BACKGROUND: InNET, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides hospital and facilities management, information technology, business operations and strategic planning services to multiple community mental health centers. Headquartered near Denver, Colorado, InNET tracks and reports on approximately 200,000 "covered lives" and $80 million in annual billing.
PLATFORMS: The Sagent Solution runs on a Windows NT (4.0) application server accessing a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database running on a Pentium II (333 MHz) server.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Mental health centers must manage, analyze and systematically report detailed patient history, treatment and billing records and, at the same time, monitor their government contract compliance. Rather than invest in individual data management systems, several community health centers in Colorado "pooled" their development dollars and joined InNET. For these customers, InNET created an OLTP system, called InCare, and began work on a data warehouse. InNET came to Sagent after they were behind schedule on their warehouse and were having difficulty loading the data they were receiving from customers. With no consistent format, layout or data definition, InNet faced significant time and resource issues as custom programs were written to accommodate changes.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: InNET needed a solution that could be rapidly deployed and could support its entire business intelligence process: data extraction, transformation, management, analysis and reporting. Sagent became the enterprise intelligence platform for InNET's entire data warehouse and DSS architecture. Sagent's data flow technology was used by InNET to access the many different source files and then standardize/clean/validate and load the data into their warehouse. InNET staff found they were able to complete tasks in a few hours that would have taken several days using a standard programming language. They also found that the actual load of data was taking dramatically less time.
STRENGTHS: By using Sagent's integrated, end-to-end solution which includes Data Load Server, Data Access Server, WebLink Server, Automation Studio, Sagent Admin and Design Studio, InNET was able to deliver incrementally, on a customer-by-customer basis, complete DSS functionality in a matter of weeks. In addition, Sagent made Web enabling the DSS a reality. Today, InNET has implemented an intranet and is deploying, through Sagent WebLink, the DSS Report and OLAP for an executive reporting tool.
WEAKNESSES: Sagent Professional Services staff are in great demand and difficult to get scheduled on short notice.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The Sagent Solution was chosen because it enabled InNET to use a single product solution to perform data movement/data load activities to populate the data warehouse as well as to generate LAN and Web-enabled reports and OLAP cubes. Because Sagent offered a single, integrated product line, InNet could greatly reduce implementation time, multi-vendor tool costs and potential multi-vendor software incompatibility glitches. Sagent enabled InNet to move beyond the tedious data movement and transformation glitches and focus on delivering real results to its customers. Sagent Admin, a component of the Sagent Solution, enabled InNet to centrally administer multiple data warehouses/marts. Also, InNET was in the process of updating its database technology, so Sagent's tight integration with SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft Repository were important factors.
DELIVERABLES: InNET designed the data warehouse to consolidate many different sets of data from a customer and to allow the customer to track, monitor and analyze their services. The primary deliverable is the per unit cost of services provided, but other information is stored to enable the InNET customer to determine if they are complying with government contracts. Each customer, though they provide the same services, captures information about the services in diverse ways. InNET customers are starting to use the DSS to determine how they can increase their business (number of clients served) by spotting trends in services for specific demographic types. Reporting on "clinical outcomes" is another deliverable. InNET customers are using the DSS to measure and prove to the government agency that they are providing a required level of quality of service which is a condition of their contract.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Sagent provided complete support of its product suite throughout the implementation. Also, InNET retained Sagent Professional Services to train developers and review DSS design.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation has been satisfactory.
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