Real-Time Data Key to Maintaining a Competitive Edge

Senior technology executives from Bank of America, US Bank, Sabre Holdings, UBS, The Mayo Foundation and DirecTV, met at the semi-annual GoldenGate Software Customer Advisory Board meeting to discuss their current IT initiatives and priorities for the year ahead.

The consensus from the proceedings was that business intelligence systems that rely on fresh, near real-time data play an increasingly important role in the central operations of organizations across a wide range of industries. In talks with advisory board members, it was clear that companies today see speed of information as a key competitive metric, especially in terms of providing high levels of customer service, efficient order processing and enabling improved analytics and decision support. Mike Benson, CIO of satellite broadcasting giant DirecTV and the newest member of the GoldenGate advisory board, discussed how his organization uses real-time data feeds from their CRM system running Siebel to a Teradata data warehouse which supports frequent reports and analysis on field service operations. DirecTV works with a network of service providers who handle installation and customer support, and this solution provides company executives with instant visibility into the activities of their technical field service staff. Today s consumer has more options than ever when it comes to cable and home entertainment, so the ability to service our customers fast and efficiently is key to our success, explained Benson. With GoldenGate providing ongoing access to real-time customer data, we know exactly what s happening with our customers and staff across all services areas at all times. The system allows us to prioritize tasks, immediately direct resources to areas that need attention, and manage the efforts of all 15,000 DirecTV technicians in the field. This theme of new or enhanced business capabilities powered by continuous information and continuously available applications recurred throughout the meeting, but with distinctions from industry to industry. While the focus is on customer-facing systems for DirecTV, Bank of America and US Bank are streaming information from their transaction and settlement processing applications to live standby systems to ensure that their vast ATM networks stay up and running at all times. Similarly, Sabre pumps data from its commercial master database to a massively scaled, open-source, database tier to support travel shopping around the world. The common theme, regardless of the underlying database or application, is that GoldenGate allows customers to support business users with real-time information. Highly regarded for his work in the business intelligence and data warehousing area, featured speaker Richard Hackathorn, president and founder of Bolder Technology, a consulting and research firm, discussed highlights from a recent study, Knowing Sooner Rather Than Later: Cost Analysis of Low-Latency Data in Enterprise Data Warehousing. The conventional wisdom has been that implementing and supporting real-time business intelligence systems is costly, asserted Hackathorn. Our research shows that this is not the case. In fact, in many situations an architecture using change data capture techniques that supports continuous stream updates has become the low-cost alternative. In effect, it is now possible to get the high volume data acquisition found with daily batch techniques and the speed of enterprise application integration techniques, at a fraction of the cost of traditional extract, transform and load ETL- methods. Source: www.dmreview.coma>