Are we nearly there yet?

March 26, 2009
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Master Data Management (MDM) promises to deliver organisations with the ability to integrate, analyse and exploit the value of its key data assets, regardless of where that information was collected; the holy grail of a single view of customers, suppliers and products is within grasping distance, it seems.  But haven’t we heard that before?

In the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management promised, amongst other things, to provide us with a single view of customers, but the ideal fragmented into a number of different disciplines, largely dictated by technology vendors.  Instead of a single customer view, most organisations have multiple, often inconsistent views of their customers and prospects delivered through an assortment of Sales Force Automation, Analytical CRM and Campaign Management systems each propagating their own database. 

Rather than being held up as a business approach, CRM became synonymous with a collection of high-profile software packages and that’s where it has failed.  Instead of focusing on the business processes and delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, CRM initiatives often limited themselves to the installation and deployment

Master Data Management (MDM) promises to deliver organisations with the ability to integrate, analyse and exploit the value of its key data assets, regardless of where that information was collected; the holy grail of a single view of customers, suppliers and products is within grasping distance, it seems.  But haven’t we heard that before?

In the 1990s, Customer Relationship Management promised, amongst other things, to provide us with a single view of customers, but the ideal fragmented into a number of different disciplines, largely dictated by technology vendors.  Instead of a single customer view, most organisations have multiple, often inconsistent views of their customers and prospects delivered through an assortment of Sales Force Automation, Analytical CRM and Campaign Management systems each propagating their own database. 

Rather than being held up as a business approach, CRM became synonymous with a collection of high-profile software packages and that’s where it has failed.  Instead of focusing on the business processes and delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, CRM initiatives often limited themselves to the installation and deployment of a software package.  Little thought was given to the integration or quality of the data that was needed to support the business process.

We have to be watchful now that we don’t repeat the CRM mistakes with MDM and its domain focused offspring, CDI (Customer Data Integration) and PIM (Product Information Management).  If we regard them as IT initiatives rather than business strategies, we assuredly will.  It’s time that business owners took to the driving seat, rather than being treated as junior partners.

Click the following link if you’d like a copy of The Successful Business Guide “Master Data Management: Is MDM The Route To The Holy Grail?” and we’ll send you a copy by return.

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