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.
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