Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Customer Relationships, Data Relationships

The computer industry is good at coming up with Orwellian names for things. The software that call center operators and others use is called a “Customer Relationship Management” system (or ‘CRM.’) The goal of such systems is to help you decide which of your customers are profitable, and give them better service. Cynics might add: “and leave the rest of us waiting on hold.”

Unfortunately for companies, people see relationships as more than a series of profit-maximizing transactions. And people get remarkably upset when your company’s relationship management skills aren’t what they’re looking for. When you treat them like dirt. When you sell their personal information. When you can’t keep track of what promises you’ve made when. But those aren’t the only relationships a business has. It also has relationships with other companies.

The fine folks at Synomos are putting on a web seminar, “Rethinking Your Third Party Data Relationships: The Information Dating Game:”

From flirting and marriage to divorce and ultimately death, your relationship with information and the commitments you make with third parties undergoes constant changes and must be effectively managed. Whether exchanging data with business partners or sharing information within departments or business units, each type of transaction establishes a data relationship that must be appropriately managed to ensure compliance with both an organization’s policies and applicable regulations around data protection.

Synomos started life as the enterprise product unit of Zero Knowledge Systems. I was involved, at the edges, with the first revisions of the Align product suite, and while I haven’t seen it in a while, lots of smart people are putting a lot of effort and energy into it, and I think they’re onto something good. Check it out.