BACKGROUND: Headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, Automated Resources Group, Inc. (ARGI) is an industry-leading application service provider (ASP) focusing on supporting applications and hosting data for database marketing and subscription fulfillment services for the publishing industry. ARGI offers powerful applications that utilize world-class technologies which enhance our clients' businesses. By being responsible for the software applications and hosting data in an ODBC-compliant environment, we free our customers to concentrate their efforts and resources on taking their businesses to the next level. We also utilize other ASP software solutions, allowing our clients to perform CRM, data warehousing and data mining while combining them with ARGI's Database Marketing and Subscription Fulfillment services. ARGI, which was formed in 1971, has been a Hewlett Packard (HP) Channel Partner for 25 years.

PLATFORMS: ARGI is running version 3.5 of DISC's OMNIDEX database search engine on multiple HP servers over the Internet and private networks. OMNIDEX runs on popular platforms including Windows NT, HP9000/HP-UX, Sun/Solaris, IBM/AIX, Sequent/Dynix, Digital/UNIX, HP3000/MPE, and it enhances numerous databases including Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Informix, Sybase, RMS, C-ISAM and IMAGE/SQL.

PROBLEM SOLVED: When ARGI designs business intelligence applications, we always strive for the utmost in performance, flexibility and stability. HP servers deliver a proven architecture with round-the-clock 24x7 reliability 365 days a year. Our clients need to track and analyze hundreds of marketing attributes for each database record. Since marketing databases are very difficult to tune because of the inherently unpredictable nature of marketing queries, we turned to OMNIDEX. With the OMNIDEX database search engine, we can now provide powerful, Web-enabled and real-time data access by any combination of criteria and deliver instant query results.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With a simple menu-driven system that is powered by the advanced indexing technology of OMNIDEX, our clients enter search criteria directly into the system and instantly receive a qualified count. They then have the ability to further narrow or broaden the criteria in order to match a desired count. OMNIDEX is ideal for analyzing a database, creating a marketing campaign plan and obtaining the qualifying records for any output media or electronic format. As customer demands have grown, so have our Subscription Fulfillment and Database Marketing systems. ARGI now provides instant lookups by 320 different attributes on data tables that contain millions of records for some clients. Our clients have online or Internet access, which permits total anything-by- anything search capabilities for even unpredictable combinations of criteria. With OMNIDEX as the database/data warehouse search engine, clients can spot trends more quickly, identify new marketing opportunities and break out specific market segments for special action using PC tools or the Web.

STRENGTHS: OMNIDEX advanced indexing provides the speed and flexibility essential for our demanding customers. It solves even complex queries by accessing only its indexes, minimizing I/O by performing counts without accessing the underlying database. The database is accessed only when the user wants to view the detail data, using fast, indexed access so the system remains highly available for other users. Rather than trying to make I/O faster, as hardware options do, OMNIDEX cures performance problems at the source by eliminating I/O, delivering instant answers to our clients' data queries.

WEAKNESSES: OMNIDEX is more involved than a "go faster" switch or bigger hardware. It has a learning curve, but it is similar to things we've done in the past. DISC technical support has been very helpful.

SELECTION CRITERIA: ARGI sought a tool that would produce an instant qualified count while working in an HP environment and that would allow clients to connect from their desktops either by high-speed frame relay communications lines or through Internet connectivity. The OMNIDEX ODBC driver enables reports to be developed with the latest front-end tools; and we are now expanding user access to include popular PC tools such as Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports, Brio, etc.

DELIVERABLES: The OMNIDEX software enables us to deliver instant query results and fast reporting capabilities to our clients from either a GUI or Web interface.

VENDOR SUPPORT: DISC's support is excellent. When we reached hardware limitations, DISC worked with us and developed a work around that allowed us to preserve our investment in HP.

DOCUMENTATION: The OMNIDEX documentation is very thorough and detailed.

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