Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8407515101/lightbox/

Super Bowl 2013 was one for the record books. What at first appeared to be a lackluster blowout turned into something decidedly more interesting (even classic?) after the San Francisco 49ers waged a dramatic comeback.

As ESPN points out, only one other championship game in the NFL’s 80-year title game history, Pittsburgh’s 35-31 win over Dallas in 1979, featured both teams scoring at least 30 points.

In last week’s game, the Baltimore Ravens won out, 34-31, in a game punctuated by great moments, including brilliant receptions, momentum-changing turnovers, a spectacular 108-yard touchdown run . . . and oh, let’s not forget the odd power outage that disrupted the game for 34 minutes during the third quarter.

When I stop to reflect on exactly what made this game so exciting to watch, two elements jump out at me –and interestingly enough, they’re the same two seemingly contradictory elements all of us in business must somehow now balance every day:

Integration. On the football field, integration is key. Granted, each individual player has his own defined role, but these roles only have meaning within the context of a unit –offense, defense, special teams. In order to win a football game, the 11 players in each unit must perform as a cohesive whole, and then, at a higher level, these units must be coordinated to create an overall team strategy, as well.

Winning in business now requires a similar commitment to integration, and I’m proud to say that Teradata’s Integrated Channel Intelligence tool provides precisely this same game plan for success.

Our customers are gaining competitive advantage in today’s data-driven environment because they’re using Teradata Integrated Channel Intelligence to bridge the gap between dynamically changing consumer behavior and enterprise decision-making. With Teradata tools and applications, they’re able to integrate online data with traditional offline data in a single location to gain the insights into customer behavior that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing spend across all channels.

Vulnerability. Let’s say you tear down the silos (as you should), and everyone’s integrated and interconnected (as they need to be these days). What happens when there’s a glitch, and the lights suddenly go out (for example)? Who’s responsible . . . and how far will the darkness spread?

Super Bowl 2013 showed us that a single breakdown can scuttle the best-laid plans. On-the-field we saw missed tackles, blown routes, overthrown passes, etc. Off-the-field, there was the highly unusual power outage that stopped play for more than a half-hour. Examples like these underscore the point: Integration is a two-way street.

On the one hand, integration creates certain vulnerabilities. After all, when efforts are coordinated and interrelated, a single, unfortunate incident can send a shockwave through the entire system.

But on the other hand, when efforts are coordinated and interrelated, the impact of a single, unusual incident can be detected, muted and rectified.

As Entergy and SMG, the company that manages the Superdome, said in its joint statement explaining the power loss:

“Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.

Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome.

The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the facility.

There were no additional issues detected.”

System integration limited the time of the blackout –and I’m sure the data will be further analyzed to prevent any similar kind of mishap in the future.

The Ravens stepped up in similar fashion, shifting their game plan to adapt to injuries, missed plays, etc. They, too, overcame any exposed vulnerabilities and ultimately, used an integrated, team approach to win the highest-rated Super Bowl in Nielsen meter history.