Conversations In Australia On MDM And Customer-Centricity

We’ve been running lots of seminars and associated activities to promote the need for a ‘single view of customer’ across the world.  Our viewpoint of course is that Master Data Management and Data Integration are the essential technology enablers for successful Customer Centricity.

We started in North America and continued through Europe, Middle East and Africa before concluding in Asia-Pacific at events in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Melbourne and Sydney. I had the pleasure of presenting at a number of these in America and Europe before traveling to Australia to present at the two Australian venues.

We met a large number of customers and partners – everyone was interested in the subject!  There’s no doubt in my mind that the needs and requirements of enterprises in Australia are as advanced as elsewhere.    I wanted to share with you all some of the conversations I had:

  • As we were presenting in Sydney, one of the major Banks rushed out of the room (always concerning to any presenter!) and returned five minutes later with several colleagues.  It was clear that our six minute MDM demo within the context of salesforce.com resonated with him and caused him to bring in additional colleagues for the remainder of the meeting (a much better sign). You can find this demo on our www site here.
  • I met with a representative of a postal organisation who was keen on understanding how quickly MDM can be implemented to allow his company to start offering new products to market that require a complete understanding of their customer.
  • I spoke to a member of the police service.  They are looking at MDM to help identify tax-evaders. Apparently there are many hundreds of millions of Australian dollars (now worth more than the US dollar) that go uncollected due to difficulties in identifying who they are for.
  • I met with a senior official at a major bank who is interested in understanding what other banks have been doing with social data and mobility.  In his words “clearly, customers are already doing this and we are now seeing IT having to respond”. We discussed the importance of needing to monitor brand management, but then explored the meaning of “relationship management” in the context of Facebook and other social environments. I’m convinced that “Social” will become a new sales channel for many companies – but it needs to start in the enterprise with a clear view of the customer and the relationships they already have. We left the meeting agreeing that enterprises will probably start building apps within social channels, rather than having customers come to ones they have historically built on their own services.

We’ve been getting great attendance at all of our seminars – including these in Melbourne and Sydney.  We’ve also attached executive dinners to many of them.  I personally like these since we can really get into deep conversations with clients and share experiences around the table.  We were joined at these events by colleagues from EMC, CapGemini and Andy Hayler, CEO of research firm “The Information Difference“.  Between them we discussed many aspects of MDM implementation and shared horror stories and success stories.

The over-riding message I heard from everyone was quite simple.  Master Data Management is a great enabler for “Customer Centricity”.  However, there is a clear recipe for success:

  1. Define an agreed scope for the project.
  2. Ensure that you have a business sponsor.
  3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
  4. Deliver on the agreed, small, scope first before extending.
  5. MDM is a journey – not a final destination.

If you’ve presented or worked with MDM around the world, what are your thoughts on any differences in regions? I’d be interested in sharing notes.

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