In the corporate world, master customer data is a critical asset that must be increasingly managed within and beyond the enterprise. During the early 1990s, most enterprises deployed data warehouses, which were primarily large scale, batch-oriented analytical databases. These business intelligence systems provided valuable insight into patterns and trends but failed in providing an up-to-the-minute unified view of the customer.
For the past five years, many enterprises have been embracing enterprise customer relationship management as a strategy to coordinate the operational databases of their sales, marketing and customer service organizations. However, enterprise CRM does not provide the ability to manage master customer data as the true corporate asset that it is as businesses determined that these CRM systems could not scale up as a system of record for enterprise-wide use to manage master customer data.
Recently, customer data integration solutions have come to market that provide master data management as a highly scalable and available business service. These customer data hubs recognize that master customer data must be shared between both front-office and back-office processes — as well as with the next-generation business-to-consumer and business-to-business Internet-enabled systems.
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