REVIEWER: Fernando Pantaleão, vice president of marketing for Redecard S/A.

BACKGROUND: Redecard, one of Brazil's largest financial holding companies, is responsible for 45 percent of Brazil's domestic credit and debit card operations, including MasterCard and Diners Club International. The company boasts 615,000 authorized points of sale and 170,000 electronic terminals in business merchants across Brazil.

PLATFORMS: We are running MicroStrategy's Business Intelligence Platform against a Windows 2000 Server with more than 200 NT workstations. Our data warehouse runs on a Sybase IQ 12.4 RDBMS in AIX R50 hardware.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Redecard was responsible for capturing and transmitting more than 150 million Brazilian credit and debit card transactions in the second quarter of 2001. To handle this large volume of transactions, Redecard needed a business intelligence system to track and analyze detailed transaction and customer data. The MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform provides Redecard with a better understanding of its market and allows its users to quickly evaluate and predict customer behavior and opportunities. The insight obtained from the analysis helps Redecard to contact its clients. An example of an end result: The company can sell a specific service to a specific client at the right time.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Redecard has deployed MicroStrategy software to improve data access and streamline the decision-making process among its 350 users. The information obtained allows Redecard to strengthen its client relationships as well as increase productivity in our sales force campaigns. Our next steps include extracting all information from our mainframe and client channels, integrating client answers from contacts in a data warehouse and improving business opportunities with our business intelligence system.

STRENGTHS: One of the biggest advantages of the MicroStrategy-based application is that there is no more uncertainty ­ employees know exactly what to do when they arrive for work each day. We needed an extremely efficient tool and a reliable ally with top-quality business intelligence expertise to be successful with our application and to manage rapid changes in our business and the market. MicroStrategy addresses these concerns. It's also valuable to mention another strength in MicroStrategy 7 ­ its flexibility. We started our data warehouse with some tables and grew it to a fully productive environment in a relatively short period of time.

WEAKNESSES: When implementing MicroStrategy 7, the platform seemed a little overwhelming, but we got over the learning curve in a short period of time. We had some issues with regional settings in the first 7.x release, but this was corrected in the 7.1.2 release. We are awaiting documentation that describes our meta data.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We choose MicroStrategy as our enterprise-wide standard because it offers superior analytics and a 100-percent Web-based reporting environment in a flexible data model that we required. One of our requirements was that the solution be Web- based. In order to distinguish ourselves as a service company for our customers, we must constantly analyze the detailed data in order to make decisions that strengthen our customer relationships. MicroStrategy 7 offers the customer-focused analysis we need to accomplish this and succeed.

DELIVERABLES: MicroStrategy 7 enables our employees to run more than 200 reports and ask for 15 new reports each day. Some analysis has been forwarded to areas of our business that focus on customer-relationship building. With the reports, employees can contact clients and offer specific products that are tailored to fit client needs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have a solid relationship with MicroStrategy. We continue to receive support from MicroStrategy Brazil and are in constant communication with them. Some of our suggestions have been incorporated into subsequent releases of the platform.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation and training that MicroStrategy has provided has enabled us to improve our business intelligence platform and develop new reports and functionality.

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