We are currently experiencing a domino effect as IT manufacturers and other organizations, cut spending to offset revenue losses during these challenging economic times. Inevitably, during this belt-tightening process there have been major job losses across the IT industry, as sales of both hardware and software products significantly decrease.  New technology service contract sales also face steep decline as a result of the reduction in IT spending.  According to Gartner, Inc, “The unprecedented decline of the global economy is impacting the IT industry with worldwide IT spending forecast to total $3.2 trillion in 2009, a 3.8 percent decline from 2008 revenue of nearly $3.4 trillion.”  Regardless of this doom-and-gloom forecast, technology manufacturers and their channel partners can use this scenario to their advantage by shifting emphasis to service renewal sales and increasing their focus on warranty revenue streams. Now more than ever, is the time for this shift to take place because customer organizations are saving money by using their technology infrastructure products longer. This means the need to purchase extended service contracts to protect valuable IT assets is at an all-time high.

Data quality is the key component to a successful business. Complete and accurate customer records are essential for effective selling of products and services. It is important for a company’s survival to establish and standardize data quality practices in order to maintain a healthy, progressive business during this economic slump. The impact data quality has on a company’s sales effectiveness, and the systemic issues that poor data quality has on the entire organization can dramatically affect the sustainability of a business.  By utilizing the principles of data quality to improve business intelligence, companies can maximize service sales opportunities to ride out this economic storm while also setting their organizations up for success when the global economy recovers.  Plus, with market research indicating growth in services revenue, taking a closer look at this business as a sustainable revenue stream clearly makes sense.  Indeed, according to Gartner, worldwide IT services revenue totaled $806 billion in 2008, an 8.2 percent increase from 2007 revenue of $745 billion.  So how can organizations generate reliable and complete customer data in the interest of improving service sales? In order to solve data quality issues, it’s important to understand why the data got so disheveled in the first place. 

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