REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 13, 2012 — Harnessing the power of Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 business intelligence tools, CROSSMARK, a leading provider of sales and marketing services, recently launched a new self-service data portal that delivers actionable, real-time business insights to its manufacturer and retailer clients in the consumer goods industry. The portal provides sales and marketing channels with quick access to real-time market data, allowing them to analyze and capitalize on market trends quicker than before and make informed decisions about their retail growth strategies.
“As the consumer goods industry has grown, so have the ways to measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns, creating large, complex datasets that are hard to derive meaning from without the right tools,” said Jim Norred, executive vice president and chief information officer at CROSSMARK. “By extending our current SQL Server 2012 business intelligence implementation to include SQL Server PDW, we’ve enhanced our self-service data portal to accommodate these large data sets, as well as daily point-of-sale data, which provides on-demand results from our clients’ sales and marketing efforts.”
For CROSSMARK, one of the most critical needs behind implementing SQL Server PDW was scalability. Last year alone, the company’s 34,000 associates supported 26 million in-store activities for its consumer goods clients — including many of the world’s biggest brands — across more than 550,000 retail outlets in five countries. Such massive sales and marketing campaigns generate enormous amounts of point-of-sale (POS) data, ripe with extremely valuable insights into shopper-buying behaviors.
“The fast, on-demand data access that SQL Server PDW provides through our self-service portal will give our clients tremendous opportunities to leverage shopper insights into their strategic planning and tactical operations,” Norred said. “Using that data, they’re able to quickly adjust any number of variable factors associated with their sales strategy, such as pricing, promotion or placement, which can dramatically boost sales and profitability.”
In conjunction with its SQL Server PDW deployment, CROSSMARK also will implement a full business intelligence solution using Microsoft Corp.’s industry-leading analytics suite of solutions in SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint Server. SQL Server 2012 Power View and PowerPivot will provide scorecards and other data-rich visualizations, such as interactive dashboards, as well as powerful ad-hoc analytics.
Norred said the combination of SQL Server PDW and Microsoft’s business intelligence tools will eliminate a bottleneck caused by its legacy platform of data reporting, which wasn’t scalable. The new infrastructure elements will help CROSSMARK redeploy employees in more client-focused efforts, helping the company better support its customers and increase client satisfaction.
“Although we do want to strengthen our leadership position as a sales and marketing services provider in the consumer goods industry, we ultimately want to be able to better help our manufacturer and retailer clients extend their market leadership. Our vision is to provide manufacturers and retailers with technology solutions that drive growth and efficiencies in their businesses, and that is exactly why we collaborated with Microsoft on this solution,” Norred said.
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