CRM Leverages the Enterprise Information Integration Market

As the enterprise information integration (EII) market teeters on the brink of strong growth thanks to implementations by a wide variety of Fortune 1,000 companies, CRM is poised to take advantage of the opportunities, according to a new report from Aberdeen Group. EII infrastructure aggregates data and coordinates transactions across back-end data sources. EII enables all back-end information to be seen as if it came from one comprehensive, global database. EII differs from traditional middleware, which acts as a connector between varying data sources, in that it is essentially "a database management veneer," says Wayne Kernochan, an Aberdeen Group analyst. The benefits of EII range from improving the real-time characteristics of business intelligence to easing mergers and speeding development of enterprise portals and e-business integration applications, according to Kernochan. And although Kernochan says that he has not seen an enormous number of EII implementations that are strictly CRM, he notes that CRM would benefit from it. "With CRM there are some things that stand out as not typical in other areas of EII," Kernochan says. "CRM broadens the capabilities of data warehouses and data stores." An example of such broadening, according to Kernochan, is the ability to immediately call up customer data and perform some analysis on that data. "Imagine if Amazon.com wanted to cement a relationship with a customer. Using EII and CRM, [it] would have simultaneous access to customer databases and supplier databases, and they might suggest books to the customer that have not even come out yet. That should make the company stand out in the mind of customers and offer a competitive advantage." Kernochan says that the report shows the EII market could grow as much as 80 percent, year over year. He adds that recently released research shows the most successful EII areas to date are in financial services and pharmaceuticals. Markets totaling more than $6.4 billion, such as business process integration, legacy modernization, and content management, are increasingly benefiting from EII. And IT buyers from medium-size businesses should begin to see significant benefits from EII over the next two years, according to Kernochan. "EII will be the keystone of a new IT capability called Strategic Information Management, which will allow users to leverage proprietary information for competitive advantage better than ever before," Kernochan says. He calls EII, "one of the best Swiss Army knife-type multiple-use tools ever to come along." The Aberdeen report also states that the increasing market success of EII will force major EII vendors, including Oracle and Sun Microsystems, to update their respective offerings or lose EII business to IBM and BEA Systems.
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