BACKGROUND: Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is the second largest computer company in the world and the largest global supplier of computer systems. Compaq develops and markets hardware, software, solutions and services including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, networking and communication products, commercial desktop and portable products and consumer PCs. Compaq products are sold and supported in more than 100 countries through a network of authorized Compaq marketing partners.

PLATFORMS: We run the AnalytiX System on an NT platform using a network of Compaq Professional workstations and two Compaq ProLiant 6500 servers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The AnalytiX System addressed more of an opportunity for Compaq than a "problem." We had two goals when we first started this project ­ and they are still our goals today: increasing our reseller customer satisfaction and increasing our sales. We measure everything we do against those goals. After implementing the AnalytiX System, we're seeing incremental reseller direct mail gains averaging around 19 to 21 percent. More importantly, we are starting to see an increase in our reseller customer satisfaction.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The AnalytiX System has dramatically exceeded all of our expectations. We use the system every day for the following business applications: customer loyalty, retention, market penetration, customer acquisition, prospect tracking, cross-selling and up-selling, segmentation and replication, telemarketing and direct mail, statistical modeling, demand forecasting, market campaign tracking, pricing analysis and research. In the near future, we plan to implement the elasticity of demand analysis to try to determine demand based on price, timing and cyclical influences in the market.

STRENGTHS: One of the main reasons we purchased the product is that it is a consolidated system. The AnalytiX System allows us to interface with statistical modeling tools such as SPSS, KnowledgeSEEKER and HNC Neural Net Software. We also have the mapping functionality of MapInfo and the ability to roll out an OLAP tool from the system itself. In addition, the AnalytiX System allows us to strategize, analyze, measure and implement marketing and other business-oriented tactics. The system has everything we want including the ability to grow with us, which is critical. Another strength is the system's technology. The integrated file structure makes using the database easy, and we can run complicated, 3-D queries without having to do a tremendous amount of programming.

WEAKNESSES: The system does have some limitations because it is somewhat costly to roll out enterprise-wide. Experian is currently looking at that issue.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We narrowed our initial list of 14 companies to five and sent those companies a 25-page request for proposal. We asked some tough questions in the RFP about how the system works, how to write the query and how to actually get the results. Experian was the only company that was able to answer every question. Most importantly, they answered the key question that really solidified our decision: Do you consider yourself to be a strategic partner with your clients? Experian was the only company that said, "Yes." They have delivered on that promise.

DELIVERABLES: We do reporting and analysis at all levels, from senior management to product management and everybody in between, including the sales force. The outputs include generating standardized reports on where our products are being sold, who is selling them and how many they're selling, as well as modeling those resellers to determine how we can help them perform better. We also use the modeling tools to help us develop clustering models. We use the system for direct-mail segmentation and measuring response rates. The AnalytiX System even helps us determine the best places to hold seminars.

VENDOR SUPPORT: One of the main strengths of the AnalytiX System is the people behind the product. Experian's dedication and vision allowed us to implement the system quickly (in just 75 days) and helped us develop it into exactly what we needed. We still talk with our Experian team several times per week and have strategic conversations with them on a monthly basis. This process has been, and still is, an incredible team effort.

DOCUMENTATION: It's complete and easy to understand.

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