• June 20, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Alterian Introduces New Level of Integration

Alterian unveiled a new and rebranded version of its flagship enterprise marketing management (EMM) platform yesterday, integrating multiple customer interaction channels. The company has positioned the analytically oriented Marketing Service Platform as the first EMM solution to add so-called "operational marketing" to traditional database and digital marketing functions, and says it's intended to help marketers take a more strategic role within the organization. The operational marketing component refers to the integration of the marketing resource management product that Alterian acquired from Nvigorate in September 2006, says Bob Hale, vice president of business development at Alterian. The United Kingdom-based vendor says that Marketing Service Platform is the first EMM product to integrate all three channels at the database and applications level, which means campaign designing, planning, multichannel execution--as well as reporting and analysis--can be run as a single workflow using a common user interface. Marketing Service Platform is built on a single data architecture where every component application shares and uses a consistent set of marketing data, business rules, and assets, Hale says. "We've always had a platform that processes large volumes of data," he adds. "Now we've developed a common underlying data architecture that brings all enterprise marketing activities together, enabling data to be quickly processed across any channel: direct sales, contact center, email, and Web sites." The release comes following three acquisitions Alterian has made in the past 12 months to forward its marketing product portfolio: Direct Marketing, an email marketing company, in May 2006; Nvigorate, a marketing resource management firm last September; and the intellectual property of Campaign Calculus, a contact optimization tool, in April of this year. The need to integrate marketing management solutions across multiple customer touch points has become top-of-mind for many marketers, according to a recent report by senior Forrester Research analyst Suresh Vittal. "A significant, and growing, majority of marketers--83%--agree that they need a more comprehensive and integrated application suite in order to increase their effectiveness," Vittal wrote in the report. "The complexity of delivering consistent customer experiences, integrating marketing processes, and measuring marketing performance means point solutions are no longer sufficient." Madan Sheina, principal analyst of BI technologies at Datamonitor, agrees. "Most marketing optimization suites on the market today offer separate products that focus on a single channel," she says. "Marketing suites tend to be piecemeal in design, offered as loosely cobbled together standalone applications integrated only at the user-interface level." "What's required today is a more robust data-level alignment across channels," Sheina says. "Technically that translates into a common data architecture with shared business logic, integrated rule and metadata processes, etc. That's basically what Alterian is trying to do with its latest EMM platform, and [the company] is a firm believer that analytics should be the driver for all marketing activities, irrespective of channels." Related articles: Gartner Slots Multichannel Campaign Management Vendors
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