CATEGORY: Enterprise Information Portals

REVIEWER: Paula Lareau, director of information services for Revman Industries.

BACKGROUND: Revman Industries manufactures and distributes fine bed and bath products to major department and specialty stores nationwide, including famous brands such as Laura Ashley, Tommy Hilfiger, Marimekko, Echo and Revman Studio Collection. Privately owned, Revman Industries has 100 employees with offices in Greenville, South Carolina and New York City.

PLATFORMS: Processed by legacy applications running on UNIX and Windows NT systems, Revman's corporate information assets are stored in independent production, data warehouse and retail distribution databases located in the Greenville, South Carolina, data center. Jasmine Portal from Computer Associates (CA) seamlessly accesses this information across applications and platforms, making it available to staff on demand.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In addition to providing IT solutions that can scale to meet our growth, we realize that our competitive advantage relies on the ability to exceed service levels required to keep customers happy and well supported. Therefore, IT needed to provide real-time, mission-critical information instantly accessible via the Internet. Before implementing CA's Jasmine Portal, our IT staff spent significant amounts of time preparing and verifying a 200-page "Status of Billing" report covering all aspects of Revman's business operations. Since implementing Jasmine Portal, this business- critical report is delivered on the Web as a one-page summary with drill-down capabilities to provide further detail in specific areas. Best of all, processing the reports requires almost no staff supervision. The reports run faster and can be scheduled at any time, without worrying about the availability of IT staff.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Jasmine Portal allows users to create one or more workplaces to support their various roles in the organization and get personalized information with a single log-on to the Jasmine Portal. Users can customize the look and feel of their portals by intuitively dragging and dropping content onto the workplaces. Portal users can share information by publishing and categorizing content and subscribing to automatic delivery of relevant, updated information and content. Additionally, administrators can control individual access to the portal content through user profiles, and the portal's user-management facility ensures that sensitive information remains secure across the firewall.

STRENGTHS: Jasmine Portal provides a single, collaborative view of all the information needed for on-the-job effectiveness. Its seamless integration with CA's EUREKA:Reporter provides speed and reliability for reporting needs; therefore, decision making and customer responsiveness are dramatically improved. The use of Jasmine Portal has enabled our executives to access information on the fly.

WEAKNESSES: The reporting tool lacks dynamic prompts; therefore, reports have to be republished to the Web whenever the selection criteria change. However, this is expected be fixed in a future release.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Jasmine Portal was chosen to replace another vendor's solution that had already been installed. We explored several other competitive solutions, but the decision to standardize on Jasmine Portal rested largely on its enterprise application integration capabilities.

DELIVERABLES: Jasmine Portal enables us to deliver timely business information to our staff, no matter where they are or where the data resides. Now, the sales force can access what it needs and get back to business ­ without having to rely on IT to generate customized reports.

VENDOR SUPPORT: CA's Field Services Group provided comprehensive, professional implementation assistance, ensuring a rapid return on investment. In the few instances where technical support has been needed, CA's staff has been responsive and knowledgeable.

DOCUMENTATION: Jasmine Portal's online help is well written and comprehensive, and the "Getting Started Guide" makes it easy for portal administrators to install the product and get it up and running.

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