Acxiom Leader: Successful Companies Must Forge Smart Alliances

eCRMGuide.com Staff

Updated · Feb 27, 2001

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, a Customer Data Integration (CDI) and customer recognition infrastructure solutions
provider, says Connections 2001 is a three-day executive symposium designed to bring together
international thought leaders to discuss topics relevant to today’s business challenges. It
says more than a dozen guest speakers will present their perspectives on subjects ranging
from CRM to understanding and respecting consumer privacy preferences. Acxiom was joined by
Compaq, Keane Consulting, USAData, Protagona, Unica and Computer Associates in sponsoring
the event.

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