In the Beginning

In 1998, when Paul Burns was Data Services Manager for Bond Direct, a subsidiary of George Patterson Bates, he experienced an epiphany.

Paul had been struggling to manage their marketing data for a number of years when he realised that the data problems he wrestled with every day weren’t limited to one organisation.

When he saw that bad data management was endemic among many large organisations – and that it was a major business inhibitor – Paul did something about it. He created the Database Dept. to help large organisations manage their marketing data more effectively.

In most organisations data management was under the control of IT departments, which were much more focused on technology and keeping the lights on than on the accuracy of marketing data. Paul’s initial concept was to provide large organisations with outsourced data management so their marketing and sales departments could access segmented, accurate marketing information when and where they wanted it without involving IT.

A Helping Hand

In 1999, as the Database Dept.’s Client list expanded, Paul turned to ex Bond Direct colleague and fellow musician, Nigel Mullane for assistance. Nigel and Paul were then fellow members of Sydney band the Enormous Horns, Paul on lead guitar and Nigel on saxophone, and their musical partnership soon became a successful business partnership.

As a musician, Paul was fascinated with the technological aspects of music recording. His focus on how systems work dramatically accelerated his system development and programming skills. Similarly, Nigel’s belief in the logical and mathematical structure of music was a natural precursor to his belief in the logic and structure of data management.

For more than 17 years Paul has been obsessed with creating better, simpler, more effective data and contact management systems while Nigel has been immersed in the structure, logic and minutiae of marketing data.

The Next Phase – Creating the  ARM (Authentic Relationship Management) Business Platform

By 2006 the Database Dept. had quietly developed a number of Cloud based leading edge data management, contact management, integration and data quality systems including the WebONE Integrated Marketing Database as well as  an impressive reputation among its blue chip Clients. It was time to move to the next level. This time Paul turned to an old school friend, John Bedwany, for help.

John had already enjoyed a stellar business career in sales and marketing. As General Manager of Tailor Made Systems, a small Sydney based software developer, John had won large corporate customers in 15 countries. He had set up a successful network of offices and partners in Europe, the UK, USA, Asia Pacific and South Africa and had developed and implemented innovative sales and marketing systems to fuel the growth of the company, which was later acquired by IBS.

As a result, John moved to IBM and as Director of SMB Marketing Asia Pacific he was responsible for a sales budget of over US$5 billion. In 2006, after 8 successful years at IBM and 20 years in the industry, John had been responsible for billions of dollars in sales, had managed teams and business across 30 countries, had worked with many major corporations around the globe and had consulted to CEOs in a wide variety of industries.

John then set out to share his vision of the “future of selling”. As a result he developed and documented the Database Dept.’s ARM Business Platform concept. This was later developed into a comprehensive 16 module training course to ensure all the Database Dept.’s consultants are trained and certified in the methodology.

The ARM Business Platform describes the science of manifesting relationships with senior decision makers in targeted accounts who are not yet ready to purchase – so that when they are ready to buy they know and trust you.

John’s ARM methodologies and his “future of selling” concept were the final pieces in the jigsaw. These, combined with the data integration and quality tools that Paul and Nigel had built over the years, plus their in-depth experience, gave the Database Dept.’s Clients the methodologies, processes, tools and people to discover, contact, nurture and win many more new customers in their target markets.


The Database Dept. prides itself on offering highly professional, responsive and invaluable services to its Clients – and also on following values based on friendship trust and mutual understanding, and on treating its staff and Clients as human beings.