Data bureaux offer quick fixes

I write with reference to David Reed’s “Data race” article (MW February 17). I agree totally with Shaun Doyle from Intrinsic when he argues that the scale of customer relationship management (CRM) systems and moves towards real-time marketing in response to customer transactions and behaviour make it ultimately more appropriate to house databases in house, within a client’s IT infrastructure.

The point he missed is that many traditional data bureaux have transformed themselves into a pool of experts that provide the resources and experience to deliver sophisticated customer management solutions, both cost effectively and within a relatively small time frame (compared with an in-house implementation).

Bureaux now offer flexible and supportive solutions to meet in-house needs, offering either an outsourced or in-house system implementation – either immediately or as part of a later phase of the project. This results in true “advice” to the customer on what is in their best interest. With open technology and best of breed software, in today’s world there is little reason why this can’t always be the case.

Many companies will have developed a vision for integrated CRM. The practicalities of implementation, however, often impede its realisation. Bureaux may be able to provide a solution that gives the best of both worlds. Their role will be to lay the best building blocks for the CRM system and provide the training, documentation and support that ultimately enables clients to implement it successfully in-house.

Tim Pottinger

Divisional managing director

The Computing Group

Crawley

West Sussex

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