Clean Data Improves Integration
Despite deploying a variety of data management packages, Avid Technology's information quality remained poor. "We had no way to track data sources to see what leads and sales dollars were generated from specific marketing campaigns," says Chad Wright, manager of IS applications at Avid Technology, whose video editing products are used in the television and film industry. "Plus we were losing visibility to crucial customer information as prospects were converted to sales and as data moved between these disparate systems."
Ted Friedman, a senior analyst with Gartner Inc., says this is a common problem. "Many companies have up to five separate systems recording customer data," Friedman says. "This can cause some real thorny problems when you try to stuff all this information into a CRM application. [Often] it's better to go back and fix data-quality problems at the source of entry."
To improve its data quality throughout the enterprise Avid planned to incorporate an information quality process into a new SAP Business Information Warehouse enterprise data warehouse environment. Avid also searched for companies that could allow for seamless data matching between the disparate applications it was using, including SAP's data warehouse applications and an Onyx CRM package. "Avid asked each vendor to match customer data on name and address, then by product, and then match it by date. We wanted the ability to look at a lead that came into our Onyx system for a particular product on a specific day, and how that might compare with an order that might have come into our SAP R/3 system thirty, sixty, or ninety days later," Wright says.
Avid selected Firstlogic's Information Quality Suite, in part because it performed other valuable data-integration tasks in addition to matching. And, Wright says, implementation time was rapid, with the integrated solution fully operational within a few months.
Art Petty, Firstlogic's vice president of marketing, says Avid is just one example of how companies can successfully integrate their CRM and ERP platforms. "Avid's ability to create a single, comprehensive view of each customer and prospect has enabled its marketing organization to develop and track marketing and sales campaigns in a way that provides them a distinct competitive advantage," Petty says.
Avid recently decided to switch from Onyx to a SAP CRM application, and Wright says Firstlogic's software will be instrumental in all data cleansing and matching efforts for transfer from Onyx to SAP.
According to Friedman, an integrated ERP and CRM solution may help many companies maintain high data quality, but it's not a quick fix. "Obviously, the simpler the system the better, but companies can still have data problems with just one system," Friedman says.