REVIEWER: Olivier Chaine, VP of operations for LowerMyBills.com.

BACKGROUND: LowerMyBills.com is the first independent and unbiased online service to provide visitors with a free, one-stop solution to find the lowest rates and most competitive plans for all their monthly bills. Visitors can research, compare prices and switch plans for long distance and wireless phone services, Internet service providers, credit cards, loans, insurance providers and public utilities.

PLATFORMS: Dell PowerEdge Servers ­ Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: LowerMyBills.com needed to scale its reporting system to handle the volume and complexity of our operations. Standard solutions for basic Web reporting are insufficient, and we were disappointed by the results. We needed a solution that enabled us to constantly monitor our site to improve our campaign effectiveness and conversion rates. NetAcumen gave us that power and scalability.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: NetAcumen gave LowerMyBills.com a flexible and extensive data warehouse of Web log information that integrates clickstream data with transactional and authentication information stored in Oracle8i. NetAcumen's analytical solution allows our company to quickly and efficiently improve campaign effectiveness by allowing us to focus on modifications that are helping our visitors convert and identifying those that do not. NetAcumen's analytical solutions provide the ability to help drive strategy and measure results of specific business initiatives. LowerMyBills.com has additional plans to integrate CRM and marketing automation data in the future.

STRENGTHS: NetAcumen's architecture allows us to quickly integrate both operational and third-party demographic data that is critical to understanding our customers and increasing revenue. Their data warehousing foundation integrates clickstream behavior with any enterprise system, which delivers a cross-organizational view of the visitor.

WEAKNESSES: NetAcumen's portal provides access to extensive prepared reports and advanced cross-tab tools for data manipulation, but users cannot create new reports or integrate additional data directly through the portal. Those functionalities are only available to users through the client application.

SELECTION CRITERIA: LowerMyBills.com evaluated products from E.piphany, NetGenesis, digiMine, Primary Knowledge, Informatica and Micro-Strategy, but selected NetAcumen for its on-site hosting capabilities, easy access to reports through the NetAcumen portal, support for custom business rules and integration for external data.

DELIVERABLES: LowerMyBills.com delivers Web reports from NetAcumen to 60 percent of its employees. These reports are created by the data warehousing group, and then made available to users as part of an information portal. Users of the portal include employees in business development, IT, marketing, Web development, sales and the CEO who uses the reports to monitor key performance indicators and prepare for board meetings.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The support provided by NetAcumen's operations department has been impressive ­ they have a proven commitment to excellence in customer service. They continue to support and extend their product based on feedback and requests, and work closely with our business team to find the optimal solution that matches our business model.

DOCUMENTATION: NetAcumen provided full documentation, but as the information portal is designed for ease of use, we relied primarily on the initial training sessions provided by NetAcumen's consultants.

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