Cashing in on AnalyticsBy Samuel Greengard | Posted 2009-09-09 Print
The desire to put data to work in new, innovative ways has led NCR down a path of predictive analytics.
Cashing in on Analytics
NCR conducts 22,000 service actions every day for companies scattered all around the world. While a bank in Egypt must cope with sandstorms that jam cash dispensing mechanisms, an institution in the Northeast United States demands equipment that is able to withstand subfreezing temperatures and ice.
The data warehouse allows NCR to maintain a single resource for managing this information. This eliminates conflicting data and glitches that often occur in data marts and other systems that aren’t synced.
This approach also makes it possible for various users—engineers, technicians, product managers, executives and others—to view the same data across the enterprise. And it helps NCR engineer solutions for customers based on their specific needs.
“When we received feedback about problems with sand affecting card readers, we developed a special hinged door that covers them and prevents damage,” Wallace explains. “When we learned that subfreezing temperatures make some units inoperable, we introduced internal heaters.”
Not surprisingly, NCR is continuing the drive toward more advanced analytics and new product offerings. The firm recently released next-generation ATMs that interconnect its systems with customer software to further automate monitoring and diagnostics.
In addition, the company is developing visual aids that show when and where problems occur through a customer’s Network Operations Command Center. And it is assembling advanced algorithms that provide more robust monitoring capabilities, including recognizing how and when customers have trouble using the interface or specific features.
Underpinning the analytics systems is NCR’s robust technology platform. The company operates a primary data center in Ohio and secondary locations scattered around the world.
Using Cisco content switches, as well as Oracle Real Time Application Clustering and other tools, NCR keeps its data storage systems running at 99.9-plus percent uptime. It also maintains a hot standby mode with 99.4-plus percent uptime.
“Our mission is to provide the highest level of availability,” Wallace concludes. “By updating and repairing systems before a problem occurs, we’re able to distinguish ourselves and provide the level of service that our customers require.”
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