REVIEWER: Philip Powell, vice president of product development for Targetnet.
BACKGROUND: Targetnet is a pioneer in both interactive advertising and interactive customer relationship management. The company develops Web-based solutions and services which enable advertisers and brands to set up, deliver and manage the effectiveness of interactive advertising campaigns across a variety of platforms such as the Internet, e- mail, iTV and wireless communication devices.
PLATFORMS: Targetnet's delivery systems are a combination of FreeBSD and Windows 2000 running on an Intel- based, distributed computing infrastructure.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Targetnet's existing system for measuring the effectiveness of its customers' online advertising campaigns was inefficient. There were too many data sources, and they were not integrated. In addition, the volume of data was too large to provide good performance, and there was no Web strategy to pull data from OLAP sources. Hyperion Application Builder provided an integrated platform that was powerful and flexible enough to pull large volumes of data from multiple sources. The key point of the solution was our requirement to retain the integrity over the user interface. Complete control over the look and feel of our application was paramount in our solution.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Hyperion Application Builder is Web-based for easier deployment. The reported information is consistent. It quickly delivers key metrics to customers. Targetnet is currently expanding its write-back capability.
STRENGTHS: Hyperion Application Builder is flexible, scalable and cross-platform. It is J2EE compliant and customized to the user's exact business services. The data integrity enables users to make real-time decisions based on real information. The solution also leverages leading application servers such as Weblogic and Websphere, and offers an open programming environment. Further, the product accesses standard services such as security and directory services, provides a very tight integration to other Hyperion products and is a solution that was developed by one company. In addition, Hyperion Application Builder did not require us to use packaged controls which would have upset our need to retain control of the interface.
WEAKNESSES: Hyperion Application Builder is still relatively new to the marketplace and will be in need of a larger customer base to help push product requirements.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Targetnet reviewed several products against its information technology and business requirements. The IT requirements included: customer build tool; cross- platform; Web-based; flexibility to work with existing systems; intuitive; scalable; and ability to meet Targetnet's performance criteria. The business requirements were: useful, usable and an enjoyable user interface; a custom solution to business services; consistent definitions of measures and data elements; consistency in reported information; and quick delivery of key metrics to customers. Targetnet selected Hyperion Application Builder because it not only met the IT and business criteria, but also offered the most power, flexibility and ease of deployment of any of the products we researched.
DELIVERABLES: In Phase 1 we rolled out one application to 200 users. In Phase 2 we rolled out multiple applications to 1,500 users. Other benefits include total flexibility of platforms, controls and other systems; customization to exact business services; Web-based for easy deployment and ease of use; scalable to large user community; data integrity which enabled users to use real-time information to make real-time decisions; and the power to analyze with data from Hyperion data sources and as well as relational data sources.
VENDOR SUPPORT: To date, vendor support has been exceptional. The key will be to maintain this level of support as the customer base grows.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is concise and well written. Almost every question we had about product functionality was answered within the documentation.
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