Customer Information Management – Managing Complex data
The most successful businesses get there and stay there by maximizing the lifetime customer relationship quotient for every profitable customer. This is done by obtaining an optimum balance between customer satisfaction and sustained long term profitability. As the complexity of the products as well as the customer organizations increases, the number of touch points between the enterprise and customer increase, thus making the relationship difficult to manage.
Since most of the business of medium-to-large enterprises is conducted using systems and databases dispersed across multiple departments, divisions and organizations, obtaining the most accurate, timely and contextual information about a customer, products, pricing and other attributes becomes very critical to be able to drive the right decisions and actions.
The specific issues that we see in various enterprises can be listed as:
- Customer data dispersed across multiple systems (Average company has key customer data distributed over 5 to 25 systems
- Inability to uniquely identify customers
- Post hoc, manual methods for maintaining consistency of customer data across multiple systems
- Where common customer data is maintained, inability to drive automated business processes based on that data across the enterprise
Many companies undertake “data cleaning” initiatives from time to time. They all start with a bang, but end up creating more mess than what existed before these activities were conducted.
Having successfully executed various data management projects across multiple companies in multiple industries, our observations are:
- Companies will never create a single source of customer data across the enterprise
- Companies will not abandon their investments in front and back-office systems because these systems contain incompatible data models
- Business silos will not go away
- Technology silos will not go away
- The introduction of new best-of-breed systems in functional and business areas will only make the customer data fragmentation problem more intractable
All these observations have led to a common conclusion:
Any viable solution to the customer data integration problem must build on existing technology investments, not require massive renovation, to succeed.
Learning through various engagements across various customers in multitude of industries, Gowdanar teams have developed a commonly accepted methodology, process, architecture and design to manage the customer information of an enterprise. Gowdanar teams have been using these reference architectures and the intellectual property associated with them to standardize our implementation, reduce its development costs, attain efficiencies and increase the chances of project success.
The Gowdanar Customer Information Management mechanism is a combination of enterprise data sources, Gowdanar’s foundational data management components and tools to access and aggregate the existing enterprise data in a flexible, context specific manner. In specific cases, Gowdanar Customer Information Management mechanism can further organize the data in a way that the decision makers want, to make their decision and present information to the business analysts in a consistent, flexible and interactive manner.
The two foundational components of Gowdanar’s Information Management architecture are (1) Customer Integrator and (2) Hierarchy Manager.
Gowdanar Customer Integrator
Gowdanar Customer Integrator is the essential foundation for effective management of the customer information. Customer Integrator enables an enterprise build and manages an enterprise-wide directory of customer information regardless of where and how it is organized across enterprise systems. By providing a rich set of customer data management and distribution functionality, Customer Integrator establishes a single authoritative source for customer information and administration. This allows an enterprise to view, unify, and update customer information across all the enterprise information systems in real-time. Strategically managing the customer information results in rapid return on investment from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) initiatives, 360° views of the enterprise’s customers, and reduced costs in integrating new systems and businesses
Gowdanar Hierarchy Manager
Gowdanar Hierarchy Manager addresses real-world requirements to model and manage both complex customer relationships and internal operations that service those customers. Hierarchy Manager is a web-based application that provides visual models to define and manage accounts and territories. Business users can then modify these definitions to create their own hierarchies or groupings for reporting and analysis. Hierarchy Manager enables businesses to improve marketing campaigns, manage sales territories, calculate sales credits for global accounts, manage credit risks, enable consistent financial reporting, and capture the untapped potential in global accounts.
Gowdanar Information Management foundational components are derived out of industry standard technologies, interfaces and implementation techniques, which have been architect-ed, designed and developed as model components to solve a broad set of information management problems. Most of the customer IT and business environments can be modeled using these components with necessary configuration changes and customizations.