BACKGROUND: The Prudential Insurance Company of America is one of the largest diversified financial service institutions in the world, with $71 billion in assets under management. Prudential serves nearly 50 million customers worldwide, offering a variety of products and services including insurance, investment management, annuities, securities, mutual funds, healthcare management, employee benefits and administration, real estate brokerage and relocation services, and consumer banking.

PLATFORMS: ReUnion is an application server that resides on an Intel or DEC Alpha processor in a Windows NT environment. It can operate in a standalone local access configuration or receive customer information from a mainframe via a LAN or channel attachment.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Prudential consolidates information about its clients from various operational units into the client information source (CIS). The goal of the CIS is to act as the central repository for client-level information for the Prudential enterprise. The CIS provides data feeds to Prudential's operational units including call centers, the marketing group and the company's 7,000-agent sales force. Prudential is using ReUnion to ensure data integrity/accuracy and supplement important missing information in client records. This allows Prudential to identify customers with multiple Prudential products and create consolidated portfolios; gives marketing and sales an edge by providing a holistic view of customers; boosts customer service through the call center; and helps underwriting minimize insurance fraud by confirming date of birth and address data.

FUNCTIONALITY: ReUnion is data quality software solution that combines Pitney Bowes Software Systems' sophisticated algorithms with a comprehensive third-party consumer database to identify similarities and differences in data, verify and correct customer information and enhance it by appending additional data, all at the customer's site. This eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming data transfers to third-party data vendors.

STRENGTHS: The ReUnion third-party database is one of the largest, most comprehensive consumer databases in the United States. The consumer data is compiled from thousands of credible sources. ReUnion is unique because it provides client-level information such as name, telephone number and date of birth. The improved data allows Prudential to link the information from multiple business units and enhances the company's ability to communicate with its customers. Prudential also has been able to reduce the manual labor required to update information. In addition, having the system in house allows Prudential to maintain the confidentiality of its clients. Overall, the biggest benefit of using ReUnion is in helping Prudential strengthen customer relationships by having a more comprehensive view of the customer. Since ReUnion can be operated in a mainframe environment by using its mainframe client, eventually any authorized person from any department in Prudential will be able to access the needed information.

WEAKNESSES: The integration of ReUnion took longer than expected. At Prudential, we had a specific vision of how we wanted to have the solution integrated into our environment, and we worked together with Pitney Bowes Software Systems and solved these integration issues.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Prudential was a beta test site for ReUnion, which allowed the company to make suggestions in the product development stage. Prudential has other Pitney Bowes Software Systems products and has worked with Pitney Bowes Software Systems throughout the years.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Pitney Bowes Software Systems acted like a partner with Prudential in the development and implementation of ReUnion. There are refinements needed in any newly installed system, but Prudential was able to work hand-in-hand with Pitney Bowes Software Systems to work through them in a timely and effective manner. Many of the features in the ReUnion solution are a direct result of this partner-like relationship. During the beta phase, we had access to the developers who actually built ReUnion.

DOCUMENTATION: Since Prudential was a beta site, documentation has been revised and/or updated a number of times. At times it was a bit unclear as to where the updates were to be included in the binder. However, ReUnion does have detailed on-line help included in the product.

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