Unica teaches the info management company how to work smart.
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EMC Corporation helps hundreds of companies manage business information to help their customers store, secure, and procure data. However, even a leader in information storage can require assistance managing its own internal data sharing. Last year, after quick growth through customer base expansion and a number of acquisitions, EMC was feeling the burden of its bulk. With marketing workflow in a tangle, the company implemented Unica's Affinium Suite to smooth out processes and help power a new marketing best practices vision.
After a few years of heavy growth EMC realized its need for marketing department support as project planning became more complicated. Brian Fitzgerald, senior director of integrated marketing, says, "How we did our marketing planning, how we did budgeting--it was really starting to break under its own weight. To find where a project was in the process required six emails and three phone calls." Fitzgerald explains that the company had built a workflow process organically; each function group of the company had separately crafted its own work request form and small pieces to solve its own group's problem. This method of development led to information cowpaths rather than interstates. Fitzgerald says, "To build a better process...we were going to need some technology and need some tools to help unify across the whole business."
EMC's IT group conducted a review process. Because the firm had an existing relationship with Unica though a recent acquisition of Documentum and the Affinium solution aligned with EMC's needs, the vendor was an easy choice. Before implementing the solution, however, EMC knew that it needed to do some work to develop an outline for what optimal marketing processes would look like for the company. The team from Unica came on board to enable this discovery process, which took 60 to 90 days. "We would love it if the answer was to plug in the software and have the problem solved," says Alan Bunce, senior product marketing manager at Unica. "The only thing that's worse than a bad process is a bad process that's been automated by software." EMC worked with Unica and its partners to uncover how leading companies run marketing resource management.
With a comprehensive practice in place, EMC moved onto the implementation, which took three months. The company ran into some turbulence from internal resistance, as switching to the new system took some additional work. But Fitzgerald says "intellectually, people agreed that everybody needed to work in the system." After employees took the leap of faith, the company began to see the benefit.
According to EMC, one of the biggest gains from the implementation was the level of visibility with which workers can now see into the system. EMC can now get a picture of the budget spend and workflow across the company on an international level in mere minutes, an accomplishment that before would have been labor intensive and time consuming if not downright impossible. Additionally, the company has been able to retire eight forms used in its previously siloed marketing practice, thereby saving countless hours in handoffs, emails, and phone calls. The company has also seen a steady move toward a 15 to 20 percent productivity improvement, which Bunce expects will spell a 4 to 6 percent cost reduction long term. Fitzgerald says, "We didn't do it just to save dollars--the primary goal was velocity. We wanted to move work through our organization more quickly, get to market more quickly, and do it with less waste."
With Unica's Affinium Suite, EMC has:
moved toward a 15 to 20 percent improvement in productivity;
retired eight marketing process forms from its system; and
gained visibility into budget and workflow on an international level.
A weakened economy leads to a reduced growth prediction, but IBM still remains on top.
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