What is our primary use case?
We use Personator to validate any address entered into our system. We also use their GeoPoints to get the most precise, rooftop level geocoding. We do not use the name, email, or phone validation built into Personator.
We use Express Entry Service to fuzzy search; in case there are multiple matches for the address entered, we present them to the user to pick the right one.
How has it helped my organization?
We used to use a third-party product that had to be installed and maintained onsite. Since we switched to Melissa Data web services, we do not need to maintain those servers and/or software. Also, we get the most up-to-date addresses from USPS.
What is most valuable?
Address validation, standardizing and formatting.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
In the three years we have been in production with this, we haven’t seen any major issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No issues. In fact, we have increased our request volume in the last three years and they have been able to accommodate us easily and smoothly.
How is customer service and technical support?
Excellent. I mostly contact Jason Chapple who provides front-level support and, if it is something he cannot handle, he forwards it to their technical team which responds with a ticket number immediately. In the last three years we had a few questions about their address validation/formatting, but those turned out to be non-issues.
They also have good documentation and their lookup sites are good for validating results.
How was the initial setup?
We had to write a new Java client to use this service in our application. The complication is only in terms of integrating that into our legacy software. Otherwise, their software/API is pretty straightforward to use.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We did a RFP with various vendors. This one was the most accurate and most reasonably priced for our purpose.
The price for address validation is similar in all software. However, price for geocoding decides the actual pricing. If you get their most accurate geocoding (called GeoPoints), then it will add about $10k+ per million requests.
They were willing to work with our preferred vendors, though it involved extra steps to get the license.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Yes, we tried Pitney Bowes, Service Objects, Trillium, Texas A&M, Informatica. We also considered USPS and Google Maps, though they didn’t fit into our model.
What other advice do I have?
- I suggest you try both their online product and batch mode. If they provide a sample program to consume their (web) services, then try that as well.
- When we selected the product, we got an evaluation license for the products and tried some of the most difficult addresses in our database (based on use case).
- I also suggest you negotiate to send them a sample file with at least 1000 addresses that they can process and send back validated and geocoded. Then, run the results against Google or other sites that are available out there to verify their results are correct.
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Dec 18 2017