REVIEWER: Stephen Inocencio, director of Technology Infrastructure and information security officer for IPS-Sendero, a Fiserv Corporation

 

BACKGROUND:IPS-Sendero is a business unit of Fiserv Solutions Inc. and a provider of technology, education and professional services for corporate performance management for financial services companies. Financial institutions of all types use IPS-Sendero products and services to help manage balance-sheet risk, measure and manage profitability, develop budgets and forecasts and produce information needed for sound decision-making. More than 3,400 organizations in 70 countries have licensed 8,400 IPS-Sendero products through our global offices and Atlanta headquarters.

 

PLATFORMS: Windows platforms, including database, OS, IIS and MOSS.

 

PROBLEM SOLVED: As our business continues to grow, we found that our manual process of on-boarding clients did not scale as needed. The manual data setup process takes anywhere from one to three weeks due to data validation and data preparation from our clients. This challenge was causing implementation backlogs. We wanted to decrease the data preparation phase for our clients and automate data setup and implementation time, increase client satisfaction and support our clients regardless of their data type. We implemented an automated process in just weeks on Pervasive Data Integrator and Pervasive Data Profiler. The result: we reduced data setup time by 98 percent (from three weeks to 14 minutes) and reduced our backlog by 97 percent with our control group, accelerating the recognition of deferred revenue. In short, we’re able to transform large volumes of data specifically to enable business growth and increase client satisfaction. We also leveraged our design of the deployment scenario to be extensible over the Internet, so clients can use this the data profile feature on demand.

 

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The ease of rapid deployment and short learning curve - it’s powerful but not complicated - are key points for us. We also leverage the products’ ability to be embedded and distributed. We’re testing embedding data maps into our product so if a client wants to perform a data extract or transformation they could run it through an API. We used the Web services to create a full systemic process for data collection, profiling and validation of data, and integration into our product set for both our existing license model and for our planned software as a service delivery model.

 

STRENGTHS: Pervasive Data Integrator provides simplicity of use with the power of a complex, customizable tool. Very few tools can go to cash ROI within two months. We were able to keep maps and processes simple and yet solve a complicated problem. I like that we can embed both Pervasive Data Integrator and Pervasive Data Profiler and they’re highly extensible. They both are very fast and they are very affordable compared to competitors; they’re easy to adopt financially and support reuses for multiple integration requirements.

 

WEAKNESSES: I’d like to see Pervasive extend Pervasive Data Integrator to automatically increase the number of threads to leverage multicore processors on a grid-computing approach out of the box. Hardware is already going to dual-core, quad-core and even hex-core commodity servers. We need applications that will exploit that hardware. Pervasive Data Profiler already embeds Pervasive DataRush, which automatically scales to harness multicore, and I’m ready now for the next version of Pervasive Data Integrator that will embed Pervasive DataRush. Providing a grid-based distribution for parts of key processes within the process map would enable Pervasive’s engines to vastly expand its innate processing power of DataRush to grow at geometric levels. Think about how much you can process with a four processor quad-core server and then compare that to, for example, seven servers in a grid with four quad core processors in each sharing the workload at the same time. This would be a very exciting option for our internal needs and others in the market who want to be a hosting provider of such services.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA: We wanted a single tool that was extensible. We looked at competitive products and at the option of building custom code in house. We wanted something affordable and fast that let us create extra value for our clients. We wanted a tool that would enable us to leverage Web services, as well as the ability to embed the product within our own products. We also needed the ability to run it online as an on-demand system. Pervasive was the only option that met all those criteria, plus it is the most cost-effective and the easiest to ramp up and get going fast.

 

DELIVERABLES: Major features in our implementation include being extensible over the Internet, letting clients access Web services-based capability. We had to be simple for our users because our customers - banks, credit unions and thrifts - have people who are savvy in finance, not data profiling and integration technology. We put a wizard on top so they could use it; we made it actionable and understandable. We deal with a variety of data types, and we used Pervasive’s range of capabilities to successfully deal with all of them. We took three months to put business rules into the Pervasive maps, much of which we could do with no training. We had a working model in four and a half to five months, and we’re now developing a SaaS-based solution. Bottom line: the average data setup has dropped from weeks to approximately seven minutes to analyze and seven minutes to import - that’s the kind of transformative result we were looking to deliver.

 

VENDOR SUPPORT: The support people who we’ve spoken to were genuinely focused on our success. They made themselves accessible, they were patient (which is very important) and they offered creative ideas in response to our questions and challenges along the way.

 

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is clear, understandable and easy to follow. As with any big process-engineering automation task, the biggest hurdle is understanding the business rules and how they apply to the process, and making sure all the variables and potential events are addressed in the integration process. Most of that comes from your business acumen and knowledge of the business processes.

 

Pervasive Data Integrator

Pervasive Software, Inc.

12365B Riata Trace Parkway

Austin, TX 78727

(512) 231-6000

www.pervasive.com

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