REVIEWER: Mike Tiller, IT director for Cerqa.
BACKGROUND: Cerqa is a supply chain management company located in Austin, Texas. Cerqa provides a wide range of supply chain management services to manufacturers, linking supply and customer demand as closely as possible in order to reduce costs, minimize business risk and better meet customer expectations for performance and quality. This allows customers to increase the focus on their core competencies while simultaneously reducing the total cost of ownership of the products and processes outsourced to Cerqa.
PLATFORMS: Cerqa is currently using Windows 2000 and Windows XP platforms.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The supply chain management industry is made up of the integration of supply planning, procurement, warehousing and distribution. Cerqa receives mass quantities of data from a variety of our manufacturing customers. Our IT department was facing the difficulty of integrating our customer data from a variety of different files into a single format. Certain key files had to be dumped daily. Prior to using DT/Studio from Embarcadero Technologies, our IT department was overloaded with Visual Basic programs that were written in house to remedy our integration problem. The manual method for moving the files was a burden on the IT staff. DT/Studio has allowed the product managers at Cerqa to manage the data migration process, freeing up our IT resources to handle other tasks.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Cerqa implemented DT/Studio in early January 2002 for multiple data migration projects in our supply chain network. The tool has performed very well and has already provided increased functionality and efficiency for our over-burdened IT department. It enables Cerqa to assemble customers' data in less time with higher quality than if we had developed custom code. DT/Studio has assembled our customer data in a consistent and usable format. Because our data integration process is streamlined with DT/Studio, we can focus our resources into growing Cerqa's business. The performance of DT/Studio has already directly benefited our bottom line.
STRENGTHS: The key strengths of DT/Studio include the graphical interface and ease of use of the product. Additional strengths include the extensive database support and functions for data manipulation.
WEAKNESSES: The features of DT/Studio meet all of the requirements set by Cerqa. The only perceivable weakness is following the tool's documentation through setup. Also, the help files could be expanded and simplified.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The primary factor for selecting DT/Studio was the graphical interface and ease of use. We wanted to deploy a data migration tool outside of IT, so it needed to be intuitive and stable for a variety of users. Cerqa found DT/Studio to be both easy to use and cost- effective. DT/Studio's drag-and-drop interface and Java foundation make it easy to use and configure.
DELIVERABLES: DT/Studio provides Cerqa with comprehensive data migration and log files for job verification and error tracking. The logging feature delivers the necessary information to track any data issues and resolve them.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The support we have received for the product has been excellent. The technical support team at Embarcadero has been very responsive and knowledgeable.
DOCUMENTATION: It would be difficult to run DT/Studio on documentation alone. However, the one-on-one technical support is a very effective alternative.
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