offices worldwide, MWH needed to provide employees the means to access and reuse internal knowledge capital. It needed a means of gathering the collective knowledge and experience of its employees and providing a centralized place where employees could tap into the expertise of their colleagues – whether a cubicle or a continent away.

To leverage the knowledge and expertise of its employees and meet this internal need, MWH created KNet, a corporate "knowledge portal" built on the IBM/Lotus Domino platform. KNet provides a single, common entry point for employees into the virtual world of MWH. In its analysis of several software vendors, MWH found that Domino was one of a few platforms that could scale to the infrastructure of a growing company – a crucial factor in its delivery methodology. In addition, MWH already had a significant investment in its global Lotus Notes infrastructure and wanted to leverage that investment.

Today, virtually 100 percent of MWH’s staff with computers is integrated into KNet. KNet includes the company's vast database resources and its pool of human talent, along with an array of tools with which to access both. Using IBM Lotus Sametime awareness technology, employees can determine who in the company is online and can receive fast, accurate, real-time assistance from experts within the organization, using the IM features of Sametime to help bring "just the right information to just the right people at just the right time."

Through KNet's knowledge communities, employees can network and tap into relationships virtually. These relationships help MWH to respond quickly to new business opportunities with high-quality proposals, impressing potential customers and helping secure new business. Further, when MWH markets its services, the company stresses that it can leverage the collective expertise of more than 6,000 employees around the world to solve the client’s local issues. This allows MWH to differentiate itself from local competitors. With KNet, MWH’s collective intellect becomes tangible, visible and demonstrable.

MWH is also using KNet to speed new employee integration. New employees can quickly learn and incorporate themselves into the landscape of MWH by sitting in front of their computers, accessing KNet and immediately getting information on people, MWH-specific tools, products, guidance, access to global experts, etc. This helps integrate new employees into the company more quickly with much less "ramp-up" time and cost than in the past.

Although effectiveness of a knowledge management portal is often hard to quantify, one method MWH uses with this World Class Solution is direct feedback from the users of KNet on how this solution has assisted them in a quantifiable way. For example, the home page of KNet includes a Success Stories frame where employees post examples of how they have used KNet to cut project costs or win new business. These stories provide quantifiable metrics and exposure related to the value of the portal. For example, a recent employee posting sang the praises of KNet after receiving six employee responses within one business day to an urgent business query he had posted in one of the knowledge community discussion forums.

Clearly, MWH has realized significant benefits since implementing this World Class Solution, the most obvious being the advantages it provides in pursuing new business, both in the preparation of proposals and in marketing the benefits MWH can provide. Recently, for example, KNet allowed a business team in Europe to access the collective expertise of MWH specialists in the U.S. on a specific water utility bid based in Europe. This collaborative virtual teamwork resulted in MWH winning this $648 million account.

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