IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 31

An Educational Experience
Poppell and Casey Ellis, UniGroup executive vice president of global sales, felt the company needed more flexibility for the pricing process and capacity management. Their goal was to develop a new system tailored to make the sales process more intuitive and customer-oriented. A new tool needed to provide forward-looking sales data at the point of contact and on a common platform. Based on Java* and underpi n ned b y a nu mb er of We b S p h e r e* s olut i o n s , including WebSphere Applicat ion Ser ver, WebSphere Message Broker for z/OS* and WebSphere Data Interchange, as well as DB2 for z/OS and DB2 Content Manager, Quotes-To-Go was developed as a Web application. This lightweight tool significantly streamlines the estimating process. Instead of relying on proprietary devices and software, sales agents only need an Internet-connected laptop or a tablet computer. They can connect to UniGroup’s mainframe-based systems without returning to an office to download pricing informat ion, reducing an onerous two-day estimating cycle to a single point of contact. Quotes-To-Go allows for on-site, real-time estimating; agents enter a customer’s requirements into the frontend g raphical inter face of Quotes-To-Go and link to the latest pricing information on UniGroup’s system. They can provide comparative pricing, draft and rev iew the estimate with the customer, and modify it as needed, all at the point of sale. When all of the

possible permutations of the move have been reviewed and priced, the agent can provide a final estimate—facilitating an on-the-spot decision. Another “nimble” feature: Quotes-To-Go allows for electronic acceptance of finalized quotes—an industry first. Sales agents can e-mail the paperwork directly to the customer, who can electronically accept i t u s i n g Q u o t e s -To - G o ’s eAcceptance capability. The sales agent no longer needs to return to the customer site for a signature. More broadly, UniGroup expects to gain efficiency in capacity management and planning. Using information captured in Quotes-To-Go, Unigroup can track moving trends and forecast where trucks will be. For example, if more people are moving into California than out of state, there may be a surplus of trucks at the end point. With planning data more readily available in QuotesTo-Go, the company can plan loads strategically and relocate trucks where they are needed, thus streamlining operations and reducing overall costs.

tools. By combining data from multiple sources, including Quotes-To-Go and other internal systems, UniGroup can get an overall view of the company as a whole and act accordingly. Flexibilit y will become increasingly important as more users take advantage of QuotesTo-Go. As of October 2010, about 40 percent of the company’s 750 agency locations had begun using the tool following the March 2010 introduction. That number is expected to grow to at least 80 percent in early 2011. Webinars and intensive on-site training classes have bolstered the increasing adoption rate. UniGroup’s development of Quotes-To-Go is proving that “nimble” isn’t simply the word of the day; it’s a practical solution that dramatically improves the service they provide. As Poppell notes, “We’re ver y serious about becoming more flexible in response to customer needs, and Quotes-To-Go is only one step of many that will help us move in that direction.”

“We’re very serious about becoming more flexible in response to customer needs.”
—Randall Poppell

A Flexible Response
Of course, development related to tools such as Quotes-To-Go never ends, and UniGroup expects to more fully integrate this tool’s functionality with agency software and the company’s business-intelligence

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering technology for nearly 20 years.

ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe

JA N UA RY/ FE B RUA RY 2 011

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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011
Table of Contents
On the Web
Editor's Desk: Time is Expensive
Data Display: Utilities, Users and Devices Are Getting Energy Wise Are Getting Energy Wise
Think Smarter: Smart Storage Solutions Let You Have It All
Insider: Energy Efficiency is More Than an Optimized Server
Trends: Case Study Shows IBM’s zEnterprise System Reduces Costs Across the Business
Moving Forward: UniGroup Inc. develops a mainframe-based Web tool to create a more flexible business model.
Tipping the Scale: Labor expenses should influence IT acquisition decisions.
Four-Star Advantage: The Polaris Workshop maps out a custom platform strategy.
Tips and Techniques: Reduce Resource Consumption on DB2 10 for z/OS
Solutions
Advertisers' Index
Stop Run: System/360 Pioneer Fred Brooks Teaches Design That Still Shapes Computing
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - On the Web
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Editor's Desk: Time is Expensive
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Data Display: Utilities, Users and Devices Are Getting Energy Wise Are Getting Energy Wise
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Think Smarter: Smart Storage Solutions Let You Have It All
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Insider: Energy Efficiency is More Than an Optimized Server
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Trends: Case Study Shows IBM’s zEnterprise System Reduces Costs Across the Business
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Moving Forward: UniGroup Inc. develops a mainframe-based Web tool to create a more flexible business model.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Tipping the Scale: Labor expenses should influence IT acquisition decisions.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Four-Star Advantage: The Polaris Workshop maps out a custom platform strategy.
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Tips and Techniques: Reduce Resource Consumption on DB2 10 for z/OS
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 44
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Solutions
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Advertisers' Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Stop Run: System/360 Pioneer Fred Brooks Teaches Design That Still Shapes Computing
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - 48
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - January/February 2011 - RF1
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