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T. Rowe Price Is Tied Together

With some help from IBM, the investment firm gets a handle on content management.

T. Rowe Price recently found itself in a quandary. With sales and marketing data on customers' activities residing in siloed business lines all over the institution, compiling internal and external reports was a difficult chore. "We would have information going out through various communications, and there was a struggle to keep it consistent," explains Paul Macek, enterprise architect for T. Rowe Price.

Macek soon realized that enterprise management of data was becoming a major focus in the industry. "It has been a natural evolution to enterprise content management," he says. "First it was being able to capture images, then it moved into managing documents, and now its moving into managing content across an enterprise, and understanding the business processes around that."

With the challenge of consistent communications as an impetus, and the recognition of solutions in the marketplace to address that challenge, the firm sent out an RFP to find a content-management solution in early 2003. After examining its options, Macek says that T. Rowe Price settled on IBM's DB2 Content Management software.

Macek cites the solution as a continuation of the firm's relationship with IBM, having started using WebSphere, the vendor's on-demand software platform, several years back. In addition, the content manager integrated easily into T. Rowe Price's existing publishing and distribution platform, ContentWelder v4 from Jersey City-based DeskNet.

"DB2 Content Manager provides us with a repository and services to manage content, reuse it, and treat it in a component-based fashion," says Macek.

The first phase of production has been put into place, according to Macek, which included building a finished-goods repository to store records. Next, the firm is focusing on creating content components, such as particular portfolio characteristics, and assembling them into finished goods to reside in that repository. These records consist of any market research that a customer might need in order to make investing decisions.

Macek says that the initial rollout of the content manager will take place within the institutional business of T. Rowe Price. "We've started down a path of building a foundation for the enterprise. Our first foray is for our institutional business, but it will be followed by projects related to other channels," he says.

Macek adds that the firm has already seen positive results. "Since we have put (the content manager) into production, we've been on track for meeting our goals," he says. "The return we're getting is the ability to scale up our marketing support and operations, and reuse content across various communications."

Topics: Database Mgmt., Marketing

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