Avid Revamps CRM System To Bolster Lead Management

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Avid Technology Inc., a maker of film and editing software and hardware, is conducting a data quality upgrade that it expects will improve lead generation and provide a more accurate view of its big-name customers, which include NBC, Sony Studios and the American Film Institute.


The Tewksbury, MA, company implemented SAP AG's MySAP CRM in January to replace an Onyx-based lead-tracking system it had used since 1999. The database captures information from customers who visit the company's Web site and express interest in one of its products or services. Leads also come via inbound calls and outbound telemarketing, trade shows and data collected from business reply cards attached to direct mailings.


"Avid made a decision to move toward a consolidated ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, and since we are a SAP shop, we went with SAP for CRM," said Chad Wright, Avid's IS applications manager. "Ultimately, we want to consolidate our data so we could move closer to having one single view of the customer."


Avid's products have been used in the production of television shows, commercials, music videos, CDs, corporate/industrial productions and major motion pictures, including "Men in Black II," "Spider-Man" and "Oceans 11."


To prepare the Onyx-based data for migration, it was cleaned and standardized.


"We wanted to eliminate duplicates, get all the names and addresses streamlined and clean up all of the addresses before we even launched SAP CRM," Wright said.


Avid so far has migrated 850,000 customer and prospect records from Onyx to SAP. The leads then are fed from SAP CRM into a SAP business information warehouse that Avid installed in October 2001.


Using Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite, Avid cleaned 500,000 to 600,000 U.S.-based Onyx records. The task took about one hour, with about 2 percent duplicate counts that were cleaned up.


Avid's European subsidiaries, also involved in the upgrade, decided to do data cleaning on their 250,000 to 350,000 records manually to avoid buying the international version of the Information Quality Suite.


"It took them over six months to do it as a result," Wright said.


Avid, which does about 10 direct mail programs to its business-to-business customers yearly, has done two since January when the cleaned data went into effect. For example, it recently prepared a brochure distributed at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas in April that showcased its product line and was then sent to leads.


Though it could not yet say how effective the two campaigns have been, Avid has seen a reduction in the amount of mail returned since January.


Wright said Avid is working with Firstlogic to implement its products in a real-time environment. Essentially, records coming in via the Web would go through the Firstlogic cleanup and matching process before being stored in the database. Currently, data are run through the Firstlogic system once a quarter.


Avid also wants to implement the Firstlogic tools in real time to help identify critical account leads in order to distribute them to the correct sales rep.


Leads currently are routed based on the product a prospect is interested in or the region they are from. The new system, however, will contain logic ensuring that when a critical account lead comes -- such as one from a major company such as Disney -- it will be distributed immediately to the appropriate critical account sales rep in real time.


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