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Selecting customer data integration software

When choosing customer data integration (CDI) software, should you go with CDI-specific tools or master data management (MDM) software with built-in CDI? Find out in this expert response.

Should we be looking at CDI-specific tools, or MDM software that has CDI built in? (I'm in the financial industry.) Are there benefits/disadvantages to either option?
You should be looking at CDI-specific tools if your business requirements are CDI specific. Remember, master data management means mastering data, which means that domain specific rules differ. For instance, business rules for customers, often baked into commercial CDI products, differ enormously from the rules baked into PIM products. Take a product line like IBM's Infosphere: under the covers the customer and product solutions function differently and have different heritages. The advantage of choosing an IBM is that if you foresee the need for multiple domains you can talk to the same vendor rep (plus IBM's products are good). However, most of Baseline's PIM clients are in completely different organizations from the CDI groups, toiling away at completely different business problems, so a "single vendor" solution isn't a primary metric for them--an effective and functional MDM solution is.
This was last published in October 2008

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