REVIEWER: Daniel Havey, senior vice president for National Commerce Financial Corporation.

BACKGROUND: National Commerce Financial Corporation (NCFC), a multi-bank holding company, has been repeatedly ranked one of the top-performing financial institutions in the United States. NCFC is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, with its operations headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. NCFC has $20 billion in assets and more than 400 locations throughout the southeast U.S.

PLATFORMS: The InformEnt warehouse relational database for query and reporting is based on Oracle and operates on a Sun Solaris server running UNIX. The multidimensional database for summary analysis is Hyperion Essbase and operates on a Dell server running Windows NT.

PROBLEM SOLVED: At NCFC, we were looking for ways to enhance our revenue growth and measure the profitability of our customers. It was clear to us that a view of customer-level profitability would be required to make better decisions and to strengthen our relationships with customers. Once acquired, we need to retain the most valuable customers and strengthen those relationships. Our goal was to be able to review individual account activity to determine a customer's profitability over time. InformEnt gives us an enhanced ability to analyze this data and enables us to offer products and services based on specific customer relationships. With InformEnt we have the ability to develop detailed profiles of each customer, which include profitability scores and next logical purchase data. The data that InformEnt provides is invaluable in refining our ability to target specific customer profiles. We decided to pursue customer-level profitability as the foundation of all marketing and sales efforts in our organization. Therefore, the ability to understand customer needs based upon a 360-degree view of current relationships and their profitability was a key driver in our decision to purchase InformEnt.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: InformEnt provides us with a comprehensive information management solution that gives decision-makers across our organization a consolidated source for current, accurate and consistent information on customers, profitability, products, transactions, sales, performance and marketplace activity. InformEnt also delivers customizable analytics in the areas of financial reporting, marketing, risk and channel management. With InformEnt, business processes such as when to waive fees or how to provide appropriate services to customers are based upon a common understanding of customer contribution and value to the organization. InformEnt enables us to provide our customer-facing personnel with information on the full range of products and services used in each household. We expanded our use of InformEnt with MarketShare ­ the marketing and campaign management component ­ to fuel all direct marketing efforts and improve statistical modeling. The results have been impressive. As a result of the improved modeling techniques, we doubled the assets booked by our campaigns.

STRENGTHS: A main strength of InformEnt is its comprehensive, financial services data model, which incorporates more than 11,000 data elements. The flexibility of the model allows us to quickly satisfy information needs across our entire organization. MarketShare's campaign tracking and statistical modeling tools are very strong tools that we have not seen anywhere else in the marketplace. We gained two to three times the predictive power by using the MarketShare statistical modeling capabilities.

WEAKNESSES: The tool for developing predictive models was difficult to understand and cumbersome to use. Based on our dissatisfaction, Fiserv CCS implemented a new modeling tool and, most importantly, involved us in their decision-making and selection process to implement this improved tool.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose InformEnt based on its flexibility and broad functionality. InformEnt had the only comprehensive off-the-shelf financial model in the marketplace. We believed that the financial services data model was extensive enough to serve our customer profitability purposes. We were searching for a data warehouse solution that would support robust internal reporting based on "one version of the truth," and InformEnt did that.

DELIVERABLES: We depend on InformEnt to provide all 250 reports that are produced from our organization annually. InformEnt provides a variety of outputs for report presentation, data analysis and system integration. The ability to export and import files in several formats including HTML is powerful and advantageous.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from Fiserv CCS has been excellent. CCS provides operational support on a 24x7 basis, and the help desk personnel are always responsive and willing to help us whenever we need it.

DOCUMENTATION: CCS provides accurate and timely documentation that is easy to understand. It is available online and on CD-ROM.

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