BACKGROUND: Save.com is an innovator in target marketing via the Internet, delivering secure, universally accepted coupons and promotions online which consumers print on their own printers. More than a destination Web site, Save.com allows users to conveniently collect coupons while visiting their favorite Save.com-affiliated Web sites. By personalizing offers encouraging consumers to review, print and redeem coupons from leading consumer packaged goods companies, Save.com makes savings easy and fun for all value conscious consumers.
PLATFORMS: WhiteCross Data Exploration Server (WX/DES).
PROBLEM SOLVED: Save.com needs to maintain and manage detailed data about its customers. Consumers who participate in the Save.com Promotions Network actively generate large amounts of data by downloading, viewing, selecting and printing offers. Information on consumer preferences and demographics are also collected. WhiteCross ASP (WX/ASP) Services provided an affordable data analysis solution. WhiteCross' original solution, the WhiteCross Data Exploration Server, would be a tremendous expenditure for us. We approached WhiteCross to discuss how Save.com could engage WhiteCross' reporting and analytical capabilities in a service mode. WhiteCross recognized our status as a start-up and understood that the capability to house, manage and analyze detailed customer data was imperative. WhiteCross also saw the value of outsourcing the complex tasks that lay ahead and was in a strong position to enter the burgeoning application service provider (ASP) marketplace with its reporting and analytical services. Both companies agreed that WhiteCross would host these reporting and analytical applications for Save.com, freeing us from the maintenance, implementation and management of these applications.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With the combination of its high-speed, complex data analysis system and expert consultants, WX/ASP creates reports and analytical applications. We easily obtain information about consumer interaction with our system through WhiteCross' routine reports which are defined by the initiative of Save.com and WhiteCross' consultants.
STRENGTHS: We chose WhiteCross because we knew its service could accommodate the complex and detailed analyses of our data repository now and as it continues to grow. The skill and expertise of the WhiteCross consultants in satisfying our business requirements as well our technical needs was a key factor in our decision to work with WhiteCross. We anticipate that our investment in working with WhiteCross will further enhance our ability to rapidly deliver value to our sponsors and to every participant in the Save.com Promotions Network. We subscribe to ASP Services in order to obtain the essential reports, analysis and feedback for our Save.com participants and to internally manage the promotional activity.
WEAKNESSES: A concern with outsourcing analytical applications was that of security and privacy. Save.com compiles tremendous amounts of data about our customers and their interaction with the system. WhiteCross has access to all of our customer information and has, to date, treated it with the utmost of discretion and professionalism.
SELECTION CRITERIA: While Save.com was in its preliminary stages of development, we recognized the need for detailed data. Although these solutions are essential to maintaining outstanding customer relationships, analysis systems are expensive. They require significant IT resources to maintain and scarce business acumen to exploit, and many companies simply don't have the resources to house and manage such complex applications in house. I had seen a demonstration by WhiteCross Systems, a company specializing in large-scale data analysis and consulting for e-commerce and telecommunications companies and suggested that WhiteCross might have the system to fulfill the company's short- and longer-term needs.
DELIVERABLES: The reports that WhiteCross prepares for Save.com detail overall user interaction with the system, offers presented and profiles of users provided by the information they supply. Save.com also receives regular reports of new user registration.
VENDOR SUPPORT: WhiteCross consultants work closely with us on location. The consultants are knowledgeable, proactive and have been a tremendous asset as we grow Save.com.
DOCUMENTATION: WX/ASP is an outsourced service and, as such, we have no need for documentation. We are seeing benefit from this analytical application hosting because it saves us time, money and frustration, decreasing our time to market and giving us a competitive advantage.
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