Tag Archives: CRM

What is the Silver Lining in Cloud for Financial Services?

This was a great week of excitement and innovation here in San Francisco starting with the San Francisco Giants winning the National League Pennant for the 3rd time in 5 years on the same day Saleforce’s Dreamforce 2014 wrapped up their largest customer conference with over 140K+ attendees from all over the world talking about their new Customer Success Platform.

Salesforce has come a long way from their humble beginnings as the new kid on the cloud front for CRM. The integrated sales, marketing, support, collaboration, application, and analytics as part of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform exemplifies innovation and significant business value upside for various industries however I see it very promising for today’s financial services industry. However like any new business application, the value business gains from it are dependent in having the right data available for the business.

The reality is, SaaS adoption by financial institutions has not been as quick as other industries due to privacy concerns, regulations that govern what data can reside in public infrastructures, ability to customize to fit their business needs, cultural barriers within larger institutions that critical business applications must reside on-premise for control and management purposes, and the challenges of integrating data to and from existing systems with SaaS applications.  However, experts are optimistic that the industry may have turned the corner. Gartner (NYSE:IT) asserts more than 60 percent of banks worldwide will process the majority of their transactions in the cloud by 2016.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges and what’s required to overcome these obstacles when adopting cloud solutions to power your business.

Challenge #1:  Integrating and sharing data between SaaS and on-premise must not be taken lightly

For most banks and insurance companies considering new SaaS based CRM, Marketing, and Support applications with solutions from Salesforce and others must consider the importance of migrating and sharing data between cloud and on-premise applications in their investment decisions.  Migrating existing customer, account, and transaction history data is often done by IT staff through the use of custom extracts, scripts, and manual data validations which can carry over invalid information from legacy systems making these new application investments useless in many cases.

For example, customer type descriptions from one or many existing systems may be correct in their respective databases however collapsing them into a common field in the target application seems easy to do. Unfortunately, these transformation rules can be complex and that complexity increases when dealing with tens if not hundreds of applications during the migration and synchronization phase. Having capable solutions to support the testing, development, quality management, validation, and delivery of existing data from old to new is not only good practice, but a proven way of avoiding costly workarounds and business pain in the future.

Challenge 2:  Managing and sharing a trusted source of shared business information across the enterprise.

As new SaaS applications are adopted, it is critical to understand how to best govern and synchronize common business information such as customer contact information (e.g. address, phone, email) across the enterprise. Most banks and insurance companies have multiple systems that create and update critical customer contact information, many of them which reside on-premise. For example, insurance customers who update contact information such as a phone number or email address while filing an insurance claim will often result in that claims specialist to enter/update only the claims system given the siloed nature of many traditional banking and insurance companies. This is the power of Master Data Management which is purposely designed to identify changes to master data including customer records in one or many systems, update the customer master record, and share that across other systems that house and require that update is essential for business continuity and success.

In conclusion, SaaS adoption will continue to grow in financial services and across other industries. The silver lining in the cloud is your data and the technology that supports the consumption and distribution of it across the enterprise. Banks and insurance companies investing in new SaaS solutions will operate in a hybrid environment made up of Cloud and core transaction systems that reside on-premise. Cloud adoption will continue to grow and to ensure investments yield value for businesses, it is important to invest in a capable and scalable data integration platform to integrate, govern, and share data in a hybrid eco-system. To learn more on how to deal with these challenges, click here and download a complimentary copy of the new “Salesforce Integration for Dummies”

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in B2B, Cloud, Financial Services | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Big Data Secrets that can ignite a Product Launch

Customers don’t always like change, and new product launch offers variety of changes so it’s important to showcase the value of the change for customers while launching a product.  One key ingredient that can fuel the successful Product launch is leveraging the rich, varied, multi-sourced, readily available information. Yes, tons of information which is like a gold mine and is available to us more easily/readily than ever before from various different sources. Industry experts call it Big Data. Today Big Data can pull gold out of this information gold mine and positively impact a product launch.  What follows are 3 secrets of how Product Marketers can tap the power of Big Data for a successful product launch.

Secret #1: Use Big Data to optimize content strategy and targeted messaging

The main challenge is not just to create a great product but also to communicate the clear compelling value of the product to your customers. You need to speak the language that resonates with needs and preferences of customers. Through social media platforms and weblogs, lots of information is available highlighting views/preferences of buyers. Big Data brings all these data points together from various sources, unlocks them to provide customer intelligence. Product Marketers can leverage this intelligence to create customer segmentation and targeted messaging.

Secret #2: Use Big Data to identify influential customers and incent them to influence others

One of the studies done by Forrester Research indicates that today your most valuable customer is the one who may buy little but influences 100 others to buy via blogs, tweets, Facebook and online product reviews. Using MDM with Big Data businesses can create a 360 degree customer profile by integrating transaction, social interaction and weblogs which help in identifying influential customers. Companies can engage these influential customers early by initiating a soft launch or beta testing of their product.

Secret #3: Use Big data to provide direction to ongoing Product improvement

Big Data is also a useful tool to monitor on-going product performance and keeping customers engaged post-launch. Insights into how customers are using the product and what they enjoy most can open the doors for improvements in future launches resulting in happier and loyal customers.

Zynga, creator of most popular Facebook game Farmville, collects terabytes of big data in a day and analyzes it to improve the game features and customer services. As indicated in a WSJ article after Version 1 launch of the game, the company analyzed customer behavior and found that customers were interacting with animals much more than the designers expected. So in the second release game designers increased the game offerings with more focus on animals keeping customer’s more engaged.

Key Takeaway:

Big data is proving to be a game changer for product managers and marketers who want to deeply engage with their customers and launch products with a memorable and valued customer experience.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Data Integration, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Can A Single View of Your Customer Helps You Better Manage your Customer Service? (Part One)

One thing we all have in common in this modern world, is that we have all, at some point in our lives, been on the receiving end of poor customer service.

Don’t get me wrong, a career in customer service is not an easy one, and I’m sure there are many service providers out there who have been wrongly on the receiving end of an angry customer, for reasons out of the businesses hands, that’s another topic in itself. It is hard, however, to ignore that one thing companies often fail on heavily is providing a timely, easy to access and appropriate level of service for their customers. (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Cloud Computing, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When It Comes to Data Quality Delivery, the Soft Stuff is the Hard Stuff (Part 5 of 6)

In my last blog post I discussed why an understanding of corporate financial concepts is so important to data quality success. In this blog, I will examine knowledge of commercial enterprise applications as a key enabler of effective data quality delivery.

Packaged applications for ERP, CRM, MRP, HCM, etc. were first introduced decades ago to provide tightly integrated business management functions, standardized processes and streamlined transaction processing. While one can argue whether or not these applications have lived up to all of the hyperbole, the reality is that they have been successful and are here to stay. As these backbone systems continued to evolve and mature, lessons learned from thousands of implementations were incorporated into the model solutions as best practices. These best practices spawned industry standard processes and specialized variants were born (e.g. vertical systems solutions). With the widespread adoption of these solutions, the days of custom building an application to meet the business’s needs have largely disappeared (although exceptions do persist to support specialized needs). (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Data Quality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Case for Universal MDM: The Federation of Point-MDM Solutions

I’m at Barcelona this week for the European Gartner MDM Summit. I had a chance to catch up with one of the Gartner MDM analysts before the event, and we had a discussion about the growth of MDM.  He mentioned that MDM will become pervasive within the enterprise as organizations expand its use as a necessary foundation for governing all of their business-critical master data such as customers, products, and so on.

To solve their business problems accurately, companies seek targeted MDM solutions. For e.g., retail, distribution, and manufacturing companies use PIM for merchandising, distributing products, and supplier on-boarding, while financial services, healthcare, and high tech companies use customer MDM with their CRM, such as salesforce.com, for improving customer segmentation, cross-sell , and up-sell. (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ballooning Data Sets Cause Application Performance Problems

According to a 2011 Ovum survey, 85% of respondents cited ballooning data sets as the cause of application performance problems. Many IT organizations fell short in 2012 letting unmanaged data growth impact the business. This year, Informatica is witnessing a surge of interest in Enterprise Data Archive solutions. This interest is being created because executives want to invest in innovative technologies for real-time and operational analytics. Yet, with little to no IT budget increase, IT leaders are getting creative.

Businesses are moving from on premises applications to Software as a Service (SaaS) freeing up time and resources – yet the legacy application being replaced all too often stays in the data center consuming costly resources. IT leaders are recognizing the quick win of retiring legacy applications. An application retirement strategy supports data center consolidation and application modernization initiatives – while ensuring data is retained to meet regulatory compliance and business needs. Significant cost savings are realized because mainframe systems can be turned off, maintenance costs go away. With this new source of revenue, executives can fund their analytics projects and drive competitive operations. (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Application ILM, Application Retirement, Data Archiving, SaaS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

12 Ways You Can Benefit from a Single View of Your Customers in Your CRM

The terms “Single View of a Customer” (SVC) and “360-degree view of your customer” are often bandied about amongst marketers and sales people. Day-in and day-out, we collect information about our customers to use for analysis, forecasting and budget planning.

The first thing a sales person is required to do after being introduced to their territory is to find out everything there is to know about their accounts. What did their customers buy? What “pain point” did the product address? How much did the customer pay for it? Did they pay on time? Were there any issues with delivery/implementation of the product? (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Cloud Computing, Master Data Management | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Interstate Batteries Dreamforce Story: How Can You Be #1 Without Trusted Customer Information?

Last week I posted this blog, OppenheimerFunds Dreamforce Story: Lay a Foundation of Trusted and Complete Customer Information for Salesforce.

Another superb Dreamforce story was delivered by Interstate Batteries’ director of Market IQ, Mike Darr.

Did you know Interstate Batteries is the number one replacement brand battery in North America? Did you know batteries were perishable? These were some facts that I learned during Mike’s presentation at Dreamforce 2012. (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Manufacturing, Master Data Management | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Retail Case Study: Printemps Department Store Builds a Trusted Customer Data Foundation with MDM and Data Quality

If you have never traveled to France, you have missed the unique and exciting shopping experience offered at Printemps, a luxury fashion retailer. Its flagship store in Paris drives 60% of the company’s revenue. More than 1.5 million customers who love fashion visit this store as well as the retailer’s 15 other high-end stores around the country.

Printemps Haussmann, flagship department store in Paris, France.

Printemps’ goal is to cultivate long-term personal relationships with their high value customers by delivering exceptional services. Their strategy to accomplish this goal is to continuously meet their high value customers’ needs and expectations and create compelling incentives for customers to visit their stores.

Printemps’ marketing team is continually striving to be more customer-centric and improve campaign effectiveness. They are using customer analytics to segment their customers and better understand their preferences. For example:

  • Which customers prefer fashion, beauty or accessories?
  • Which customers prefer communications through the mail, email, mobile phone, social media channels?

Printemps has plenty of information about their 1.5 million customers. So what
was standing in their way? They lacked a 360-degree view of their high value
customers. The key culprit was duplicate customer information across multiple
systems.

I had the honor of introducing Olivier de Compiègne, who is responsible for Project Services and Customer Relationships at Printemps at Informatica World. Olivier’s main message: if your goal is to attract high value customers and boost customer loyalty, first you must invest in a solid customer data foundation.

To build their solid customer data foundation, Printemps’ team is leveraging Informatica Data Quality to ensure their customer information is as accurate and complete as possible across all key sources. They are using Informatica MDM, master data management (MDM) technology to rationalize customer information from numerous data sources to create a single customer view as well as a 360-degree customer view, which includes each customer’s purchase history.

Printemps’ solid customer data foundation is maintained on an ongoing basis, which allows Printemps’ marketing team to have confidence in the data they use for customer analytics and campaign management. Now they can truly support personalized relationships with customers and optimize their marketing by sending tailored messages to targeted customer segments.

If you are trying to cultivate long-term personal relationships with your customers and lack a 360 degree customer view, I hope Olivier’s story was helpful.  Do you have similiar goals? Please share your thoughts. I’m interested in hearing from you.

If you want to learn more about how Printemps’ is using Informatica Data Quality and Informatica MDM, please:

 

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Customer Acquisition & Retention, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Retail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leverage Big Data or Go Out of Business

I’m sitting in the Taiwan airport on my way to Guangzhou. We just completed the Informatica World Tour in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan, and I’ve had the opportunity to deliver the keynote presentation, Maximize Your Return on Big Data.

All of our audiences exceeded our expectations. We had 50% more attendees than planned. Why? Big data. It is a hot topic and everyone is trying to determine how to leverage big data in their enterprise to get a competitive advantage. At the event, I made the point – if you’re not trying to understand how to leverage big data in your enterprise, your successor will. Kitty Fok, the IDC China Country Manager, spoke after me. Her consistent comment was – “if your company isn’t looking to leverage big data, you will be out of business.” (more…)

FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrintShare
Posted in Big Data, CIO | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment