One of the recurring themes I encounter when talking to customers about how they are going to implement CRM is the issue of Master Data Management. That is getting them to think about and establish which of their systems is going to be the controlling point for data entities. Needless to say this often revolves around account data but also frequently includes Invoices and orders.
Now there is no simple solution to this and it often involves delicate discussions with different business users. Typically the CRM implementation is being sponsored by front line business users and sales but the accounting team need to be engaged with as well.
The higher up the enterprise chain you go the more complex this issue becomes as more systems and strategies are involved.
I was particularly interested, therefore, in a post Jeremy Kashel from the excellent Adatis team made from the BI Conference which linked to this presentation (pptx) which deals with what Master Data Management really means. It is unfortunately one of those obtuse Microsoft slide decks but there are some very worthwhile points in it. Such as:
1.MDM is a data warehousing project
2.MDM is solely for maintaining data consistency across business transaction systems
3.MDM is simply another data integration project
4.MDM integrates and manages all enterprise-wide data
MDM is a data quality project