BACKGROUND: Hertz Lease, a $600 million fully owned subsidiary of Ford, is Europe's fastest growing corporate fleet management company with more than 130,000 vehicles leased through a network of 15 subsidiaries worldwide. Hertz Lease recognized the competitive advantage of leveraging customer, lease and financial data, and made it a priority to quickly and efficiently integrate the information assets of its recent acquisitions. Hertz Lease chose Informix Ardent DataStage as a key component of its corporate-wide program aimed at automating data integration and improving the company's ability to effectively generate business intelligence information.

PLATFORMS: Data warehouse based on Sybase and NEC; RMS/Alpha Compaq hardware.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Hertz Lease's strategy of growth through acquisition resulted in the constant integration of new systems into its IT environment. In order to perform business analysis on sales, market and product data, the company relied on its Info Center system. The system's time-consuming data extraction, processing, aggregation and formatting programs required the company to spend a disproportionate amount of time and resources on IT problems at the expense of customer relationship management. Hertz selected Ardent DataStage to provide data movement and meta data management between the three levels of our corporate information factory, enabling corporate clients to access enhanced information on fleet availability, profitability and other topics. Thanks to DataStage, Hertz Lease has successfully established its new decision support environment in France, providing users in that office access to standard or ad hoc reports from their PCs. The company is currently working to deploy similar solutions in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Spain.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We recognized that incorporating customer data from the companies we acquired was critical to measuring and comparing profitability across the company. DataStage enabled us to quickly and efficiently load large amounts of customer data from across the enterprise in our corporate information factory. We were able to perform multi-dimensional business analyses and view sales data by customer, market or product without having
to write complicated code or build several time-consuming reports
to achieve the results we were
looking for.

STRENGTHS: Hertz Lease's data warehouse and managemen project has to run every day without default. Our ultimate target was to build a fully functional corporate information factory. DataStage has helped us to reach that target, reducing warehouse construction time by 60 percent and man hours by 50 percent. In addition, Hertz Lease is an international enterprise with many disparate sources of customer, product and marketing data. DataStage allowed us to integrate all of this data, analyze it and use it to make informed business decisions. For example, we can measure the performance of a contract in the U.K. and compare those results with the settlement of a contract in France. DataStage provides us with the ability to access all of the company's data and create and generate analyses from enterprise-wide data sources.

WEAKNESSES: Ardent DataStage is a very comprehensive solution, but it does take time for a new user to adapt to DataStage's visual paradigm.

SELECTION CRITERIA: DataStage was the only product that met the company's long-term needs, while providing a technological advantage over the competition. During testing, Hertz Lease selected DataStage because it delivered the best throughput, meeting the company's anticipated goals ahead of competing products. DataStage was the only interfacing product that was able to load company data quickly and then organize it efficiently and reliably. We determined that it would have been impossible to complete our data warehousing project and reach our goals without DataStage.

DELIVERABLES: DataStage enables multidimensional analyses of all Hertz Lease's integrated data. With the ability to perform this marketing analysis, we are able to make better, more-informed business decisions that affect the entire enterprise. With the data warehouse and the use of DataStage, we have been able to double our fleet this year alone.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Technical support has been very responsive to all of our needs. The Informix staff was very easy and pleasant to work with and had the knowledge and experience necessary to lead us through this project. Additionally, they have been very willing to provide solutions, workarounds and answers.

DOCUMENTATION: All of the documentation, both in print and on the Web, is very helpful and easy to understand.

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