Acxiom Leader: Successful Companies Must Forge Smart Alliances
Charles D. Morgan says the "right combination of technologies is necessary to achieve true focus on customers."PALM SPRINGS, CA--Charles D. Morgan, Company Leader for Acxiom Corporation, says that constantly changing technology and the growing global landscape means successful companies must select the right partners and alliances to help achieve a true customer-centric enterprise.
Speaking at the opening of Connections 2001 executive symposium, Morgan said the key to achieving long-term strategic goals is an effective collaboration by companies offering complementary technologies that lead to one thing - superior Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The customer must be at the focus of all activities throughout the enterprise, Morgan said.
The "holy grail" of CRM is the ability of even the most sprawling enterprises to recognize customers in real time on a personal level, and then to leverage that information to provide the kind of services customers demand, according to Morgan. And that depends on the right combination of technologies.
"It's not enough for the CRM vision to live in the corporate office, or in the marketing department," Morgan said. "The concept, and the technology that turns theory into reality, must spread to every level of the organization. Decisions have to be made in the trenches."
Acxiom says it has formed strategic alliances with a number of partners to deploy AbiliTec, Acxiom's CDI software powered by patented Acxiom technology, that helps enterprises create a single, complete and accurate view of its customers.
"In the past, when most people considered the 'single view of the customer,' they envisioned a snapshot at a single point in time - the present," Morgan said. "When people move, when they change their names, it's hard to keep up with them. This can create serious consequences when companies pursue younger elements within the prospect universe - the upwardly mobile segment with growing salaries and discretionary income. These people often are undergoing high numbers of life changes - physically moving, getting married, starting families."
Acxiom and its strategic partners say they are creating those systems to follow this customer continuum. "That's the holy grail - not simply being able to recognize single customers, but to stay in touch with them and anticipate what services they need," said Morgan. "And that's why our strategic alliances initiative is so important - for us and for our partners, and for those clients we serve."
Morgan said that alliances are so critical to the success of CRM that Acxiom has begun a new strategic alliances initiative.
"Acxiom is creating a new operating division to focus entirely on our partner relationships," Morgan said. "We are a technology company, and our technology is at the heart of every solution we provide. But if we simply sell you technology, we haven't done our job. We work hard to build true partnerships with our clients - together we identify the business opportunities and challenges, form the strategies, and implement the programs to achieve those goals."
"That pattern has proven particularly relevant with AbiliTec," Morgan continued. "We are thrilled with the progress we made before we announced the new division - joining forces with some of the most important technology companies in the world to integrate AbiliTec into their CRM solutions. And with more resources now co