CDI and PIM (Product Information Management) can be threatening to people who "own" existing systems. They hear "single version of the truth" and think: "Wait a minute... I OWN our single version of the truth! It's mine, mine, mine!" After all, there's probably a Product Master (or two, or three) at your company. And -- to use a failsafe example -- what's your customer system of record anyway? Ha! Just as I suspected! There's more than one! That's a common phenomenon, and one that might be bigger than you.
CDI, PIM and other master data management solutions are about the real-time management, integration and deployment of certified data to different systems. They're not about where the data is stored, they're about how it's processed and propagated to support various business processes. CDI is infrastructure -- it's the authoritative source for customer data -- but it's also a business capability that promises both internal efficiencies and external improvements. And that includes enhancing the customer's experience.
Notwithstanding big investments in CRM and data warehousing, more relevant customer conversations remain an elusive goal at most companies. Explain to IT why it's still out of reach, engaging a savvy data steward in the dialog. Be ready to explain the business impact -- and, if you can, the revenue consequences -- of not being able to track multiple relationships with a customer. Show examples of duplicate account ids for the same individual. Secure statistics for what having contradictory customer contact details costs the company.
This is missionary work, my friend. I'll say a little prayer for you.