2011 is the year social applications (Facebook, LinkedIn) are morphing together with location-based applications (Four Square, Google Earth/Maps, GoWalla) in new and exciting ways. As usage of these applications explodes, it is leading to new opportunities in the data space.
Smartphones (Android, iPhone) and tablets (iPad, Android also) are generating large volumes of location data as they are moved almost continuously from point to point. This data, combined with social and location applications, is creating a new wave of application innovation. The applications will be heavily dependent on a broad range of data however, not just user location data.
So where does StrikeIron fit in?
Much of the positional data behind location-based applications are generated by the devices themselves. However, much of this data is only useful when utilized in conjunction with large datasets of businesses, addresses, location databases, customer data and other types of relevant data that is being compared or referenced to. This can be especially valuable when delivered to a device providing some kind of valuable result or insight in real-time. However, it is very important that these datasets of reference information are accurate, comprehensive and current. Otherwise, the user experience can be quite frustrating and adoption of these applications will be slow and far less successful.
People and their organizations are gradually beginning to understand the importance of data quality in general, but for use with location-based applications, address quality is especially important.
StrikeIron's Address Verification capabilities are not only used to validate the existence of addresses, as well as ensure mail deliverability, but they are also used to generate latitude and longitude coordinates of an address as part of the validation process (as well as several different types of geocode data such as census tract data). These "geocodes" can then be used in many scenarios such as calculating distances between addresses or points from a certain business, legal uses of address proximity (many law firms use this service), real-time proximity to customers or prospects, geo-related business intelligence such as customer distribution, product distribution maps, satellite-related navigation, nearest store locators, assigning appropriate representatives in call center scenarios and many more. All of these can be enterprise or consumer-oriented in nature and each use case can be key components of social/mobile/location applications.
So as the proliferation of devices and more applications containing mobile, location and social aspects continues, technologies that ensure a high quality base of data for these applications to run on top of will be equally as important in this next wave of innovation. Fortunately, with real-time APIs from StrikeIron to insert anywhere in the process, it makes putting these new ideas to work a whole lot easier and effective.
At the very heart of any CRM system is the data within it. To communicate effectively with customers and prospects requires a high level of current, accurate data about each and every contact record in the system. The same is true in order to have the best possible business intelligence as the foundation of decision making.
There are traditional software methods for achieving high quality data, but they typically can be expensive and time-consuming to implement, and even more costly to maintain. Using a "Data-as-a-Service" (Daas) approach provides an effective model for incorporating real-time data validation checks into a CRM system, including verifying the accuracy of email addresses, phone numbers and mailing addresses. A solution in the "Cloud" like DaaS allows an easy implementation because the integration is completed in advance by the vendor, hence the "turnkey" notion.
This Web-based approach also eliminates the need to update the data reference sources that serve as the basis of these data validation checks. This is because the frequent updates occur at a master data center that is pre-wired into the solution via the Cloud. The reference data utilizes the Internet and is accessed as needed, rather than stored as a separate, full copy and maintained at each and every site where the software is in use. Since data reference updates are automatic in the world of DaaS, there is no risk that the reference data becomes aged and gradually loses its usefulness as is what often happens with on-premise software solutions.
Finally, the Web/Cloud-based solutions have the advantage of usage-based business models rather than large, upfront software investments that come with a high degree of risk and typically include implementation costs. Rather, the DaaS business example enables a grow-as-you-succeed model which is generally best for an organization.
In the case of Oracle CRM On Demand, StrikeIron has collaborated with our partner ActivePrime to help deliver this type of turnkey, pre-integrated solution, improving the quality and usability of data within Oracle CRM On Demand. Within this solution, available now, a single click validates the critical points of contact data via the Web, with all reference data updated automatically. This enables a much better foundation of high quality data on which to operate a sales force or marketing organization, ultimately resulting in a much better CRM ROI. You can see the screen shots below for email address validation, phone number validation and mailing address validation.
It has been five years since Oracle CRM On Demand was released and now finally there is an integrated real-time data quality solution that is easy to turn on and put to use.