Taking Another Look at Infrastructure

On the Web, data is king. Data management platforms are gaining traction as the tools of choice for collecting and harnessing the power of all this data, turning it into genuine knowledge, making it actionable and thus monetizing it.

Yet publishers, ad agencies, networks and others often discover that many self-avowed DMPs satisfy only some of their data-management requirements.  Many firms end up cobbling solutions together from among multiple data management offerings. In order to enable clients to take full advantage of the power manifest in their DMP, a software firm must be able to fully understand each client’s requirements, and then provide appropriate solutions. Doing so is not easy.
Realizing such a goal begins with acknowledging that however intuitive its interface may be, a DMP counts for little without the right people and infrastructure to support it. Great DMPs combine terrific software with superior service and support.
From a client’s perspective, a DMP’s value comes in two forms. On one hand, it enhances the quality of supporting data.  On the other hand, quick integration, direct consultation and the constant presence of knowledgeable support save time and money. This can prove most valuable when a question arises that wasn’t addressed in the sales pitch.
A DMP’s infrastructure support organization ideally employs a centralized service organization to combine the business aspect (management, sales, product, data and client services) with the technology end (developers, engineers, quality assurance). This “service center” is responsible for hosting and delivering all the secondary functions and tools that allow each piece to communicate effectively not only with each other, but also, and most importantly, with clients.
Properly aligned with the product, staffed by knowledgeable, client-focused personnel and regarded by the parent organization as an enabler that is part of their product, rather than an a mere expense, a support infrastructure fulfills a product’s promise for clients and employees alike.
Another consideration: World-class support infrastructure defines a company’s brand. It’s natural for customers to trust that a firm that values its product and clients enough to develop and deliver such service can do the same for its primary product.
A top-notch DMP supported by a world-class service center saves everyone a whole lot of time, too. Comprehensive integration procedures, intuitive training, quick answers to questions, clear white papers and self-help documentation, coherent communication and even some levels of task assistance all come standard with a worthwhile DMP.
Nick Martin is senior technical analyst at Lotame, a data management platform.

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