The use of customer data integration (CDI) tools just may be the cure for enterprise software deployments that struggle with return on investment. And the migration to managing customer information assets using a CDI strategy has already begun, according to Elizabeth Roche, enterprise applications strategies vice-president for Meta Group Inc.

CDI technology consolidates and manages customer data from a variety of enterprise sources, including contact details, customer valuation data, and information collected via direct marketing, Roche explained recently during a “CDI without Mistakes” customer seminar in Toronto.

According to Roche, as it stands today, many organizations have over-invested in technology and in CRM software deployments. For enterprises, adopting a CDI software solution to manage master customer data is becoming “increasingly compelling”.

A 360-view of the customer isn’t good enough, particularly in a heterogeneous IT environment, Roche said. A strong business case and processes need to be employed as well.

According to Justin LaFayette, chairman of Toronto-based enterprise software provider DWL Inc., the fact that the larger vendors are entering the space confirms CDI’s usefulness to the enterprise.

LaFayette said early adopters of CDI technology include the financial services and telecommunications sectors, which are using the technology to improve their CRM, data warehousing and enterprise resource management products.

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