BACKGROUND: On June 24, 1999, Lucent Technologies merged with Ascend Communications to form a new division, Lucent InterNetworking Systems (INS). The merger makes Lucent Technologies a leader in data communications networking. INS manufactures next generation network equipment that comprises the backbone of telephone and Internet communications. Lucent now offers the industry's broadest voice, data, optical and wireless networking product line to public telecommunications companies worldwide (baby Bells & ISPs) and private enterprises (Fortune 500 companies with WAN or LAN).

PLATFORMS: Sun Enterprise 4500, Ultra and NT servers; Oracle, SQL server; Microsoft IIS; Epiphany Sales Reporting and Analysis, Alpha Blox Enlighten.

PROBLEMS SOLVED: Numerous data islands made customer behavior information inaccessible and inconsistent and end-user collective memory impossible. Lucent INS licensed the i.d.Centric data quality software to cleanse, standardize and enhance customer transaction data. The software eliminates duplicate entries and formats remaining entries to meet U.S. Postal Service requirements. In short, the software has reduced undeliverables, increased speed of delivery and cut costs of promotional campaigns. Multiple, independent, mission-critical databases made profiling customers cumbersome and imprecise. The i.d.Centric data quality software consolidated customer information from several data sources into one centralized data warehouse. It allowed Lucent to refine data and produce clean, reliable information and, most importantly, a single customer profile which is used to drive marketing decisions. It allows Lucent to extract from its data backbone all the data pertinent to a specific marketing decision. Lucent is now able to create a "key management application," which allocates to every customer a unique identifier that stays constant over time. It allows Lucent to track customer transactions to their source systems, whether they originated from an ERP, SFA or tech support OSS.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The data quality software is a crucial customer relationship management tool for the Lucent INS customer warehouse. It matches and standardizes customer data as it enters the consolidated database. The i.d.Centric software questions any possible errors and suggests corrections to many of those mistakes. Wrong ZIP codes and dropped letters in street names are now corrected. The i.d.Centric software made it possible for Lucent INS to extract the necessary records from its data warehouse to populate a customer data mart, which is used for precise marketing and data mining of Lucent INS customers by revenue, response and other attributes. With the software, Lucent INS is able to identify those customers responsible for 90 cents of every dollar of revenue for any period of time. What started as a basic address correction and formatting tool became a central component of a Lucent INS customer relationship management system. It drives marketing decisions based on customer behavior information consolidated from many data islands.

STRENGTHS: The i.d.Centric data quality software is not a black box solution. It can be used to build additional functionality, remove non-mailable addresses and standardize surviving records. It serves as the foundation to a constant key management system that makes customer relationship management possible.

WEAKNESSES: The business rules required were not a standard offering within the data quality solution and required Lucent to do some tuning. The complexity of these rules prompted Lucent to utilize Firstlogic's Professional Services for custom integration of the software.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Lucent INS chose Firstlogic's i.d.Centric software because of its reputation in the data quality market space and the software's adaptability for meeting its data warehousing needs.

DELIVERABLES: The data quality software corrects, standardizes and enhances the customer data before it enters the Lucent INS centralized marketing database. The software consolidates records from several databases into one and preserves a direct link to the original data sources. In addition, a data mart is created from the contents of the data warehouse.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Lucent has utilized Firstlogic's Professional Services from the project's inception and is very satisfied with the integration and their responsiveness. Firstlogic's integrators enhanced the data cleansing process by building from the proprietary application which offers additional data management functionality.

DOCUMENTATION: The level of documentation provided helped Lucent build their data refinery and key management application.

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