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Avid Rolls Out Web Services-Based Enterprise Data Quality Initiative

Published
  • March 01 2005, 1:00am EST
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REVIEWER: Chad Wright, applications manager for the information systems department of Avid Technology, Inc.

BACKGROUND: Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. 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.

PLATFORMS: SAP R/3 utilizes Informix 7.31 running on HP-UX UNIX servers, while SAP BW and CRM run on an Informix 9.3 database and HP/Compaq Windows 2000 servers. Firstlogic's IQ8 Integration Studio runs on Windows 2000 as well. The SAP BW data warehouse is currently 75GB in size and supports 100 users worldwide.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As we were expanding our CRM initiatives to include our multiple Web sites and a rapidly expanding prospect and customer base, we wanted to improve the quality of data that was making its way into the system. Avid had successfully employed Firstlogic's data quality solutions in a batch environment but wanted to move our ongoing data quality processes into a real-time environment to better manage and support multiple Web sites going forward. In addition, Avid wanted the business rules we had created to be portable - able to be reused by multiple data quality initiatives. Avid wanted to move to a real-time environment so that we were addressing all of the points of entry - and that's what IQ8 Integration Studio affords us.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: IQ8 Integration Studio is a comprehensive data quality integration environment for designing, deploying and managing data quality solutions. It enables centralized data quality management within the context of an enterprise architecture by facilitating the transition from multi-instance, project-based deployment to single-instance enterprise deployment. IQ8 enables Avid to quickly build and reuse business rules across the enterprise through an intuitive user interface. IQ8 Integration Studio enables both transactional (single-record processing) and batch (multiple-record processing) environments to be integrated with Firstlogic's data quality solution. A key component is a Web services interface (API) as the means of integration. The growing adoption of Web services will make it easier to integrate, deploy and maintain data quality throughout the enterprise.

STRENGTHS: The strengths of IQ8 include the ability to build once but (re)use many times, its ease of use because of the click-and-drag environment and its scalability. Additionally, it is built on proven technology.

WEAKNESSES: We would like to see Firstlogic continue to enhance the IQ8 product documentation set.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Avid has a proven track record of success with Firstlogic on several data quality initiatives.

DELIVERABLES: IQ8's ease of use - it is a true drag-and-drop environment - allows us to build our complete data flows, from input to cleansing to matching to output. It is enabling us to quickly build and share business rules across our distributed enterprise where we have multiple data sources and formats to contend with. In addition, IQ8 enables us to reuse the same source code without having to reinvent the business rules for each instance. This enables us to provide address validation and powerful matching technology at all points of entry. Avid takes all leads generated by our three Web sites and cleanses the data using IQ8 before it is loaded into our SAP CRM system, which is accessed by 75 users in 13 countries. Because each of our groups wants to market to its own brand, it is crucial that we enter and manage this prospect information correctly. We currently process approximately 1,000 leads per day from our multiple Web sites.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Our experiences with Firstlogic for many years have been highly professional and extremely positive.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is acceptable.

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