After 4 years, still not convinced ...
Updated May 07, 2014

After 4 years, still not convinced ...

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

8.0

Modules Used

  • IBM Unica Campaign

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Unica

It is used by 2 departements.
It is used to "program" campaigns. 2/3 of the campaigns are one shot, 1/3 is recurrent. 1/2 are commercial campaigns, 1/2 are administrative campaigns to inform clients of p.e. changes in interest rates and so on.
  • The most powerful in Unica are the audience swaps. They are very helpful for cleaning up audiences like households, if one of the members of a household has a product, you can easily exclude the whole audience.
  • When working with segments in a flow, this goes really fast.
  • The use of templates is easy and helps to standardise the working process.
  • The mappings of tables can be different in every campaign
  • Logging is not easy to read and is incomplete. It has a lot of information i'm not interested in, but the queries that really interest me, p.e. the queries used for calculation of derived fields are missing. I also miss the queries that add the result of the derived field to the final selection.
  • Difficult to document a flow in a good manner.
  • No way to search in a flow. and over all the flows where something is calculated.
  • No way to have a good overview of what is happening in a flow or a process in a flow.
  • The calculation of derived fields is far too slow.
  • You can not make decisions in a flow based on data.
  • You have to promote flows by copying them manually from a test environment to a production environment.
  • This might lead to inconsistence over the environments.
  • We are only using Unica for the selection part of campaigns, I think things go twice as slow as before when we were working in SAS, but it is difficult to compare, as the people doing the work in SAS had all up to 20 years of experience and those working with Unica now are all new people. The people who liked to do the campaign selections with SAS did not like to work with UNICA, so they left, and with them also their experience.
The consultants of UNICA where very good at their job, fast and efficient. They always had a very convincing answer to our questions.
When we worked in SAS we used macros before to perform all the tasks in the selection process. When things changed on a global level we modified the macro programs, and all the campaigns written with the macros automatically changed. This is impossible in Unica. We use templates to create the campaigns, but if the templates change, the old campaigns still run the older versions. With about 500 campaigns a year, it is impossible the update all the running campaigns manually with the newer version of a template.

If there are changes in data sources, it is really difficult to find out with unica campaigns are affected, and very time consuming to make the changes.

In SAS we it was possible to automatically document all our programs, so that we could easily search that documentation for the use of variables, files, calculations and so on, in UNICA this is all done manually.
I think it is wel suited for a business with a lot of one on one relations in the database. For example a supermarket that sells products to a client and gives a reduction on that product. It is nice if the selection process is not to complex and does not involve to many calculations. It is also nice if it is very clear what you want to follow up.

In our environment we have lots of many-to-many relations. for example one product is held by more then one client. And that client might have more of those products with other clients. These kind of situation demands for a lot of calculations with derived fields(*), and there things go far too slow. Unica is probably not such a good solution for us, because our environment is too complex, and so is to process of creating the selection, we often have to change things in the selection flows. Because of the complexity it is difficult to see what the flow is exactly doing afterwoods, it also takes to much time to modify existing campaigns.

The interface is not handy to work with, if you have long lists of variables, of tables or derived fields(*) you have to scroll through trough them, you can not really search them or reorder them. You can not drag and drop fields or other objects like derived fields in the flow, what would be easy if you have to make frequent changes to the proces flow.

When you copy objects something the content of the object changes because the links with other objects or lost.

(*) derived field: field to calculate something

Using IBM Unica

14 - selections for sending emails, letters. Providing calls to the internal and external call centers, and to the survey agencies we work with.
2 - It people to install new release and resolve really technical issues.
  • Selections for the call centers
  • Sending email messages
  • Selections for surveys

Evaluating IBM Unica and Competitors

Yes - SAS base, the decision was made on group level, their was no really a need for it in our branch, we were very well organised.
  • Product Reputation
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
The consultants who demonstrated the product where very good and convincing.
I think we did right at that time. But the timing was not right. We should have waited a bit longer.

IBM Unica Implementation

- We had to rebuild a part of the datamart afterwards to tighten up and simplify the selection process. But as it was too time consuming to rebuild all the existing campaigns, we no run campaigns on different versions of the datamart.

- The response tracking of the campaigns never worked out well, it was impossible to implement a direct response where there is a link between the lead and the response in our operational process.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Yes - 3 phases:
- technical test fase
- user test fase
- production test fase
  • The design of the underlying datamart
  • The difficulties of setting up response tracking

IBM Unica Support

I didn't use the Unica support since it is with IBM, only before.
ProsCons
Quick Initial Response
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
Yes - It took a long time to resolve
Not really, or exceptionally bad support (no experience with IBM, only in the period before IBM bought UNICA)

Using IBM Unica

I think it is easy to use, if you don't have to do to complex selections.
ProsCons
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Familiar
Do not like to use
Feel nervous using
  • If you don't make complex selections, the interface is simple to use.
  • With few explanations, you can make simple selections.
  • the use of date functions in selections
  • the right way of mapping the used tables seems to be difficult for beginning user