BACKGROUND: For over 30 years, Glenayre Technologies Inc. has been developing and providing leading-edge personal telecommunications systems. Glenayre is a premier designer and producer of advanced, two-way pagers that operate on the ReFLEX protocol. Glenayre has more than 2,000 employees with products installed in more than 100 countries.
PLATFORMS: Windows NT Server 4.0, Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Web client using Internet Explorer 4.0.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The personal telecommunications market is driven by customer service and rapid response to customer product requirements. In early 1998, Glenayre recognized that it needed a faster, more efficient method for extracting, formatting and distributing customer data from three disparate operational databases. Employees throughout the company needed on-demand access to the critical customer information stored in each database, but providing that access was difficult and time-consuming. The IS group extracted the data, downloaded it into a database or spreadsheet, manipulated and formatted it, printed the reports and manually delivered them to end users. Everyone was frustrated by this labor-intensive, inefficient process. Developers spent too much time extracting and manipulating data. End users had no control over the information being delivered and couldn't run reports themselves. To satisfy both end-user and developer needs and to improve customer service and satisfaction, Glenayre implemented the Actuate Reporting System 3.2. Actuate enables employees to automatically produce custom reports that better meet their requirements while reducing the burden on IS department resources. Using Actuate, employees and customers now have easy Web access to the data they need as well as the ability to receive selective data in a preferred format.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Actuate Reporting System 3.2 extracts data from multiple enterprise sources and compiles it into live report documents, highly interactive and searchable reports, that can be accessed via the Web or in client/server. Actuate 3.2 offers ReportBlast, a new report format optimized for Web distribution that contains all of Actuate's standard live viewing features including dynamic table of contents, hyperlinks and ReportQuery. The optimized Web server and the demand paging architecture (Virtual Report Distribution) add to the product's Web scalability, delivering tremendous amounts of data with high-speed performance. Actuate's object oriented development environment and library of reusable report components significantly eases report creation and customization, and business unit managers are empowered to run ad hoc queries. This enables both IS and end users to be more efficient, minimizing the administrative headaches of report creation and customization. Actuate's ReportCast allows end users to subscribe to channels of interest, meaning they receive only the information relevant to their jobs. Furthermore, Actuate alerts users when new reports are available, delivering a headline or summary via the Web, e-mail or pager. Users can choose to view the entire report or a specific subsection. This greatly reduces information overload for employees, giving them only pertinent data. Using Actuate's Report Encyclopedia, we have developed a forecasting system that provides instant access to all sales information, and customer service managers and representatives have valuable data on call durations and closure rates at their fingertips. We look forward to using 3.2's powerful Transporter technology for the one-button export of Actuate data to other decision support applications for in-depth analysis. Actuate 3.2's adaptability, scalability and optimized Web features give Glenayre employees fast, timely access to the information they need to make more informed decisions and deliver better customer service. Our customers benefit because they receive more information specifically targeted to them with greater frequency.
STRENGTHS: The Actuate Reporting System 3.2 takes full advantage of the Web as an information distribution mechanism, delivering reliable, secure, high-speed performance with unmatched Web access capabilities.
WEAKNESSES: Certain aspects of Report Server administration could be improved, such as the ability to set space limitations by user.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Glenayre chose the Actuate Reporting System 3.2 for its unsurpassed Web performance, ease of use and highly adaptable development environment.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Actuate provides high-quality technical support via telephone, e-mail and their Web site.
DOCUMENTATION: Product documentation is extensive and well-organized.
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