BACKGROUND: The California State Automobile Association (CSAA) is one of the largest of the American Automobile Association's nationwide affiliates, serving nearly four million members across Northern California, Nevada and Utah.

PLATFORMS: Compaq SQL/NT database server with four CPUs, four 400 MHz processors, 270GB of data storage, NT application server and Web server, and standard Web browsers as client software.

PROBLEM SOLVED: For marketers at CSAA's automotive, insurance and travel services, CSAA's membership base represents an extraordinary resource for promotional and cross-selling opportunities. Prior to E.piphany, we were not able to seize this opportunity because the information on CSAA's customers was largely located on legacy systems not available to marketing executives. Customer data (e.g., membership and insurance policy information) is collected in a DB2 operational database. A second set of data including transaction records from CSAA's travel services group resides in a separate TS2000 mainframe database. We had to work through CSAA's database marketing department to obtain information to help answer queries and create reports. For the business users, requesting counts and analyses was a paper-driven process that further slowed getting needed information. Moreover, the customer information that could be retrieved came from the main operational database ­ the travel system that was completely inaccessible to the marketing department. This prohibited our team from making rapid, informed decisions. CSAA is faced with increasing competition and rising consumer expectations. Consumers are using the Internet to quickly evaluate products and prices from a range of vendors. The customer is making powerful decisions that affect traditional loyalties, intensify competition and compel companies to develop new ways of delivering value to the customer. We needed to change our culture accordingly, becoming a more proactive, needs-based consultative service and selling business. We wanted to improve our ability to inform customers about services available and be more analytical in targeting opportunities and designing communications. What we needed was widespread access to information, ideally on everyone's desktop. We also needed a solution to support a hardware platform that fit our long-term IT goals and did not prohibit us from running SAS and other OLAP tools. We had to make a choice to either eliminate legacy systems to build an enterprise data warehouse or extract data from the legacy systems into an E.piphany E.4 System.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The E.piphany E.4 System pulls data both from CSAA's operational database and from our TS2000 travel system, automatically integrating the data in a packaged data mart and providing hands-on access to end users via point-and-click, Web browser-based application modules. With minimal training, rank-and-file marketers can query the data mart and receive rapid answers with little assistance of database marketing analysts.

STRENGTHS: E.piphany E.4 is a fully integrated solution that is instantly accessible by every knowledge worker, partner and customer. Other solutions require extensive training. E.piphany brings data access to the masses. It takes a major reporting burden off of our department, allowing us to do more advanced modeling and analysis and act on meaningful customer information located throughout the organization.

WEAKNESSES: Earlier versions of E.piphany's product we used were less user friendly, less powerful and lacked workflows, the "my E.piphany" home page and some campaign management features.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Ease of use, universal user access to data and integration within existing data marts were the reasons for choosing E.piphany.

DELIVERABLES: E.piphany's interactive reports and OLAP analyses allow us to analyze our business and identify our customers. The data mining analyses allow us to understand and differentiate our customers based on how demographics correlate with behavior. The campaign manager allows us to deploy this understanding and target the right customers with the right offer. E.4 closes the loop ­ we can use the list of customers who received an offer and look at their subsequent behavior even in cases where we don't capture direct response codes.

VENDOR SUPPORT: E.piphany has provided a broad range of support, from strategic database marketing consulting to help with user rollout and working with IT support to extract data from our legacy systems.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is complete and easy to understand, including comprehensive Web- based help for users and CD-ROM-based system guides for administrators.

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