The company continues to build out its data integration offerings, but lags behind the competition in broader data quality initiatives, according to one analyst.
Posted Aug 31, 2007
Group 1 Software, a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes, released the latest version of its Customer Data Quality (CDQ) Platform this week, focusing enhancements on improved name/address standardization capabilities and continuing to build out the platform's customer data integration (CDI) functionality.
Version 5 of CDQ is the first to be built entirely on a services-oriented architecture (SOA), and continues to expand on Group 1 Software's existing functionalities in name and address standardization. The company describes the latest version as offering built-in understanding to resolve both syntactic and semantic inconsistencies with global name recognition and entity resolution, along with global address data quality functions. Analysts can create custom business rules that can then be published and extended to the enterprise, enabling companies to unify customer account data, eliminate redundancies, and link members of the same household.
Despite a specialization in global name and address standardization and what some analysts call a domain-agnostic underlying technology, Group 1's customer data quality and data integration applications remain the company's "sole focus," says Ted Friedman, vice president of data management and integration at Gartner. That narrow approach, Friedman adds, puts Group 1 "at a competitive disadvantage when prospects have broader requirements" -- such as product data and master data management (MDM) functionality. "While it offers data-profiling capabilities via its professional services engagements, the vendor does not directly market and sell a data profiling product," Friedman says.
Despite this, Friedman notes, Group 1's installed base of over 2,400 customers remains one of the largest in the industry, "making it one of the market-share leaders for data quality tools." And while the majority of Group 1's customers are based in North America, the vendor has established what Friedman calls a "foothold" in the Asia/Pacific region, where he says there are now several hundred Group 1 customers.
Group 1 considers the CDQ platform, which debuted in November 2006, "an essential component of our overall customer communications management strategy," according to Murray Martin, president and chief executive officer of parent company Pitney Bowes, in a written statement.
That strategy extends to a product line that the company says is seeing strong acceptance in the marketplace, Martin added in the statement. "Our data quality business has more than doubled in the past year, as organizations across multiple industries -- including insurance, financial services, government, and publishing -- have recognized the importance of enterprisewide data quality for enabling more informed decisions."
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