Precision Dialogue Marketing Delivers Customer
Success Through The Automation Of Microsoft And SAS Business Intelligence Processes

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What Is Precision Dialogue?

Industry: Marketing Services
Customer Site: Westlake, Ohio, United States

Precision Dialogue is an analytics-driven, multi-channel, customer engagement firm. Precision Dialogue Marketing provides professional services related to analytics, consulting, research, digital and customer engagement solutions. They engage customers through relevant communications across the digital and offline spectrum. The end goal is driving significant improvements in Marketing ROI.

Success Story Highlights

  • Securely receive customer data, analyze it, and return it to customers in a secure format
  • Centralize management of heterogeneous tasks/jobs and achieve central point of control
  • ActiveBatch runs 8,700 jobs per week (450,000 per year) with a 99.95% success rate
  • Series of SAS business intelligence reports automated
  • Achieved streamlined IT operations management

It’s All About The Customer

Customer centricity is the cornerstone of Precision Dialogue’s practice. As a database marketing and interactive services firm, the company takes pride in not only helping clients understand the value of customer centricity, but also practicing what they preach. An analytically driven marketing firm, Precision Dialogue needs to move large volumes of client data in a secure manner, and it leverages ActiveBatch Job Scheduling and Workload Automation to do so.

Precision Dialogue offers a wide breath of services, from database management and analytics to direct marketing initiatives that encompass campaign design and conversion analysis for many Fortune 500 companies, including The Home Depot, PNC, OfficeMax and others. At the center of their practice lies the ability to securely receive customer data, analyze it, and return it to customers in a secure format. This can include anything from customer segmentation, predictive modeling, risk analysis and more.

Leveraging ActiveBatch

“Every day we receive files from customers that contain vast quantities of data that we use for marketing analysis,” says Joe Schmidt, production team manager. “We identify those files as they come in, decrypt them, deliver them for processing and send out notifications to customers that we successfully received the files. ActiveBatch automates all of this, and serves as the hub of these processes and many more."

For incoming customer files that require processing, Schmidt’s team has constructed a series of workflows within ActiveBatch that are automatically triggered via ActiveBatch file triggers upon the arrival of a new file. The flip side is the amount of output data these processes generate. “Once we’ve analyzed and processed the customer data via a workflow within ActiveBatch, other ActiveBatch workflows automatically generate files and reports, compresses and encrypts this data, then securely delivers it to a customer’s site thanks to SFTP job steps provided within ActiveBatch,” Schmidt says.

One compelling reason for selecting ActiveBatch was due to Advanced Systems Concepts’ licensing model, which leverages Execution Agents as the cross-platform component that runs jobs across various computing platforms. The ActiveBatch licensing model is a per-server, points-based licensing model where each ActiveBatch Execution Agent requires a fixed amount of points based on the operating system. This allows ActiveBatch customers to allocate points across servers as they see fit, “The idea of Execution Agents and the point system is great because it allows us to manage our own environment on the fly,” Schmidt says.

In addition, since ActiveBatch doesn’t charge on a CPU or per-processor basis, Schmidt realized the savings for Precision Dialogue’s IT department. “We run servers with multiple processors. To go with a job scheduling vendor that charges CPU or processor usage would have been astronomically expensive.”

The Solution

Currently, ActiveBatch runs 8,700 jobs per week (450,000 per year) to a 99.95% success rate, which has resulted in savings in both time and resources. ActiveBatch’s ability to automate mission critical workflows across disparate technologies has paid big dividends for Precision Dialogue. Developers no longer have to monitor and track processes manually, which has resulted in increased productivity for the entire team. ActiveBatch’s ease of use has been beneficial to Schmidt, who manages ActiveBatch with just one other colleague.

The ability to manage ActiveBatch effectively is also a testament to Advanced Systems Concepts product support, Schmidt says. “The support is timely, quick to respond and always provides an answer to my question. One of the best support teams I’ve worked with of any vendor.”

In addition, Precision Dialogue has automated a series of SAS business intelligence reports via ActiveBatch. The company uses SAS to run a myriad of high-end reporting, such as data scoring models. In the past, these reports were run manually, but are now automatically triggered as part of the previously mentioned workflows within ActiveBatch upon the completion of preceding job steps. And by using ActiveBatch to run these programs during lower, server resource utilization times, Precision Dialogue is making more efficient use of computer hardware which in turn has “extended the ROI of the hardware purchased,” Schmidt says.

Lastly, ActiveBatch has standardized a series of processes that, prior to its implementation, were anything but. “By automating tasks for basic things such as ad hoc file transfers to clients we’ve been able to standardize processes that everyone uses. It’s streamlined IT operations and has made everybody more self-sufficient, and we’re better off as an IT organization as a result of it.”

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