Think you\u2019ve got prima donna users and high-touch customers? At Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the powerful Hollywood talent agency that serves larger-than-life celebrities including Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, customer relationship management takes on a whole new meaning\u2014and importance. And whereas lunch at Spago and tons of phone calls used to be how business got done, CAA now views back-end IT systems as key to its future. For the agency\u2019s 200 or so high-flying agents who manage relations with clients (and shmooze prospects), a smart mix of applications, mobile devices and data feeds is paramount. "It\u2019s about surfacing opportunities" for clients, says David Freedman, an executive within the IT department. (Like Google, CAA doesn\u2019t believe in titles.)Finding those opportunities hasn\u2019t been simple. During the past several years, a titanic shift occurred within the entertainment industry as clients\u2019 talents and ambitions began spanning across CAA\u2019s traditional service lines\u2014movies, TV and music. (For example, some stars work in music, movies and fashion.) This change fueled a desire for more integrated streams of information, Freedman says, and highlighted the technological disconnects between the divisions.Compounding the issue, CAA decided to enter new service lines, such as sports, marketing and theater, and quickly ramp up operations. "As we scale out more, as we\u2019ve opened up additional offices, there\u2019s a need for data transformation," Freedman says. "We realized that it can\u2019t all happen in hallway conversations anymore."How did IT address those problems? Since early 2004, IT has developed a combination of CRM, business intelligence, knowledge management and enterprise search tools, and deployed Windows-based mobile applications. It\u2019s now integrating siloed systems. This almost 100 percent Microsoft shop uses a multitude of customized .Net applications and Microsoft CRM 3.0. CAA\u2019s IT team also adheres to an integration strategy built on an enterprise service bus\u2014a core piece of a service-oriented infrastructure that can offer more flexibility and speed whenever CAA adds a new business. That\u2019s critical: In the past it could take six to 18 months to get a new operation going, Freedman says, and now the business\u2019s expectation has dwindled to within three months. "We work the way that our agents work, as opposed to some top-down companies where you can impose a certain technology-driven workflow," he says.IT has also pushed to standardize data management principles so that client data can flow between CAA\u2019s divisions. For example, while Tom Cruise may not be interested in acting in a particular movie, he may want his production company to produce it. Much of that information, Freedman says, also flows to agents\u2019 handhelds. "We think all of the [internal] applications will eventually have a \u2019light\u2019 version on the Windows mobile applications," he says.