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The origins of CDI

Jill, glad to see you on SearchDataManagement.com in near real-time. Here's a question for you: how did Customer Data Integration (CDI) technologies come about? What was the inception of CDI and why couldn't other technologies handle the problem?

Jill, glad to see you on SearchDataManagement.com in near real-time. Here's a question for you: how did Customer Data Integration (CDI) technologies come about? What was the inception of CDI and why couldn't other technologies handle the problem?
CDI came about because -- even with Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) technologies, and all the various and sundry tools available to move data between applications -- there was no good solution to move good, clean, reconciled data between applications. Before CDI, this had to be done with custom coding.

Make no mistake -- EAI is still a really important solution for moving messages between operational applications....

Those applications still need to be able to integrate data. If a customer calls into a call center and provides a different telephone number than what's on record, the EAI system can't figure that out. It doesn't determine who the customer is based on her phone number -- that's the job of the CDI hub.

Some of the CDI vendors also evolved from solving specialized problems that were really difficult. For example, operationalizing customer identification -- whether the customer is at a kiosk, a web storefront, on the phone, or crossing a border -- is a big, hairy, audacious and processing-intensive problem, and there are CDI vendors out there whose tools can make a huge difference in customer recognition.

This was last published in August 2006

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