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LESSON - Single View of Customer on a Zero Based Platform

By Subbu Manchiraju, Vice President, Technology and Services, Infosolve Technologies, Inc.

Single-view-of-customer projects within an enterprise have a profound impact on the way organizations understand and interact with their customers. Studies have consistently shown that organizations can maximize sales and revenues from their customers when they implement single-view-of-customer processes. A single view of the customer is no longer an optional or nice-to-have process: a number of regulatory, compliance, and privacy laws require that organizations know their customers and have adequate insight into their customer activities.

Problem Space

If having a single view of the customer is such an important initiative, why don’t more companies implement these projects? Why do a number of companies have partial or ineffective implementations that limit the organization’s ability to use the benefits of the solution? We can narrow down the reasons into three categories:

  • Expensive software licenses and restrictions
  • Limited expertise and exposure within organizations in implementing complex single-view-of-customer processes
  • Lack of access to external data updates/enhancements to customer data

Single-view-of-customer processes require customization to meet an organization’s business and IT needs. We have not seen a product that can magically create the single view of the customer when downloaded or installed on a server. When the costs of software licenses or subscriptions are combined with implementation costs, organizations have a serious budgeting issue. A number of vendors have licensing fees that are linked to the number of customer records processed and managed by the solution or number of users using the solution. Does your company have to call the software vendor and negotiate licensing costs before it adds additional customers to the system?

The realm of customer data integration and single-view-of-customer processes encompass a number of technology and business process layers. Subject matter expertise is required in customer acquisition/marketing techniques, legacy system integration, fuzzy matching algorithms, real-time systems, data quality, business process modeling, and—the most important—an absolute mastery in all software tools/components used in building the solution. Organizations have trouble finding individuals or teams with the requisite exposure and experience to lead/complete such a complex initiative.

Customer data is volatile and it is constantly changing; people move, change jobs, and so on. Customer data must be continuously enhanced externally to provide the most up-to-date information about your customers. Miss out on this important step and you probably have data that is out of sync with your customer. Business owners and data users lose trust in the solution when the data is not accurate.

Our single-view-of-customer solutions are radically different from marketplace offerings that depend on expensive and restrictive license/subscription models. Infosolve’s solutions include comprehensive data quality; fuzzy matching; name parsing; address verification; extract, transform, and load (ETL); real-time matching; data governance; workflow; reporting dashboards; and ad hoc reporting, all built and integrated on a zero license platform. Optional data enhancements include customer demographic, business data, financial data, and address data.

Customers have complete freedom to deploy the solution without any restrictions on the size/type of hardware platform or number of customer records under management. Our customers get complete production-ready solutions tailored to their business needs and delivered on an innovative software development model with one of the fastest implementation times in the market. Support for the solution is available via our innovative support packages that combine complete technical and process support along with data enhancements to keep your customer data up to date.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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