MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE REVIEW: J. Jill Group reviews Mozart

Hingham, MA-based J. Jill Group bought Mozart from CommercialWare in July 1998 to run on an AS400 platform. The mailer installed Mozart’s order processing components with a prereleased version of Mozart’s call center computer telephony integration (CTI) module.

The initial package cost J. Jill approximately $350,000-$400,000. Including modifications, the cataloger ended up spending about $2.3 million, says Randy Dow, J. Jill’s vice president of operations.

Strengths: “Mozart met well more than 85% of our business requirements. We contracted with CommercialWare to build enhancements such as telemarketing upsell, coordinating item sales, CTI functionality, and an interface to our new warehouse management system,” PkMS from Manhattan Associates.

Weaknesses: “We did encounter some modification limitations with the case tools [which are designed to make it easier to modify software after development], but we were able to work around them. And some of the software upgrades caused the release implementation to go slower than anticipated.”

Training: “Our legacy system was easy to use but extremely limited in functionality. Mozart is functionally rich, but it’s more difficult to use, so the transition for our workers was a bit difficult. But the training and implementation offered by the CommercialWare staff was excellent.”

Flexibility: “It’s a very flexible system. Mozart was designed to integrate with `best of breed’ applications in areas such as manifesting [shipping documentation], tax reporting, and list hygiene.”

Scalability: “It’s also a highly scalable system. We are a $200 million-plus company, and we are on the low end of Mozart’s hardware capacity.”

Vendor support: “The support staff is a major strength of this vendor – they provided all the support needed during implementation and integration.”

Multichannel capabilities: “An order received from the J. Jill Website is immediately available to our customer service reps in the call center. Customers can also check the status of Web or phone orders online. The medium in which the order was placed is `transparent’ to the customer because the order information resides in the Mozart database, regardless of how it was placed. And our batch-reporting system allows us to analyze the impact of e-commerce.”

Overall rating: “8.75 [out of 10], because Mozart, with our modifications, delivered the components needed to support and enhance our business.”

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