BACKGROUND: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest health care management companies in the United States. Formed by the merger of four Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Connecticut, the Indianapolis-based company strives to deliver the best health care benefits at the lowest cost possible to millions of consumers nationwide, by working closely with doctors, hospitals and insurance providers.

PLATFORMS: Anthem's critical insurance data resides on a scalable and high-performing 12-node (with four Intel processors per node) NCR WorldMark 5150 massively parallel processing (MPP) server which supports Anthem's two-terabyte data warehouse built with NCR's Teradata relational database.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Anthem competes in a dynamic, growing and highly competitive industry that requires the delivery of quality health care services. Recently, mergers with four Blue Cross Blue Shield providers have brought about major expansion for Anthem, and with it the need to access detailed data from one centralized source. As a result, consolidation of varied data warehouses on disparate platforms became a priority. With its massively parallel WorldMark 5150 server and the Teradata database, NCR Corporation was selected to provide a solution capable of storing all of Anthem's critical data on one strategic hardware platform and also provide the foundation on which to run the highly-scalable Teradata relational database.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The 12-node massively parallel processing (MPP) server from NCR supports Anthem's critical-business applications that require continuous timely updates for making better decisions. Currently, the WorldMark platform can store Anthem's entire history of critical claims, revenue, membership and provider information as well as other pertinent information.

STRENGTHS: The line of NCR WorldMark servers is designed for enterprise-wide, mission-critical and decision support applications. Its high-performance and flexible hardware architecture reduces downtime and provides a solid platform for critical relational database software, such as Teradata. Also, the ability to upgrade processors and expand the number of nodes is another important strength of NCR's servers.

WEAKNESSES: The installation of an NCR 6400 Robotic Tape Library for backup purposes caused some start-up issues, but the problem was quickly resolved with a call to NCR's Professional Services.

SELECTION CRITERIA: When Anthem undertook the merging operations for its three insurance providers, two of the three organization's data warehouses were already on NCR hardware running Teradata. These two organizations were pleased with the results, benefits and reliable access to their data warehouse. Highly recommended by the other providers, Anthem was able to choose the best system for its needs. Anthem was impressed with NCR's professional services and support organization. As Anthem went through the consolidation of its structures, it was reassuring to have the professional services staff of NCR to assist with any questions and maintenance. Further, NCR will be there to help with enhancements and capacity planning when Anthem is ready to take the next step in expanding its data warehouse environment.

DELIVERABLES: Using NCR's complete and integrated data warehouse solution allowed Anthem round-the-clock access to critical detailed data, all in one central location. With the highly available WorldMark servers and Teradata database, Anthem is able to make better decisions, improve the quality of care and reduce the cost of health care for consumers. In addition, various departments within Anthem have quick access to the data. Anthem uses the data warehouse as a competitive advantage in delivering the highest quality health care possible.

VENDOR SUPPORT: NCR Corp-oration provides an experienced professional services organization that has broad experience in the design, implementation and integration of cost-effective data warehousing solutions. The NCR field support personnel are reliable and keep the mission-critical decision support function available 24x7.

DOCUMENTATION: NCR Corporation has complete print, CD-ROM and Web-enabled on-line help materials for all its products.

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