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Enterprise-Wide Integration (EWI): Fundamentals Get the Job Done

April 2, 2013

Like most tournaments of quality and depth, it’s not always easy to separate the contenders from the pretenders. New comers with flash and style seek to replace the tried and true. In a tournament of this caliber, substance and fundamentals win out. The competition is too fierce for those without foundation to be the last man standing.

Enterprise-Wide Integration has the foundation and fundamentals to not only beat, but support Real-Time Streaming Data (RTSD) and move into the #Smart16 Final Four.

Most experience touchpoints of the customer’s journey are stored within the framework of the enterprise. This data reside in different database silos, some within and others outside of the physical enterprise. The big data journey starts by integrating and bringing together these various and disconnected customer experience data points. At its heart, the very promise of big data is built on EWI.

EWI is not “new,” yet it is a foundational element of big data. Most, but not all of the data that EWI brings together has been stored in traditional relational databases inside of the enterprise for years. The areas of customer purchase, inventory management, ordering and replenishment, as well as finance and accounting, are traditional sources that immediately come to mind when thinking of enterprise data.

But there are other, untapped sources of enterprise data as well. What of the wealth of unstructured data like customer service call recordings, training and development documents and videos, internal email communication, and even machine data? All this can now be integrated, processed and analyzed under the umbrella of EWI.

Real-Time Streaming Data is just one of many desired end-states of data integration. Accessing needed data in real-time can empower key decision makers and front-line staff with the insight and knowledge to create better customer engagement and experiences. The only way RTSD can provide business value is if EWI makes it possible.

Enterprises now have the opportunity to leverage both structured and unstructured data for real-time competitive advantage. But to do so, they need a well orchestrated and fundamentally sound approach to EWI.  With the right plan in place, EWI will become the foundational engine pulling all other 15 of the #Smart16 finalists with it.

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