REVIEWER: Carol J. Buckreus, program manager of data governance for Neopost. BACKGROUND: Neopost is the fastest-growing worldwide provider of mailing and shipping solutions. Neopost partners with its customers to help them achieve higher levels of efficiency, control and value in their mailing operation. Over its 80-year history, Neopost has consistently provided innovative mailing solutions, including the first electronic postage meter, the first folder/inserters with automated setting adjustments and its flagship digital inkjet mailing systems.

PLATFORMS: Dell Hardware running Windows Server 2003 Standard software, Oracle 11i ERP and Siebel 7.8 CRM applications.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As with most high-tech business organizations, we were experiencing multiple problems - lost revenues, unnecessary business costs and satisfaction challenges - as a result of many data integrity issues. Almost every organization across the business enterprise was affected by nonstandard, inaccurate and duplicate data - sales, marketing, service, operations and administration. Cleansing and deduplicating our Oracle ERP data allowed us to implement our new Siebel CRM application with an optimized customer master design that took advantage of more Siebel functionality than if we had done it with unclean data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using all of the functionalities of Melissa Data/Stalworth’s DQ*Plus - data cleansing, duplicate identification and multiple merging rule features - we have greatly improved, and continue to improve, the quality and accuracy of our most important data. Having clean and accurate account, address and contact information for both our customers and prospects, versus working with and around dirty data, results in multiple business benefits such as increased revenues, decreased costs and much higher customer and employee satisfaction. More accurately targeting revenue opportunities, more efficient call center and field service operations, and significantly less returned mail and outstanding accounts receivable are just a few benefits resulting from our investment in DQ*Plus.

STRENGTHS: DQ*Plus is very robust, versatile and user-friendly software. It allows us to program any cleansing and matching rules we choose, on any type of data elements and attributes (e.g., account, address, product, agreement, etc). As a customer, once you understand basic cleansing rule definition principles and the five key steps of deduplication - data set selection, duplicate identification, merge disqualification, best record selection and best data selection - you can systematically cleanse or dedupe data in batch, persistent or interactive mode fairly easily. Also, we are able to use DQ*Plus not only for our Oracle ERP and Siebel CRM data but for other key legacy system data as well, which needed to be matched and integrated into our two core systems. Finally, when deduping key data, the very best data is kept when merging multiple records.

WEAKNESSES: As Stalworth’s first supported platform was Siebel, Oracle functionality is not yet as robust and mature, and so we are looking forward to future releases that fully implement the entire desired future-state solution - for example, Oracle Interactive processing and automatic merge submissions.

SELECTION CRITERIA: When reviewing all key product functionality criteria - data cleansing and standardization, duplicate identification, merge and best record/data selection - DQ*Plus was superior to our other options. DQ*Plus is not as complex and technically heavy to use as other tools, and the tool has cross-platform and flexibility features. Finally, our decision was made due to reasonable initial and ongoing costs and our ability to closely partner with a vendor that would be there for us during and after our implementation.

DELIVERABLES: DQ*Plus output includes robust cleansing and deduplication summary and detailed reports, including excellent graphics to best illustrate key data and metrics results.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Stalworth has provided us with excellent initial program management and continuing support. The program manager who did our initial data quality assessment was constantly available during our first implementations and is always available via teleconference for ongoing support. The company understands our business and goals, and we look forward to working with them to complete all future implementations.

DOCUMENTATION: The DQ*Plus Administrator Guide and the online help system are great resources prior to and during implementation.

DQ*Plus
Melissa Data Corp.
22382 Avenida Empresa
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(949) 858-3000
www.melissadata.com

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