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B2B and B2C CDI in the Same Package

Many of our customers  are implementing CDI solutions which encompass both B2B and B2C customer bases.  A few good examples of this include some of  our CPG clients and our consumer electronics clients.  Within our own customer base, we are seeing a variety of approaches being taken:
·         Some clients mandate that one tool is used for both
·         Others use different packaged apps for each
·         Others use a packaged app for one and a custom application for the other
In every one of our client situations, each approach being taken has been a very wise decision.   As a result, my personal opinion is that:
1)      Regardless of vendor claims, no single CDI tool meets all the needs of a customer.  As a result, careful evaluation of packages is needed.  For example, while there are similarities between B2B and B2C, there are still major differences.  For example, within B2B the capabilities associated with hierarchy management and 3rd-party data integration (D&B, Equifax, etc..) are typically critical.  However, within B2C, it is frequently needed to have the ability to accurately auto-match large #’s of customer records while minimizing ‘false positives’, store much larger volumes of data and also process higher transactions/second
2)      In certain situations, custom alternatives should still be considered. 
3)      When dealing with packaged CDI software vendors, if a client thinks they may use the product for B2B and B2C customers, make sure that possibility is reflected in the initial software contract. Frequently, CDI vendors attempt to license the products on a ‘per record’ or ‘per customer type’ concept.  As a result, if a company does not negotiate effectively, they may still get charged two licensing fees even if they use the same product

 

I am curious what others have experienced in this area as well and would welcome your viewpoints!

 

Thanks, Duane

 

Comments

Duane, interesting topic, thanks for posting this. Talking about B2B CRM, I see following goals that one can relate to CDI space
1. 360 view of Customer
- This will not only help know entire relationship of the Business organization, but also will ensure consistent communications across channels. CDI/MDM product should be able to support this as this is very basic of the functionality
- Simplify and standardize entire sales and service process. This will need integration between CDI product and CRM product
- Knowing customer trends can enable turning B2B relationship into partnership. Same as above.

2. Real time data integration
- Yes, as you mentioned it is key in B2B scenarios. But more or less even for B2C you would still like to have real time data integration with vendors like Axciom for Customer matching or combines etc. So in a way, it is similar but the degree of usage will vary

3. Customer data tracking, Reporting and analytics
- This need, I am not sure if CDI or MDM has reached to this state. Lately, Analytical MDM is coming into existence, but has not been in the limelight yet. But now that transactional CDI/MDMs are a proven platform, and enterprises are already moving into this, I think the next wave should logically be the Analytical MDM.

At a high level, the CDI product must need to meet these, and these are more or less same for B2C as well. But Duane, as you rightly said, evaluation of the product is a must and has to be based on the requirement of the client. And I think vendors are coming up with varying licensing options where you can mix and match based on your need unlike initial bulk licensing.

Would be interested to get your view on what are the challenges one might face while proposing solutions, CDI products for B2B and B2C scenarios?

Duane,
Excellent post. This reflects one of the key issues in MDM, the fitment of an MDM package to meet the B2B v/s B2C v/s B2B2C.

Please note ”Aaron Zornes” had referred to the same concern, in his address at the MDM Asia Pacific Summit.
The only concern about the posts is specific to recommending “a custom MDM” for B2B and B2C domain. I would like to refer to two blogs to justify my statement.

1) A blog by Sekhar (http://www.infosysblogs.com/customer-relationship-management/2009/05/customer_relationship_manageme_1.html#more) showcase why it is recommended to procure an MDM package rather than retrofitting a custom MDM on top of a EAI/BI application.
2) A blog by self (http://www.infosysblogs.com/customer-relationship-management/2009/08/master_data_management_hub_sho.html#more) where we wanted to push additional “hub of hubs” concept to sell additional MDM hubs in a saturated market. E.g. evaluate multiple MDM hubs for B2B and B2C domain (either on a single MDM hub or on multiple MDM hubs).

Custom MDM solution, is like taking a retro step (my perspective). If client is truly price conscious, we could recommend a MURAL (open source MDM). If in fact there is a need for a custom MDM, then there is an opportunity to address this space with a product or a package based offering (partner with our alliance partners to bring in features into the product).

So, like in CRM so in MDM, Duane. An interesting take.

When on-premise CRM was considered the best option 7-9 years ago, on-demand CRM and Mobile CRM changed the face of the space extensively. It brought CRM to your palm, literally.

So, there emerged a breed of CRM applications which went into the hybrid mode. ZOHO for example. Some went into Open Source. Cost and TCO seemed to be an issue, so emerged SUGARCRM and SFDC.

It is interesting and also exciting to see how MDM will evolve in the future keeping the points that you have mentioned.

On-demand MDM maybe?

A simple lightweight app hosted on your palmtop which allows you to check the latest set of duplicate records to be cleansed?

Standard packages will be here to stay but without the custom aspect, it will be difficult to sustain, especially in such economic conditions.

Duane, interesting topic, thanks for posting this. Talking about B2B CRM, I see following goals that one can relate to CDI space
360 view of Customer
- This will not only help know entire relationship of the Business organization, but also will ensure consistent communications across channels. CDI/MDM product should be able to support this as this is very basic of the functionality
- Simplify and standardize entire sales and service process. This will need integration between CDI product and CRM product
- Knowing customer trends can enable turning B2B relationship into partnership. Same as above.

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