RESEARCH & RESOURCES

CASE STUDY - Enhanced Business Intelligence—On Demand

Commentary by Ken Rudin, CEO, LucidEra

Business intelligence (BI) holds the promise of delivering competitive advantage by giving managers insight into what customers want and how the business is performing. But the value of business intelligence can be hard to realize. First, in today’s interconnected world, application and process outsourcing means that critical information may exist outside an organization’s walls. And many companies lack the resources—time, skills, or budget—to pull together data coming from different sources and different formats.

LucidEra was founded in 2005 to offer a new approach to BI: an on-demand service that delivers prebuilt analytic applications that are simple to set up, simple to use, and simple to buy. LucidEra’s customers are companies that want better insight into their sales processes. LucidEra’s business analytics-as-a-service model combines information from a company’s CRM and financial applications and then delivers that information in dynamic reports, on demand.

One of the challenges to LucidEra’s business model was integrating information from multiple applications and databases. For any customer-related analytics that combine data from multiple application sources, the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform needed to know how to identify a customer uniquely across both systems. For example, if the company brings in opportunities for the company IBM from salesforce.com, and orders for International Business Machines from Oracle E-Business Suite, they need to know that those two names represent the same company.

Duplicate records for the same customer have always been a challenge to CRM adoption and can have an even more profoundly negative effect on information analysis and business intelligence success. For example, one sales rep may create an entry for IBM and associate opportunities to IBM to track the sales process. Another sales rep may create an entry for I.B.M. and do the same. They can meet their individual needs by creating two separate names, but it complicates larger analysis and can lead to incorrect business decisions.

Technology from Identity Systems helps LucidEra solve this problem and deliver a completely hosted analytics service to its customers. Once customer data is loaded into LucidEra’s SaaS platform, they use Identity Systems’ matching algorithm to identify duplicate sales rep and account records. This improves the quality of the data, which results in trusted information and analysis for subscribers.

From Many, One

The Identity Systems solution helps LucidEra focus on better sales and customer analysis without having to worry about the nuances of the technology. The Identity Systems solution met all the requirements that LucidEra had set out. It provided proven and extensible technology. The software integrated with a variety of systems and developer resources were widely available. Finally, there was scalability to provide future growth and meet LucidEra’s performance requirements.

LucidEra implemented the Identity Systems solution in 2006. The software integrated easily and quickly with existing systems and permitted the company to offer the industry’s first complete on-demand business analytics service. The Identity Systems solution has helped to automate the challenge on name matching—something you simply can’t substitute with manual labor.

The new approach gives LucidEra an edge in the marketplace. The built-in account name matching—along with the SaaS analytical capabilities—makes a compelling offering that helps to differentiate it from other solutions. But in the end, perhaps the greatest benefit goes to LucidEra customers. LucidEra is providing them with accurate information and analyses that they can rely on and communicate throughout the business. Business needs a 360-degree view of customers, and Identity Systems technology is a critical enabler in LucidEra’s solution to help them meet that need.

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