BACKGROUND: Oki Data is a 27-year-old company that has built its success on meeting the computer printing needs of small- to medium-sized organizations throughout North and South America. They offer a wide variety of printers and facsimile equipment, spanning a broad base of technologies. Oki Data is a subsidiary of Oki Data Corporation in Japan, a full-line supplier of PC peripheral equipment.

PLATFORMS: Oki Data uses Trillium running on Windows NT and Windows 95. The Trillium Software System also operates on IBM mainframes, UNIX systems, AS/400 and Windows 98. Trillium runs under Java, COM+ and CORBA, and is a BAPI-certified SAP partner.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Oki Data was receiving data from many different distributors and suppliers and needed a way to stop the duplication of contacts in the "customer master" database, where all our customer, distributor and supplier information resides. The Trillium Software System was brought in to help consolidate and standardize the information in the master database, allowing us to develop a unified and clear view of our customers. Some of this information was then used to load our SAP database. Trillium is also utilized to continuously consolidate revenue amounts and appropriate it to the correct distributors.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We are currently using Trillium batch applications to investigate, cleanse and standardize 40,000 records with future plans to process records in a real-time environment with SAP. Trillium's functionality also uncovers words, patterns and phrases hidden in free-form text. With Trillium's international data discovery tables, we were able to identify, scan and recode cultural differences in phrases from both the U.S. and Canada. Specifically, Trillium's Matching module has been helping to identify duplications in our data. We have fine-tuned the matcher to spot duplications in our database from any fields, whether it be the name, address, phone number, account number, etc. The Matcher enables our organization to accurately identify and develop relationships with our customers, suppliers and distributors.

STRENGTHS: The cleansing and standardizing of data is very important to our organization because we need a clear view of our customers, suppliers and distributors to make sure we are providing the best service possible. After only two days of education training and a few days of Trillium's Professional Services, the Trillium Software System was up and running. One great strength of Trillium is the ease of use and flexibility of the product. Trillium is very robust, and we are confident in the results that it is producing. Trillium is also able to handle international data sets.

WEAKNESSES: Trillium's GUI interface was not as user friendly as we hoped it would be. Trillium has developed a new user interface that will be released this summer.

SELECTION CRITERIA: After a careful examination of three data quality vendors, the Trillium Software System was chosen. Oki Data was impressed with Trillium's sophisticated customer consolidation and householding capabilities. Another important factor for choosing Trillium was the knowledge transfer process, which is a standard part of the sales process. After receiving a free data audit, several Trillium employees walked me through the data cleansing process. They were able to quickly evaluate our customer information and demonstrate Trillium's process for data reengineering.

DELIVERABLES: Trillium is cleansing over 40,000 records three or four times a day for two weeks every month. Trillium is helping to ensure that the information we have in our master customer database is accurate and consistent. Once we have cleansed data, we run reports to analyze sales and trends. We now have greater confidence in our information and, as a result, are providing better business intelligence to our marketing organization. We plan to expand our use of Trillium to an online environment where records will be cleansed at the point of entry.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The knowledge and expertise of Trillium's staff influenced our decision to purchase the product. Every one from the sales representative to Professional Services has been extremely helpful and cooperative. Both the Trillium's help desk and customer support department are very responsive to our needs. We received the answers that we needed immediately. Their experience and expertise has helped us to implement the Trillium Software System with few problems.

DOCUMENTATION: Trillium provided several different types of documentation including print, electronic and online. The documentation is thorough, easy to understand and valuable to our experience with the software.

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