October 14, 2002, 12:00 AM

GroceryGateway.com moving toward web-based storage to support CRM

To better analyze the reams of online customer data it collects every day, GroceryGateway Inc. is installing a new data warehouse designed to help the online grocer better analyze customer buying behavior and shipping requirements.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

To better analyze the reams of online customer data it collects every day, GroceryGateway Inc. is installing a new data warehouse designed to help the online grocer better analyze customer buying behavior and shipping requirements. The next step will be to implement a web-based storage area network that will make data more accessible and easier to manage, CTO Brian Miller tells InternetRetailer.com.

Rapid growth at the Toronto-based company’s web site, GroceryGateway.com, is driving the need for a more effective data storage management system, Miller says. He notes that the company, which serves the greater Toronto metropolitan area, has been more than doubling its number of orders each year since it launched in 1999, to as many as 1,500 per day. The average value is $140, he says.

But the company has struggled to manage the data behind all of this customer activity. "We have all this information today, but it`s not consolidated into one data warehouse," Miller says. With its new data warehouse from IBM Corp.’s Tivoli division, GroceryGateway will be able to analyze profit margins along with customer purchasing levels.

GroceryGateway plans to migrate its data warehouse to a storage area network once it reaches a critical mass of business and SAN prices drop further. SANs provide extensive data storage and management capabilities by tapping the power of multiple storage servers. Miller says he expects the costs of SAN technology to continue dropping, noting that in recent years the price of a SAN suitable for his company has dropped nearly in half to about $100,000.

 

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