DealerTrack in BI SaaS Deal with Information Builders
Published: April 6, 2010
by Alex Woodie
DealerTrack, a developer of i/OS-based software for automobile dealers, has selected Information Builders and its WebFOCUS software to create a new business intelligence (BI) offering that its customers can access over the Web, the vendors announced last month.
DealerTrack is a publicly traded company based in Lake Success, New York, that develops software and services used by thousands of companies in the North American retail car industry, including automobile dealers, lenders, OEMs, agents, and aftermarket parts providers. Some of the offerings of the company, which had $225 million in revenue last year, include an online credit application and checking services; leasing and lending software; contract management software; sales, finance, and insurance (F&I) software; and the i/OS-based Dealer Management System (DMS), which is delivered as a software as a service (SaaS) offering.
While DealerTrack's product portfolio was wide and deep, it was lacking an integrated BI system that its customers could use to analyze their businesses, develop new strategies, and make profitable decisions. The company reviewed a dozen BI vendors, but eventually settled on Information Builders, which is based in New York City and has a good deal of experience developing software that runs on and with the i/OS platform.
Information Builder's familiarity with i/OS and the DB2/400 database was one of the reasons DealerTrack chose to partner with the BI software vendor, according to CJ Pedler, a senior project manager who works in the DealerTrack's DMS office in South Jordan, Utah.
Another reason was the lightweight, Web-based interface that Information Builders offers with its flagship WebFOCUS BI offering, as well as its overall ease-of-use, Pedler says. "WebFOCUS simplifies deployment for us and improves usability for our customers," he says in a press release. "Authorized users can use our DMS dashboards to easily select data, format reports, and obtain precisely the types of information they want to see from our Dealer Management System."
DMS users will be able to customize their WebFOCUS reports according to their needs. For example, service personnel will use the parts inventory report to plan re-stocking strategies, the sales history report will help sales managers make better purchasing decisions, and the customer activity report will help managers launch targeted sales promotions.
By the end of the year, DealerTrack hopes to have 1,500 users of its WebFOCUS BI tool in use across the U.S. and Canada. In total, the company has 2,500 customers spanning about 10,000 end users.
Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders, says BI environments of this type are rare in the application service provider (ASP) market, such as DealerTrack's. "Today's auto dealers must learn to work smarter to increase profits," Cohen says. "DealerTrack is using BI technology to help them identify their best customers, pinpoint up-sell opportunities, and run their back offices as efficiently as possible."
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