The Key to Success: PRIDE Enterprises Uses Data Warehousing to Pave Way for e-business

If you didn't know that "employees" of Florida's PRIDE Enterprises are actually incarcerated "guests" of the Florida State Penal System, you might conclude that this company is pretty much the same as any growing, private business -- with the same sorts of problems. It is.

PRIDE Enterprises is a private, not-for-profit business that manages all Florida prison industries. Located only in Florida at 22 prisons and 44 factories, PRIDE Enterprises is divided into six products and services divisions: textiles, agriculture, furniture, general manufacturing, printing and services. The finished goods are ultimately sold to governmental entities and non-profit organizations nationwide.

PRIDE Enterprises' primary responsibility is the industrial job skill training of incarcerated individuals in Florida state prisons, as well as the critical comprehensive post-release transition support for ex-offenders who have worked at PRIDE Enterprises.

"Our foundation of success is our public/private partnership with the State of Florida and the business community," says Pamela J. Davis, President and CEO of PRIDE Enterprises. "As a multi-faceted organization which intertwines business and social mission objectives, PRIDE serves state-mandated rehabilitation goals by acting upon the social and training needs of inmates. At the same time, PRIDE Enterprises' activities reduce the cost of state government by managing industries at no cost to the state."

Faced with 400 employees and 2,100 inmates spread out across 22 prisons and 44 factories, a statewide intranet with Windows NT servers performing various LAN network services and a ClearPath NX 4602-42 mainframe with millions of lines of enterprise data, PRIDE Enterprises sought to make all of this data available to its users/employees from various departments, including sales, operations, marketing and senior management.

Using Attachmate Corporation's INFOConnect InterCom and a LINC manufacturing system, PRIDE Enterprises connects approximately 250 personal computers running Windows 95 to a ClearPath system via a TCP/IP network.

During 1994 and 1995, PRIDE Enterprises implemented their LINC integrated manufacturing system. The system was fully operational by June 30, 1995. Additionally, PRIDE Enterprises converted a poll/select wide area network to TCP/IP, which was completed in June of 1998.

"This past year ... we launched several new programs geared toward improved efficiency and productivity. One key program involved an innovative technological approach to supply our users with more open access to PRIDE Enterprises' host data for analytical purposes," says Davis.

PRIDE Enterprises recorded $82 million in revenue during the last fiscal year," informs Charles Bracey, Senior Program Analyst at Pride Enterprises. "As we continue to grow ... so has the amount of mission-critical data we have stored."

Last year PRIDE Enterprises called upon Attachmate for assistance. The challenge at this point was how to make this enterprise data - needed for making accurate, up-to-date analyses, projections and decisions - available to users. Establishing a data warehouse was the only effective way to distribute this information while providing that balance.

With the help of Attachmate, PRIDE embarked on this data warehouse project, essentially designed to bring data from a DMSII database to a SQL server database. Using Attachmate's DATABridge, PRIDE Enterprises is now able to replicate DMSII data on an open hardware platform and database, while providing high-level data security.

"And when we integrate production data into our open data warehouse, the software selectively replicates DMSII data onto the alternative platform and keeps the data current by doing periodic updates from our ClearPath," adds Bracey. "Not only that, but it also ensures that the data is formatted properly for our target database. Indeed, we're extremely satisfied with the integrity and scalability of the product. The data is then ultimately made available via PowerBuilder."

Data Replication Benefits

Data replication benefits PRIDE Enterprises in the following areas:

• A salesperson reviews a customer's open and closed orders at any time.

• Commissions on sales according to geographic region are more easily handled.

• Operations better manages past-due and open orders.

• Marketing easily analyzes sales trends - by customer, product, area, time period, etc.

• Accounting processes Credit Card transactions.

• Users create ad hoc reports based on customer/location, time period, area, sales representative, product or industry sales.

• Senior management use information to track PRIDE Enterprises' balanced accountability goals, including: customer value analyses; customer retention percentage; new customer sales; new product sales; State versus non-state sales by division, customer class, customer sub-class; and industry sales comparisons.

"Over the past three years, PRIDE Enterprises has invested in an infrastructure so as to prepare for our role in providing Internet/Intranet access for both internal and external customers," comments Bracey.

"The bottom line? Critical information is now available for day-to-day business decisions. Accessing enterprise data in a timely manner has provided us with a definite competitive edge - the edge we need in today's business environment," says Kevin Monaghan, CIO of PRIDE Enterprises.

"Obviously, the next step is to further enhance data accessibility by publishing it to the Internet or an intranet," says Monaghan. PRIDE Enterprises is also looking to go beyond publishing warehoused data by making LINC screens available to users via a browser. "PRIDE Enterprises' ultimate goal, of course, is to conduct e-business and, already, we've laid a solid foundation towards achieving it," concludes Monaghan.

About the Authors:

Kevin Monaghan is CIO of PRIDE Enterprises (St. Petersburg, Fla.), and Christian Rogiers is Marketing Communications Specialist at Attachmate Corporation (Cincinnati).

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