At Expertcity.com we're breaking through the boundaries of traditional technical support. Based in Santa Barbara, California, Expertcity.com is at the forefront of online technical support and services technologies. Our 24x7 online destination matches accredited experts with people who are looking for assistance. Then the collaboration begins ­ as if the expert and customer are sitting next to each other in front of a single screen. Backed by an impressive list of investors such as Sun Microsystems, Inc. and ZDNet, Expertcity.com is soon to become the world's leading online marketplace for person-to-person services delivered online, on demand, from anywhere.

Our site currently attracts more than half a million visitors each month. With the number of visitors growing at an exponential rate and competition just one click away, we realized that growth, profit and success ultimately rested in an effective e- business intelligence solution that allowed us to efficiently manage our business processes at Web speed.

Our e-business intelligence solution had to meet certain criteria. Like most dot-com companies, we had huge amounts of customer information stored in our Oracle database. Our users needed a powerful Web-enabled solution that let them access, analyze, report and share this information throughout the organization.

On the technology side, we wanted a Web report server, page-on-demand capabilities and support for a number of report viewers such as ActiveX, Java, Netscape plug-in, DHTML and HTML. We also required the ability to either view the report on screen, print the data straight from a formatted report or export the data to Excel to accommodate our various departments.

We originally considered several different options and found that Seagate Software's e-business intelligence solution met and exceeded all of our requirements.

We deployed our entire Seagate Software e-business intelligence solution in two phases. We first replaced the Microsoft Excel flat file platform with the first set of Crystal Reports. Crystal Reports calculates summary information from our Oracle database and exports it to our warehouse in Microsoft Access. We then built reports for users to access the data from our data warehouse in a meaningful format. The second phase involved placing the reports on the Web, instead of e- mail, for users to access if and when they want to. It was fast and easy ­ it took one and one-half hours from the time we began implementation until we saw our first report on the Web.

Since implementing the Seagate Software solution, we have completely removed the manual labor involved in getting summary data out of flat files and have a more efficient and cost-effective way of disseminating information. Incorporating our reports in a Web-based distribution method lets users access and run reports themselves, whether they want to review archived reports or schedule a report to run in a month's time. Web-based distribution also means better security. Instead of everyone getting the information, the right information gets delivered to the right person whenever they need it.

By empowering our employees to access, analyze, report and share valuable corporate data in a secure Web environment, they have been able to make consistent, coordinated decisions to grow the business in Web time.

Our marketing department has timely access to reports that track all visitor information ­ which portals they came through, what they did or didn't do and how often they came back. We've been able to streamline marketing and advertising dollars to get the most of our budget, design better advertising campaigns that result in more profitable visits and enhance our Web site based on observing customer behavior.

The finance department has access to complete customer payment information. They save hours of manual labor each month through reports that automatically calculate how we pay our experts.

Administrators to senior executives can access information via the Web and perform multidimensional analysis of the data with minimal assistance. Moreover, the scheduling capabilities of the Seagate Software solution means that they start off the morning with summary data, rather than detailed data, allowing them to make immediate business decisions.

We consider our decision to go with Seagate Software's e-business intelligence solution a competitive requirement. We have since enabled strategic business decisions across the entire company, significantly improving the performance of our business and giving us the opportunity to become a leading dot-com company.

Crystal Reports 8

From simple to complex reporting, Crystal Reports 8 provides a comprehensive Web and Windows reporting solution. Whether you are in need of easy e-reporting, creating advanced reports and distributing them via the Web or integrating reports into your applications, Crystal Reports is the answer for powerful, presentation-quality reports. Available in three editions: Standard, Professional, Developer.

Seagate Info 7

Seagate Info integrates all the basics of business intelligence ­ ad hoc query, reporting and multidimensional OLAP ­ into a proven enterprise reporting and information management system which is scalable to tens of thousands of users. Seagate Info allows users of all skill levels to access, analyze and report valuable information from virtually any data source in the organization and then share that information with anyone in the enterprise who needs it.

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