Continuing our series on recent Hub Designs MDM Think Tank briefings with Semarchy on their Convergence MDM solution …
Salah Kamel, the CEO and Founder of Semarchy, and FX Nicolas, Semarchy’s Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing, were gracious enough to do a briefing with the Hub Designs Think Tank in early November.
Salah’s background includes being a senior architect at Oracle for the Oracle Data Integrator product, and being Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Sunopsis, which Oracle acquired in 2006.
Salah worked closely with the MDM teams at Oracle, and after doing a thorough review of the other MDM hubs, decided to leave Oracle to create Semarchy, a self-funded startup that was founded in 2011 and is based in Lyon, France.
In November 2011, Semarchy released Semarchy Convergence for MDM Release 1.2, as well as new marketing positioning and messaging and a new web site.
Semarchy refers to its approach as “Evolutionary MDM”, and believes this approach accelerates the time to value and reduces project risk versus other MDM products on the market, by allowing customers to converge on a Single Source of Truth.
Salah and FX emphasized three points about Semarchy Convergence for MDM and the Evolutionary MDM approach:
(1) It’s non-intrusive – the product doesn’t force customers to change their IT architectures or their business processes. Convergence uses an automatically generated convergence hub into which the “golden records” are enriched, validated and consolidated.
(2) It accelerates project evolution – we all realize how much projects and requirements change over time, so Convergence provides version control over everything. For example, you can have multiple simultaneous versions of the same data model within the same master data instance.
(3) It controls data evolution – master data also changes, due to updates from the source systems, and because of adding source systems and updating rules used to consolidate source data into “golden records”. So master data can be versioned and then accessed as it existed at specific points in time.
Semarchy crafted its product primarily for IT management and systems integrators, so they can get started tactically and work iteratively.
Salah and FX told us about the main features of the product, which include:
- Logical Modeling: Semarchy Convergence for MDM provides a rapid, iterative framework that simplifies designing semantically complete master data models. It enables users to collaborate closely with IT to define high-level concepts using business terminology. This single point of definition enables rapid movement towards consensus, and is very useful for modeling things like financial hierarchies and product catalogs.
- Data Certification Framework: the Data Certification Framework transforms the source records pushed to the hub by source applications (Publishers) into consolidated and certified “Golden Records”. The framework supports record and field-level consolidation. The certification process is automated and involves several phases, generated from the rules and constraints defined in the model. The framework enables the fastest time to production for MDM implementations.
- Versioning: the Version Control features allows customers to have their master data evolve along with the enterprise on the three dimensions of the master data lifecycle: Content, Shape and Breadth. These features enable a fast, simple and safe iterative approach to MDM.
- Non-intrusive Convergence Hub: Semarchy Convergence for MDM generates and deploys a Data Convergence Hub once the logical model has been designed. This Data Convergence Hub uses an architecture that is unobtrusive for master data publishers and consumers, and non-disruptive to existing processes. The hub includes the data certification processes, the storage structures and the access APIs for the deployed models.
- Data Access: business analysts, data stewards and application users using the generated user interface can collaborate and access the master data as it is now or as it was at any point in time. This interface makes master data access intuitive for all users.
- Open and Scalable Architecture Based on Web 2.0: Semarchy Convergence for MDM uses an open architecture for enterprise-scale deployments. The core of this architecture reinforces an unobtrusive approach for Evolutionary MDM. The platform is secure, scalable and extensible. It supports ever-growing data volumes, and is built to be Cloud-ready.
Right now, Convergence runs in a Java application server and uses the Oracle database management system for storage and data processing. It provides SQL and Web Services input and output APIs to access the Convergence Hub.
Although the product provides some important data quality features, it can also be used with the major data quality tools on the market.
Semarchy has created its own language – SemQL – that allows the rules driving the data certification process to be expressed. With SemQL, users can create enrichment, validation, matching or consolidation rules using the business terms defined in the data model. The company is also creating plug-ins that allow users to leverage third party products or services such as Google or Yahoo Maps in the data certification process.
With all the consolidation in the MDM market over the last couple of years, it’s very encouraging to see young companies like Semarchy still entering the market and innovating with their product offerings. We look forward to more briefings as the company and its products evolve.
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