Avid Technology, Inc. delivers the solutions that "Make, Manage and Move Media." Avid's products are used to make more television and news shows, commercials, music videos and CDs, corporate/industrial productions and major motion pictures combined than any other nonlinear editing manufacturer in the world.

Like many companies, Avid struggled to fully integrate its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system ­ in this case SAP R/3 ­ with the rest of the company's enterprise applications. We wanted to close the loop between our SAP R/3 and Onyx marketing system as we were losing visibility to crucial customer information as prospects were converted to sales and as data moved between these disparate systems. In addition, Avid wanted to incorporate an information quality process into a new data warehouse environment, the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). For a number of years, we had subscribed to the best-of-breed practice which, while successful, resulted in a number of disparate enterprise systems with multiple connection points. The driving force behind the new data warehouse was our desire to standardize on common systems as well as further improve the company's reporting and analysis capabilities.

Avid conducted an extensive research and acquisition program that included the leading data quality software products performing an extensive matching exercise. We wanted the ability to match customer records between SAP R/3 ­ which we use for financials, manufacturing, customer service, sales and distribution ­ with Onyx, our CRM system. Avid asked each vendor to match customer data on name and address, then by product, and then compare transaction dates. We wanted the ability to look at a lead that came into our Onyx system for a particular product on a specific day and how that might compare with an order that was entered into our SAP R/3 system 30, 60 or 90 days later. Firstlogic Information Quality Suite was the only software that met the match requirements and far exceeded our expectations.

Avid uses the Firstlogic Information Quality (IQ) Suite in an environment consisting of SAP R/3 V4.6c managed by an Informix V7.31 database running on HP/UX Enterprise Servers. For CRM, Avid utilizes Onyx V4.51 and Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 running on Compaq NT servers. Avid manages its 50GB data warehouse with SAP BW V2.1c and Informix V7.31 running on Compaq NT servers. Currently, the 50GB data warehouse, which went live in October 2001, supports 75 users worldwide.

For Avid, Firstlogic software cleanses, standardizes, consolidates and matches SAP R/3 and Onyx customer data sources before the data is loaded into our data warehouse. Our Onyx sales lead data is run through Firstlogic IQ Suite where it cleans address information, standardizes names and identifies duplicates. The cleansed Onyx company data is matched with cleansed company data from our SAP R/3 database, thus enabling us to tie our leads to sales in the data warehouse. This provides our marketing group with a single view of customer information that they were not able to achieve previously because of our disparate systems.

The implementation has additional key benefits for us. Although Avid is currently using Firstlogic IQ Suite in a batch environment, we anticipate incorporating the product's real-time features at some later date. The ability to incorporate our own custom-defined matching rules at any time is also a powerful feature. Because of the matching capabilities of the implementation, we have been able to eliminate 15 percent duplicate data contained in our Onyx system. The ability to generate detailed job summary reports is a key feature for us. We have been able to perform additional analytics on subsets of data to help illustrate where large numbers of duplicates existed or where a general name and address scrubbing was appropriate. Our entire data cleansing operation, performed weekly, is completed in less than three hours. We developed the initial data cleansing application in less than two weeks, although we continue to refine it over time. The product is very easy to learn and use.

We view data and information quality as more of an art form than a science. Our experience with Firstlogic ­ from pre-sales through our current dealings with the technical support staff ­ has been highly professional and extremely positive. In addition, Firstlogic conducted an extremely successful on-site training session where a preliminary information quality process plan was developed.

Firstlogic Information Quality (IQ) Suite enables organizations to enhance and match business-critical information anywhere it is touched, stored or moved across the enterprise. The core of IQ Suite is its matching and consolidation technology, which identifies duplicates or redundant data and consolidates elements about an individual customer, household or firm, helping organizations create a single view.

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