I’m not saying that Customer Master Data Management is easy. But if we compare the capabilities within most companies with handling domestic customer records they are often stellar compared to the capabilities of handling foreign customer records.
It’s not that the knowledge, services and tools doesn’t exist. If you for example are headquartered in the USA, you will typically use best practice and services available there for domestic records. If you are headquartered in France, you will use best practice and services available there for domestic records. Using the best practices and services for foreign (seen from where you are) records is more seldom and if done, it is often done outside enterprise wide data management.
This situation can’t, and will not, continue to exist. With globalization running at full speed and more and more enterprise wide data management programs being launched, we will need best practices and services embracing worldwide customer records.
Also new regulatory compliance will add to this trend. Being effective next year the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will urge both US Companies and Foreign Financial Institutions to better know your foreign customers and other business partners.
In doing that, you have to know about addresses, business directories and consumer/citizen hubs for an often large range of countries as described in the post The Big ABC of Reference Data.
It may seem a daunting task for each enterprise to be able to embrace big reference data for all the countries where you have customers and other business partners.
My guess, well, actually plan, is, that there will be services, based in the cloud, helping with that as indicated in the post Partnerships for the Cloud.