CATEGORY: Data Quality

REVIEWER: John Ma, application manager for RSA Security.

BACKGROUND: RSA Security is recognized as the strategic e-security partner to the largest and most successful companies that are leveraging the Internet to grow their business and improve their bottom line. The company's comprehensive portfolio of e-security solutions ­ including authentication, Web access management and developer toolkits ­ helps more than 9,000 customers fully realize the revenue opportunities and operational improvements of e-business while enhancing protection of critical information. RSA is a global e-security provider with major offices in the U.S., Ireland, United Kingdom, Singapore and Tokyo, and representation in nearly 50 countries.

PLATFORMS: RSA implemented Group 1's Data Quality Connector for Siebel on NT 4.0 on a Compaq server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Two years ago, RSA Security's 160,000 prospect records were in seven different databases. Sales representatives had important prospect data in systems including ACT, Clairfy and SAP. Many of these records were fragmented. The company implemented Siebel's eBusiness Applications to help sales manage prospect interaction and forecasting. However, RSA's sales force was slow to utilize Siebel ­ adoption rates were approximately 20 percent ­ due to concerns about data quality. A data quality solution was required if RSA hoped to obtain a return from its Siebel investment. With more than 40 percent of the data in Siebel international in scope, the technology needed to be robust at handling global data. RSA implemented Group 1's Data Quality Connector for Siebel, which provides accurate, consolidated customer and prospect data in both batch and interactive modes. The Connector verifies address information for the United States and more than 220 countries and dependencies worldwide and identifies and merges duplicate customer and prospect records.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We are very pleased with Group 1's technology. It is easy to deploy and maintain. We have seen a 70-percent improvement in data quality for our North American records. The solution's consolidation technology has enabled us to identify duplicates and eliminate 25 percent of the records in Siebel, thereby increasing the accuracy of our sales forecasts. Since implementation less than a year ago, every RSA sales representative is using Siebel for forecasting. The only exception is Japan, where we have not rolled out Siebel.

STRENGTHS: We're very pleased with the solution's core address standardization and consolidation technology ­ and the accompanying dramatic improvement in data quality. The transaction-logging feature lets us diagnose any problems associated with a certain record to provide information on why it cannot be cleansed. For consolidating duplicate records, the intelligent merge feature helps us to merge records while retaining both newly captured information and all existing data and relationships. The interactive merge feature allows our IT department to identify duplicate records very quickly. The options manager, Group 1's administrative graphical user interface, lets us schedule batch jobs for the enterprise as well as configure and maintain all data quality standards in Siebel ­ none of Group 1's competitors offered similar functionality. The ability to cleanse domestic and international records in the same batch job has been beneficial due to our global orientation.

WEAKNESSES: The international address verification technology within the solution is not as granular as its domestic component.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated solutions from the three leading data quality vendors. When I wanted to bring a copy of Group 1's software in house for a day, the company was more than willing to work with us. I was impressed with the enhancements the company had made to the product since I had first seen a demonstration of the beta version. Our selection of Group 1 was also influenced by the company's strong professional services organization.

DELIVERABLES: We receive accurate address data and a single customer view utilizing the Connector. It also offers a variety of reports that can help us diagnose and correct data quality issues throughout the enterprise.

VENDOR SUPPORT: After we purchased the Connector, Group 1 spent one week at our headquarters helping with our development environment. The deployment was straightforward and within a couple of days we had the solution in production. Since then, support has been adequate.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is acceptable. From what I've seen, it would probably be difficult to run the product relying on the documentation alone.

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