CRM-ready data warehouses contain detailed data from all customer activity threaded together, at least minimally, by the shared customer dimension which was discussed in my last two columns. In my next several columns, I will talk about the value proposition in the capture and integration of the various major customer interaction systems including contact centers, e-systems and workforce management systems.

Deriving the full value from customer contact data requires the integration of all contact records, regardless of how or where they were received. Data might represent phone contacts routed to a regional call center, e-mails sent to a service organization or Web interactions between sales agents and prospects surfing a company's Web site. The ability to optimize the business to better meet the needs of customers depends on knowing what those customers are doing, regardless of the communication channel they use, and how or where their contacts were routed within an enterprise-wide contact infrastructure.

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