Data management vendors cash in on compliance

In harmony with Do Not Call Register

A recent surge in federal compliance legislation is proving to be a huge cash cow for data management vendors.

Legislation includes the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill and the Do Not Call Register laws.

The stringent identity validation and financial record keeping policies imposed by these laws on Australian businesses will force many enterprises to deploy better data management and warehousing tools to be compliant, according to Mastersoft CEO, Gary Buttsworth.

"Specifically, the Know Your Customer validation process will increase the amount of identification required to confirm client identities especially in the financial and gaming industries," he said.

Launching a customer information integrity tool dubbed Harmony, Buttsworth said the legislation will create a big market opportunity for his company as well as rivals including IBM, SAS, QAS, and Business Objects.

"Legislation like this is often mandated by government without much thought to the provisioning and availability of tools capable of doing the job," he said.

"Government departments from Australia and New Zealand, and a major Australian insurance company are deploying [Harmony] and it could become de facto software for compliance through our existing government clients."

Mastersoft customers include Telstra, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Suncorp, ANZ Bank, Centrelink and the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Buttsworth boasted the company has 65 customers in the top 200 most lucrative Australian companies and expects to double the firms' revenue in the 2006/2007 financial year from $5 million to $10 million.

Harmony is an object-orientated data integrity tool which utilizes user-generated rules to find data duplication and exceptions within knowledge bases such as CRM systems.

The Java-based application uses rule-sets to standardize data across platforms, and can validate exceptions, such as missing postcodes, addresses, or Tax File Numbers, with reputable external sources.

"Harmony will take-off best in developing markets like China where there are no definite sources of truth because all other offerings lack the ability to validate with external entities like national residential listings and government databases," Buttsworth said.

While Buttsworth was tight-lipped about whether Harmony is used for financial cross-referencing between the ATO and Centrelink, he said it has the functionality to do it and could also be customized to verify bona fide customers trading with pawnbrokers such as Cash Converters.

He said data validation vendors will target the contact centre industry as it scrambles to comply with the Do Not Call Registry which went live earlier this month.

Under the legislated scheme, it will be unlawful for most contact centres to make telemarketing calls to numbers placed on the register from May 31, 2007.

Buttsworth said downloading numbers listed on the registry database will not make contact centres compliant because numbers are continually listed and removed.

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