REVIEWER: Chenwei Lai, senior IT manager for Seagate.


BACKGROUND:  Founded in 1979, Seagate is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disk drives, providing products for a wide range of enterprise, desktop, mobile computing and consumer electronics applications. Seagate is based in California, has 15 facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and recorded revenues of $7.6 billion in 2005.

PLATFORMS: Sun Solaris 8 OS on a Sun Fire E4500 server and eight 400MHz UltraSPARC II CPUs with 8GB RAM.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As Seagate's workforce grew - reaching 48,000 employees in Asia, North America and Europe by early 2006 - Seagate found itself increasingly challenged to effectively manage its human capital. A proliferation of nearly a dozen isolated HR systems in multiple languages around the globe left Seagate executives and plant managers with limited ability to track, analyze and optimize HR dynamics such as headcount, salaries, benefits, bonuses, turnover and retention, training and performance management. Moreover, Seagate incurred high costs for specialized IT resources to access data in legacy HR systems and respond to management requests for ad hoc reports.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: A comprehensive data integration platform was needed so Seagate executives and plant managers could track, analyze and optimize HR dynamics. The new solution was intended to help the company both reduce costs and achieve breakthrough insights into workforce dynamics. Seagate turned to the Informatica PowerCenter data integration platform to integrate data from across multiple HR sources, including its principal HR application (Oracle HRMS) and several off-site applications sources, into an Oracle8i database. With PowerCenter's automated data integration capabilities, as well as multibyte character and UTF-8 support, Seagate standardized on a single data model that provides consistent and accurate data on demand in multiple languages.

STRENGTHS: PowerCenter's capabilities for standardized transformations, error correction and data profiling have reconciled semantic definition among heterogeneous applications, providing Seagate a single source of HR truth. In addition, Seagate relies on PowerCenter for error flagging that enables it to correct problem data in operational source applications. PowerCenter's drag-and-drop interface and reusable objects reduced the time Seagate would have needed to build and maintain data integration mechanisms through custom coding by about 30 percent. PowerCenter has helped Seagate create a real-time, on-demand system that improved the company's ability to manage a large global workforce and realize millions of dollars a year in savings and cost avoidance.

WEAKNESSES: As we began to expand our use of PowerCenter to integrate data from outsourced third-party vendors via XML files, we needed to parse and process complicated XML files and schema. PowerCenter couldn't accomplish the task easily. We would like to see enhancements in usability and advanced parsing functionality in an XML data integration environment.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Seagate selected Informatica PowerCenter for its prebuilt access to disparate data sources, its point-and-click ease of use and scalability to accommodate future growth. Informatica offered an integrated, single-vendor solution that could scale and address all the company's HR data needs.

DELIVERABLES: More than 100 executives have personal dashboards, and 250 managers and end users now have self-service capabilities for reporting and analysis, drill-through to underlying data, and multidimensional, multinational slice and dice. Nightly data loads to the warehouse ensure that executives, managers and all end users have immediate interaction with fresh information. HR data analysis dashboards can yield insights vital to attracting and retaining top-quality executives, engineers and production personnel. Seagate estimates that the Informatica-powered HR solution generates a significant return on investment of more than $3.5 million once benefits are balanced against labor and maintenance costs.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Informatica provides good support via phone, email or the Informatica Web site and knowledge database.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete, intuitive and available online.

Informatica PowerCenter
Informatica Corporation
100 Cardinal Way
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 385-5000
www.informatica.com


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