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Posts from the ‘MDM Summit’ Category

Hub Designs, Gartner EI-MDM Summit 2014

Gartner EI-MDM Summit 2014

Gartner Enterprise Information and Master Data Management Summit  Read more »

Hub Designs & Stibo Systems Offers Exclusive Discount Code to Upcoming Gartner MDM Summit

Jill Dyche’s Talk at Gartner MDM 2013

I attended the Gartner 2013 MDM Summit, and had a chance to hear Jill Dyche, VP of Best Practices at SAS. Read more »

Hub Designs & Stibo Systems Offers Exclusive Discount Code to Upcoming Gartner MDM Summit

Dan Power From Hub Designs Presenting at 2013 Gartner MDM Summit


Dan Power From Hub Designs Presenting at 2013 Gartner Master Data Management Summit
Read more »

Hub Designs & Stibo Systems Offers Exclusive Discount Code to Upcoming Gartner MDM Summit

Save $300 Registering For Gartner MDM Summit

Hub Designs and Stibo Systems are offering a $300 discount on the upcoming Gartner MDM Summit. Read more »

Extreme Information Management

Extreme Information Management

A “live blog” of Mark Beyer’s “Extreme Information Management” session at the Gartner MDM Summit 2012 Read more »

Gartner MDM Summit

Hub Designs Sponsoring Gartner MDM Summit for 4th Year

Next week, Hub Designs will be sponsoring the Gartner MDM Summit for the fourth year in a row. Read more »

Boston Skyline

Hub Designs Celebrates Fourth Anniversary

Four years ago today, Hub Solution Designs, Inc. was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as “a management consulting firm which helps companies to improve performance through strategy development, application of best practices, change management, technology implementation and other operational improvements”. That’s what it says in our Articles of Incorporation, and it’s not too different from what we’re doing today, four years later. Read more »

Gartner MDM Summit 2012

Recapping the 2011 Gartner MDM Summit

This is the fourth article in an ongoing series sponsored by SAP.  Read more »

Gartner MDM Summit 2011

Gartner MDM Summit 2011 Off to a Strong Start

The Gartner MDM Summit 2011 is in its second day. It’s off to a great start, with over 500 attendees.  Read more »

Gartner MDM Summit 2011

Hub Designs Sponsoring Gartner MDM Summit for 3rd Year

Next week, Hub Designs will be exhibiting at the Gartner MDM Summit for the third year in a row. Read more »


Hey New York, Wish I Was There!

MDM Summit in New YorkUntil now, I’d only missed three of the MDM Summit conferences in the U.S. run by Aaron Zornes and SourceMedia since they first started: August ’09 in San Francisco, December ’09 in New York and June ’10 in San Francisco.

Prior to those three conferences, I went to eight in a row, and spoke at six of them. But now that the “MDM tribe” is gathered in New York, I find I’m wishing I was there.

I am totally jammed at the moment with client projects and a webinar that I’m working on.  And I just got back from speaking at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.

But from reading the #MDMDG stream of Tweets on Twitter, I find I’m kicking myself for not going. It’s only a couple of days, and it’s always good to see people that I don’t get to see very often. As much as I enjoy Twitter’s real-time dynamic, it’s not the same as being there.

If you’re attending the MDM Summit in New York this week, please let us know in the comments here or on the MDM Community what you think of the conference, and whether you’d go again next time.


My Take on Oracle OpenWorld 2010

Black Eyed Peas at Oracle OpenWorldI’m flying home today from Oracle OpenWorld 2010, which I enjoyed enormously, as usual. Beyond the “old home week” aspect of it – seeing old friends, who for some reason I only seem to see at the Oracle Applications Users Group COLLABORATE conference in the spring or at Oracle OpenWorld in the fall – there was a tangible energy in the halls, the session rooms and the exhibit areas this year. And the Black Eyed Peas’ performance Wednesday night was a lot of fun as well.

Let me start out by saying that Hub Designs is vendor agnostic – we partner with all of the leading MDM vendors, including Oracle, Informatica / Siperian, Initiate Systems / IBM, SAP, D&B / Purisma, and Kalido, and are having partnership discussions with others like Orchestra Networks and Stibo Systems.

But my roots in the Oracle community go back to 1995, and my knowledge investment in Oracle’s CRM, ERP and MDM products is considerable. So I feel very comfortable at OpenWorld, and have about 250 Oracle people in my address book.

So although we are vendor agnostic, it’s only natural that we’ve developed a strong relationship with some partners, and are still working on developing that level of partnership with others. It’s hard to have equally deep partnerships with ten or so different companies.

My schedule prevented me from arriving until Tuesday, and when I did get there, I didn’t feel too well. But I did get to some sessions on Wednesday, and I was particularly impressed by “MDM Customer Panel: Implementation Challenges and Best Practices with the MDM Institute, Credit Suisse, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cricket Communications, and Wind River Systems”.

The session was a very practical Q&A, with different Oracle customers from different industries talking about their experiences, difficulties, and successes over the past four years or so. Several of them had implemented Oracle’s Customer Hub (formerly Siebel Universal Customer Master or UCM), with Wind River having implemented the Customer Data Hub (CDH) product.

The session also included Aaron Zornes, a prominent thought leader and Chief Research Officer of the MDM Institute. It was great to see him and to chat briefly after the session. If you’re able to, you should definitely register for the upcoming MDM and Data Governance Summit in New York City on October 3-5. I’ve been attending these for several years and always find them helpful in order to stay in touch with the pulse of what’s going on in the MDM and data governance space.

The session that I did with Bill Miller and Vanessa Hsu from Oracle was well attended, despite being in the very last time slot of the conference (Thursday at 3:00 pm). We had 101 people in the room, and even though we went a few minutes past the top of the hour, almost everyone stayed to the end. I talked about the need for change in today’s corporations, and the power of being an MDM evangelist in bringing innovation and change back to your company, as well as about the Top Ten best practices that I’ve observed over the past nine years of working in the fields of Data Governance and Master Data Management, across both the customer and product domains.

Bill Miller talked about how Oracle has applied these concepts to its own MDM needs, and its own six year journey from data quality chaos to finely tuned governance machine. It was great to hear, because I’ve known Bill for almost that entire time, and watched him go through some incredible projects, and grow into an important role as Global Solution Owner for Data Quality Management with Oracle’s IT function. He works closely with the business people (the Global Process Owners) in marketing, sales, finance, customer service, and so on. That virtual team is Oracle’s data governance board, and is responsible for some huge improvements in Oracle’s data quality picture over the last few years. Oracle implemented Oracle Customer Hub internally, and made some great process and cultural changes.

Vanessa Hsu is a Senior Product Strategy Manager at Oracle, and is responsible for a new product called Oracle Data Governance Manager. That product is an extension to Oracle Customer Hub, and provides a centralized administration tool for data stewards, giving easy access to key MDM operations, to increase data steward productivity and highlight enterprise-wide data quality metrics at a glance. It’s an important capability that Oracle will extend to its other hub products over its next release cycle.

The “feel on the street” in the MDM track at Oracle OpenWorld this year was that it was “full speed ahead” at Oracle. Gartner recognizes Oracle as one of the leaders in its “Magic Quadrant” for MDM, and deservedly so. There are a lot of smaller vendors with great technology too, but Oracle has done a lot to advance the state of the MDM art, and it was a pleasure to be in San Francisco this week to see their customers talk about their success. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years as Oracle introduces Fusion MDM to the market.


Our Booth at the Gartner MDM Summit

Hub Designs was a Silver sponsor at the Gartner MDM Summit 2010. Here’s the new, 3-minute video we produced to describe what Hub Designs does as an consulting firm focused specifically on MDM:

Great New White Paper and Other Collateral Available at Our Booth

At the event, we announced with Equifax a new product that integrates Equifax commercial information with Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Customer Data Hub. This product simplifies the process of integrating Equifax credit and marketing information with prospect and customer data in Oracle.  Both the joint press release and a one-page product overview were distributed at the booth.

Also available was a new whitepaper written in collaboration with Informatica titled, When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic: How Data Governance Police Can Constrain the Value of Your Multidomain Master Data Management Initiative. This updated version of an earlier white paper written with Siperian in 2009 added both new content and industry insights. It was very well received at the Gartner conference this week.

Finally, we handed out one of the most popular recent articles from this blog, Hidden Costs of Duplicate Customer Data.

The conference drew attendees from many different market sectors, so discussions and meetings were both informative and valuable from an MDM perspective. Several Hub Designs clients were able to join us there, from the insurance, software and transportation industries, and we had four of our team members there as well. I’m going to write a separate article with my thoughts on the sessions and the mood of the conference, but I wanted to provide a look at our booth as well, for our readers who weren’t able to make it to Las Vegas this week.


Kalido MDM and AB InBev

The Gartner MDM Summit in Las Vegas wraps up today, and this morning I caught a session by Kalido’s President and CEO Bill Hewitt and Jonathan Starkey, the Director of Business Intelligence at AB InBev North America.

AB InBev purchased Anheuser Busch in 2008 to become the largest brewer in the world, with over 116,000 employees worldwide and $39 billion in annual revenue.

AB InBev  sees master data as a foundation element supporting supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). All of that data winds up in a data warehouse and is used for reporting and planning. This shared focus on both reporting and analysis, and planning and forecasting makes up their philosophy on business intelligence.

This integration approach is being to bring together the Canadian and US operations gradually over time, but to integrate the SCM, ERP and CRM pillars of the US and Canadian operations of such a large enterprise realistically is going to take three to five years.

Turning more to the master data side of things, the first way AB InBev is using Kalido is to synchronize and cross-reference product and customer information across SCM and ERP systems. Secondly, they’re using Kalido to look for active exceptions across all of the various domains – between plants and products, between employees in HR and in ERP, between any two systems where master data is not in agreement. Thirdly, they’re using Kalido to kick off requests for new master data – new employees, new products, etc. that then get passed to various systems around the company.

The “real world” benefits from Kalido at AB InBev include procurement savings, strategic inventory optimization, overhead and budget tracking, people and resource movement tracking.

AB InBev went through a rigorous selection process, and selected Kalido in large part because of its ability to change rapidly as their business needs changed. Jonathan Starkey said “Kalido does a very good job at managing change over time”.

I really enjoyed this session. Both Bill Hewitt and Jonathan Starkey did a great job, and it was enlightening to hear how a large global enterprise has addressed their MDM and business intelligence needs. Hub Designs recently became a Kalido partner, and one of our goals for this Gartner MDM Summit was to learn more about the company and their products, and this session definitely helped us do that.

For more information on Kalido, please visit


Evolving from Product MDM to Multidomain MDM

I’m attending the Gartner MDM Summit in Las Vegas, and this morning I caught a great session by Andrew White on the evolution from master data management (MDM) of product data to “multidomain MDM”.

Andrew started by talking by talking about the strong intersection of product MDM with enterprise resource planning (ERP), workflow, product configuration, and business rules. The market for product MDM is fairly healthy and is actually a little larger than the market for customer MDM.

The initial need to master product data usually arises from having too many copies of product data in different places around the enterprise. Then typically, product data quality issues need to be addressed, but that needs to be addressed as a continuing process, not as a one-time process.

Multi-channel commerce is known as the “sell side” of product MDM, and procurement is known as the “buy side”. There’s involvement with fulfillment and supply chain management, and with ERP and operations. There are many different silos that need to be connected and synchronized (one client I worked with last year had 175 different applications, systems and databases, most of which used or created product data in some way).

At some point, governance has to be addressed. Companies have to go from departmental or business unit governance to enterprise-wide data governance, and expand from single domain (typically customer) to multidomain (customer and product) master data governance.

Andrew mentioned the level of Product MDM adoption – there was software license spending of $432 million in 2008. Certain industries such as discrete and process manufacturing, communications, retailing, and healthcare providers are classified as “hot” according to Gartner (as of Q1, 2010). Retail in particular is almost post-recession. Healthcare providers has more awareness on the buy side.

A common scenario for some is to have a product MDM hub as a system of record, connected to CRM systems for sales & marketing and customer service, to PLM (product lifecycle management) as a system of reference, and to ERP systems (which need the data for their Item Masters). So the CRM, PLM and ERP systems are process owners, but the MDM platform provides the product and material master data, attributes, hierarchies and so on, for consumption by the other systems.

Andrew talked about how the inquiries he gets break down: ERP and MDM: 50%, product data quality: 33%, information exchange: 15%, metadata management: 10% and content management: 20%, and “can I use my CDI hub to master product data?”: 10%.

Andrew talked briefly about the current vendors in the product MDM space: the specialists (handling just product data) such as Hybris Software, Heiler, QAD, Pindar, Tribold, Requisite Technology, EnterWorks.  He categorized Stibo Systems, Riversand and Tribold as being somewhere in the middle between specialists and generalists (handling other domains).

Oracle, IBM and SAP are strong on product MDM and customer MDM. Tibco and Informatica (formerly Siperian) are customer MDM providers that are moving towards handling the product MDM domain. Microsoft is entering the MDM space but their solution (when it is released later this year) is really suited more for analytical use.

And other vendors such as Data Foundations and Orchestra Networks can model any domain of data, including product data.

Through the end of 2013, you might need two MDM platforms. IBM has three MDM products (IBM InfoSphere MDM Server, MDM Server for PIM which handles complex workflow, and their recent acquisition of Initiate). Other strong vendors include SAP, Oracle and Stibo Systems.

The five-year market growth rate is projected at 18%. The Top Five products have 51% of the market. Vendors to watch include Teradata, INformatica, Tibco and Hybris.

Over the next 12 months, product configuration remains an unsolved problem. Companies typically define business rules all over the place. Over the long term, in MDM, that doesn’t work – those business rules themselves need to be governed centrally. The master data and the business rules both need to be governed. Successful product MDM requires business rules governance.

Reference data is another area – price is NOT master data but it behaves like master data in a lot of ways. It needs to be governed and managed. Business process management and its intersection with MDM is another area of development.

Data quality for product data has its foibles. You need to know where you’re starting from. Most importantly, data quality is not a once and done thing, it’s an ongoing process.

The product master data life cycle looks like: Author > Store > Publish / Synchronize > Enrich > Consume > Analyze.

The picture for the future – there are three main “provinces” for MDM: the “thing” province, the “party” province and the “place” province. But vendors typically have a history in a single domain.

Andrew gave a couple of great example of companies that went through the evolutionary process of going from a single domain of MDM to multiple domains over time.

Andrew closed with recommendations for people beginning their MDM process: create a vision of what could be achieved with a “single view of product data”, to start small but think big and deliver value early, and to define data and process metrics early and then to revise then as needed as you go along.

I’ve been a big fan of Andrew White for several years now, and I thought he did a great job today (as usual). He brings a great deal of analysis to bear on the questions involved in product MDM, and provides clarity and insight into where the MDM market is headed over the next several years. If you’re attending the Gartner MDM Summit in Las Vegas, or have a chance to catch his sessions at a future event, I think you’d find those sessions very rewarding.


Hub Designs and Equifax Introduce Oracle Integration Solution

Today, at the Gartner Master Data Management Summit in Las Vegas, Hub Designs and Equifax jointly announced a new product, Hub Designs Equifax Integration for Oracle, bringing the power of Equifax Commercial Information Solutions data to the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Customer Data Hub platforms.

The solution smoothly integrates Equifax data into Release 12 of Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and master data management (MDM) suites.

Hub Designs Equifax Integration for Oracle provides access to vital credit and marketing data in Oracle’s MDM and ERP modules including:

  • Oracle Customers Online
  • Oracle Sales Online
  • Oracle Receivables

Equifax commercial information helps businesses to:

  • Make credit decisions, expedite collections, reduce bad debt and pre-qualify prospects;
  • Reveal linkage between related companies;
  • Standardize name & address information and prevent duplicates;
  • Enrich prospect and customer records with marketing and credit information from Equifax;
  • Increase productivity by creating new parties and party relationships in Oracle automatically

The joint press release describes the solution in more detail, and a one-page overview is available as well. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us via our web site or drop by Booth #7 during the exhibit hall hours at the Gartner MDM Summit.


Informatica Analyst Briefing

Arvind Parthasarathi, Ken Hoang and Ravi Shankar from Informatica were kind enough recently to give me a detailed briefing on Informatica’s master data management (MDM) strategy after its acquisition of Siperian.

First, there’s no doubt this was a game-changing move, for both Siperian and for Informatica. With over 4,000 Informatica installed base customers to leverage, and 200 Informatica sales reps going through training and certification, Siperian’s sales momentum should increase dramatically. And in fact, several new deals have closed just since the acquisition was announced in late January.

And being acquired by Informatica eliminates the “company viability” question that some Fortune 500 IT shops would have about any software company under a certain size (not just Siperian). Informatica itself might be acquired by one of the mega-vendors at some point, but with annual revenue of $500 million, it’s big enough not to be subject to the financial viability question.

Informatica also provides a large partner ecosystem and a significant marketing budget, so living on under the Informatica banner, Siperian can compete more readily for mind share both with partners and with potential customers.

But what impressed me the most was the strategic nature of the other purchases that Informatica has made over the past couple of years, such as Identity Systems for entity resolution (i.e. matching) and Address Doctor for address cleansing. With the addition of Siperian as a strong player in the multidomain MDM hub space, Informatica has declared itself a real competitor against the likes of Oracle, IBM, Initiate Systems (an IBM company) and SAP.

And in some ways, Informatica is better positioned than most of these, for two reasons. First, it has a complete suite of leading products for data integration, data quality and all of the associated things that make up the “MDM ecosystem”. And second, many of its competitors are dependent on it for those components (Ramon Chen wrote a great article on Informatica’s OEM agreements with various competitors).

Informatica’s product lineup supports all of these MDM requirements:

  • Multiple MDM architectural styles including the ability to support Registry style (competes most directly with Initiate Systems)
  • Multiple data domains, i.e. multidomain MDM (competes most directly with Oracle, IBM and SAP)
  • Data Integration and Data Quality as a foundation for MDM (competes with a wide variety of products)

So in some ways, Informatica wins even if customers buy a competitor’s MDM hub product, because there’s a good chance they’ll still buy Informatica’s data integration and/or data quality solutions, to help them with data integration, data profiling and data quality, or to help build the inevitable data services, once the master data is gathered in a centralized hub and able to deliver timely, trusted and relevant to the rest of the enterprise.

Informatica sees its MDM products used in both Operational MDM (where the master data is actively managed by data stewards, governed and improved and then synchronized back to the operational systems), and in Analytical MDM (where for various reasons, the improved master data does not flow back to the operational systems, but flow instead to data warehousing, analytical and business intelligence applications).

Informatica has such a strong, integrated story, with its PowerCenter data integration, Informatica Data Quality, and Informatica MDM products, that it’s able to accommodate customers’ maturity needs starting with data integration and progressing to data quality and MDM.

And Informatica, by giving customers the ability to solve any MDM-related business problem with a unified architecture, spanning data integration, data profiling, data quality, identity resolution, address validation, and all major styles of master data management, has pulled together a great set of solutions for MDM.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Informatica folks at this week’s Gartner MDM Summit conference in Las Vegas.  If you’re going to be there, stop by and see the Hub Designs team at Booth #7 during the exhibit hall hours.  We’ll be announcing a new product with Equifax, and we’ll be releasing a data governance white paper with Informatica.


Hub Designs at Gartner MDM Summit

We’re in the final stages of getting ready for the Gartner MDM Summit at this point.  It will be held on April 14-16, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

This will be our third time at this event, and our second as an exhibitor. Last October, we exhibited as a Kiosk sponsor, and this year we will be there as a Silver sponsor. We’ll be in Booth 7 during the exhibit hall hours, and if you’re going to be attending and would like to meet with us, just contact us via our web site.

We’ll be announcing an exciting new product, and publishing a new version of one of our most popular white papers.

Here’s what you’ll learn about if you go:

  • Multi-domain MDM
  • MDM vision and strategy
  • Customer data
  • Product data
  • Data warehousing, data quality and MDM
  • Enterprise information architecture
  • Enterprise information management
  • SOA and MDM

And here are the key benefits of attending:

  • Insight into creating a successful MDM program
  • Persuading the business to take a leadership role
  • Delivering measurable ROI by linking your MDM to business metrics
  • Reducing costs and increasing efficiency by removing duplication and creating consistency
  • Improving customer acquisition and cross- selling/upselling activities
  • Complying with regulations and leveraging your master data to manage risk
  • Consolidating and leveraging data faster following mergers & acquisitions
  • Accelerating your new product introductions
  • Managing your supply chain more efficiently

It’s not too late to register at the special rate of $1,795 – a $300 savings on the standard rate of $2,095! Go to or call 1-866-405-2511 and mention priority code: MDMHUB.

We’d love to see you in Las Vegas! These events are like “old home week” – getting to catch up with people we haven’t seen in a while and find out what everyone in the MDM space is up to. So come along for the ride, catch a few sessions, maybe hit the tables a bit, and head home with a little less cash in your pockets but a little more knowledge in your head.  And if you need help convincing the “powers that be” to let you go to the conference, Gartner has very thoughtfully put together an Attendee Justification Kit to help you convince them.


Silver Creek Systems Acquired by Oracle

It had to happen eventually: Oracle is acquiring Silver Creek Systems, a leading provider of product data quality solutions.

I first became familiar with Silver Creek through a chance meeting with Martin Boyd, Silver Creek’s VP of Marketing, at the Fall 2007 MDM Summit in New York. We both ran into someone from Weyerhaeuser, and all of us ended up going out to dinner at a great New York steak house.

I stayed in touch with Martin after that, and gradually learned more about Silver Creek’s product data quality solution, DataLens. I’ve said for a long time that data quality plays a critical role in master data management, so as I learned more about product information management (PIM) and product MDM, I naturally wanted to learn more about Silver Creek.

I profiled Silver Creek in April 2009, and my first hunch that they might end up getting acquired by Oracle came with the announcement later that April about the OEM relationship between Oracle and Silver Creek, where Oracle would pre-integrate Silver Creek’s DataLens solution with Oracle’s Product Data Hub.

This blog covered Silver Creek again in October 2009, where Martin Boyd did a great presentation at Oracle OpenWorld, saying that “10% of the total effort will be on the MDM software implementation, 40% on establishing governance and documenting the master data architecture, and 50% on data remediation” (according to AMR Research).

So I’m pleased but not surprised to see the news of Oracle’s acquisition today. For more information, you can read Oracle’s press release here.


2009 Year in Review

As we’re about to enter 2010, it’s a good time to reflect on what happened in 2009 and what it all means.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” So Dickens begins “A Tale of Two Cities”, but it’s also a good description of the past year.

The first half of the year was one of the most challenging I’ve faced in my twenty-three year career in business and technology. The second half of 2009 was better – not without its speed bumps but every month was a little better than the one before it.

The macro-economic climate has been tumultuous at best. But the second half of the year showed enough improvement that Hub Designs’ revenue for the year was up 33%. Not bad for a two and a half year old company during the worst economic conditions in 80 years …

Marketing and Thought Leadership

We launched a new web site in January, and it’s been well received. Total visits to were up 14% over 2008.

A little later in the year, we updated the “look and feel” of the Hub Designs Blog, branding it as the “world’s fastest growing blog covering master data management and data governance”. We’ve gotten more than 43,000 hits since we started writing in July 2007, and our readership more than doubled in 2009, to about 27,000 hits per year.

We published six issues of our “Best Practices in Master Data Management” newsletter this year. We publish the newsletter about six times a year to roughly 3,300 subscribers.

I wrote six articles for Information Management magazine, including some popular ones on “Product Information Management Challenges”, how to build a business case for master data management, and how to select the right MDM vendor for your organization. I also wrote for Identity Resolution Daily, on “The Growing Role of Identity Resolution in MDM” and “Matching – MDM’s Secret Sauce”.

With our partner Siperian, we wrote a white paper in August called “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic: How Data Governance Police Can Constrain the Value of Your MDM Initiative” that has generated quite a bit of discussion. You can download a copy of it here.

A second white paper, called “Best Practices for Leveraging D&B in Oracle E-Business Suite”, was written in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet. It describes using D&B information to drive better supply chain performance for companies using Oracle E-Business Suite. You can download it here.

I volunteer for the Education Committee of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG). A big part of that effort lies in programming the MDM track for the annual conference. This year, it was in Orlando in May, and I really enjoyed speaking there and seeing people from the Oracle community that I don’t see very often. Here’s a link to my OAUG presentation.

We participated in conference calls with Oracle Development during the year, and ultimately attended the Oracle Fusion “Hands-On Validation & Testing” session for Customer MDM at Oracle headquarters in August. It was a great chance to get some early insights into Oracle’s next major product release and to see the progress Oracle has made in building out its Fusion MDM vision, which is striking in its powerful hub technology and its elegant & productive user interface.

In 2008, we attended the Gartner MDM Summit to decide whether to exhibit there in 2009.  We were impressed enough with the conference that we did exhibit in 2009, in October in Los Angeles. We had a positive experience, so we’ll be a Silver level sponsor in April 2010 in Las Vegas. Since we specialize in MDM and data governance, we find the association with Gartner’s MDM event a powerful one.

I didn’t attend Oracle OpenWorld for the past couple of years, but this year I was glad I did. It was like “old home week”, seeing people from Oracle itself and from the broader Oracle community that I’ve met over the past 15 years. David Butler, Senior Director of MDM Marketing at Oracle, posted my presentation on Oracle’s web site, and said “you were our cleanup hitter and you hit a home run with the bases loaded”.

We also did webinars with our partners Siperian and Initiate Systems. The Siperian webinar covered the differences between MDM platforms like Siperian and ERP platforms like SAP from a master data perspective. The Initiate webinar, with Initiate’s CTO Marty Moseley, discussed developing strong MDM business case, deploying core MDM technologies and lessons learned on the “build vs. buy” question.

Social Networking

After experimenting with social networking in 2008, this year we had a coordinated strategy to use the Hub Designs Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate & collaborate with our clients, potential clients, team members, partners, suppliers, etc.

It’s a pretty simple strategy. Short updates (140 characters or less) go out on Twitter, and are re-published on both LinkedIn and Facebook. Longer updates (i.e. blog articles) are published on the Hub Designs Blog.  We encourage responses and feedback using @replies on Twitter and comments on LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as longer-form comments on the blog. And we get them – almost every blog article gets at least one comment, sometimes as many as a dozen.

When a new blog article comes out, we notify everyone via a single update on Twitter. What’s amazing is that during 2009, social networking now drives about 15% of the Hub Designs Blog’s total traffic. And one of our clients gave us some good feedback that our social networking activities help her stay current on what we’re up to, and help her feel connected to us as a company.

Another social networking experiment that developed further in 2009 was the MDM Community.  We started this using Ning (a “social network in a box”) in November 2008, out of frustration with LinkedIn’s “Group” functionality.  It now has more than 210 members, from 23 different countries. It’s still a work in progress, but if you’re interested in master data management or data governance, you should check it out at It’s becoming an international “who’s who” of the MDM world.

Summary of Client Projects

In case you think the Hub Designs team has been doing nothing but marketing, writing white papers and magazine articles, speaking at conferences, and volunteering for user groups, here’s a summary of our 2009 client projects:

  1. Technology provider for vehicle dealers: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with D&B data
  2. Payroll services company: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with external credit information
  3. Information services company: technical support for customers using Oracle E-Business Suite
  4. Legal information services company: readiness assessment and product MDM strategy & design
  5. Simulation and engineering software company: advisor to data governance board
  6. Manufacturer of oil and gas equipment: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite R12 with D&B
  7. Software company: built connector between Oracle AR and D&B’s DNBi risk management solution
  8. Technology company: customer MDM strategy workshop

Out With The Old, In With The New

This past year has been a lot of fun, but it has also been somewhat exhausting. So I’m looking forward to a bit more deliberate pace in 2010.

We’re very excited about the coming year at Hub Designs. We’ve got some great projects underway and in the pipeline, and we’ll be continuing to grow and expand to meet our clients’ needs and market demands.

In closing, I’d like to say how grateful I am to my family, for their patience with my traveling so much and for their unconditional love.


Siperian Momentum

At the Gartner MDM Summit conference three weeks ago in Los Angeles, I sat down with Anurag Wadehra and Ravi Shankar from Siperian. I usually go to Siperian’s user conference, which was held last week in Princeton, NJ. I couldn’t make it this time but had a great time at their Spring 2009 event.

So instead, I thought I’d do a blog article on Siperian’s momentum in the last year or so, based on the briefing that Anurag and Ravi were kind enough to give me in Los Angeles.

Siperian’s ambition is to be a leader in multi-domain master data management and since their product is not tied to a specific data model, that’s a realistic goal. Many of their customers find the business problem they’re initially trying to solve does in fact involve multiple domains (or areas) of master data.

Siperian’s most recent fiscal year ended May 31st, and they wrapped up the new year’s first quarter on August 31st. Impressively, their license sales more than doubled over the last 4 quarters, and overall revenue almost doubled.

The reduction in dependence on services revenue and the corresponding increase in license revenue, indicates a positive trend that Siperian continues to shift its implementations to its alliance partners.

One of the reasons Siperian wanted to sit down with myself and others in the MDM space was to dispel some rumors that have been floating around about the company. The economic downturn that began in the fall of 2008 has been widely felt, to be sure, and Siperian had significant exposure at that time to the financial services industry, which was one of the hardest hit industry sectors.

But Siperian has done a good job diversifying its customer base into other verticals, more than a dozen total to date, and is continuing to close deals with new customers, extending its footprint at existing customers, and building significant relationships with global systems integrators.

With customers like Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, and Cephalon speaking on behalf of Siperian at events like the Gartner MDM Summit and Siperian’s own user conference, there definitely seems to be a pattern emerging of large organizations with challenging MDM requirements turning to Siperian.

Another trend worth mentioning is that a large portion of Siperian’s revenue is repeat business – customers who have done a successful project with the company and are expanding their MDM footprint into another domain, geography, etc. This speaks volumes about the success of Siperian customers’ current implementations.

Siperian’s “Business Data Director” (BDD) product, launched at the spring user conference, has already signed up more than a dozen customers, with 2-3 already “live” and more going live in the next few months. I was there for the launch of BDD and remain impressed with it.

To a large degree, Siperian’s strategy of scaling through alliances is paying off. Ninety percent of its revenue in the last 4 quarters was partner influenced, with its top four partners accounting for 60% of that business.

I’ve followed the company closely for the past couple of years, and I think their company strategy and product roadmap is solid. Siperian helps keep the “Big Three” of MDM (Oracle, IBM and SAP) on their toes, and has generated a lot of innovation in this space.

I’m sorry to have missed their user conference last week, and I continue to expect great things from Siperian. Please share your thoughts on the company and their products here using the Comments feature.


Aaron Zornes Data Governance Session at Oracle OpenWorld

I’ve always enjoyed the depth and quality of Aaron Zornes’ analysis on master data management. I’ve been attending the MDM Summit conferences that he organizes in the U.S. with SourceMedia since 2006, and I’ve spoken at quite a few of his events.

Today I had the pleasure of hearing him speak on enterprise data governance. Here are some of his major points:

  • Don’t settle for “passive” / downstream data governance; instead demand “active” / upstream data governance (please see my white paper with Siperian on this at
  • Don’t expect data governance maturity assessments to solve all your problems and provide a roadmap out of data governance anarchy.
  • Today’s “data stewardship consoles” are substantially less than true enterprise data governance.
  • Vendor viability does matter.
  • Be prepared to spend $250k-$500k for an initial data governance solution.

Aaron styles himself as the “godfather of MDM” and today was a good reminder of why he deserves that title.


2009 Predictions

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In November, I attended Gartner’s second MDM Summit conference in Chicago.

One of the topics people were talking about at that conference was how well the Master Data Management market would fare in an economic downturn.  

Certainly, companies that were just “testing the waters” on MDM may cancel or slow down their initiatives, and anyone making the front pages or the nightly news (and not in a good way) is probably going to see some disruption to their Master Data Management efforts. 

But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much interest and activity we’ve seen, particularly since 2009 started. 

Friends in the MDM space report getting a slew of new opportunities recently, especially in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Industries like that are doing relatively well, and even in affected industries like retail, some companies are “swimming against the tide” and investing into the downturn, looking to take market share and revenue from their competition who are cutting investments and going into hibernation mode. 

Barney Beal on described the picture at BJ’s Wholesale Club:

[John Polizzi, senior vice president and CIO] “Our plan was not an investment in a master data management (MDM) system, or an ERP implementation, or a point of sale (POS), but rather all of them — and more.  BJ’s is embarking on a five-year transformation of its IT infrastructure and systems.”

Philip Lay, managing director of TCG Advisors, who spoke at the Gartner conference, said “now is the time to buck conventional wisdom and ‘think like a contrarian’ when it comes to MDM.”  Lay advised the attendees “the key to making a successful business case for MDM is to tie MDM to specific, broken business processes” and quantify that impact. 

I wrote an article for DM Review on “Easing into Master Data Management” which describes how to get started by building a data governance program first, with existing resources and applications, and tackling data quality and data integration as predecessor steps to MDM.

Certainly, one of the classic drivers for MDM has always been reducing costs – and that’s even more important in a recession (look for a guest post on this topic in a few days from Ravi Shankar at Siperian). 

But even more important is to grow the “top line” – to increase revenue and pull customers away from your competitors, through better information, better customer service, better products, better pricing, you name it.

In 2009, I predict the MDM market will be affected somewhat by the recession, but it will still be one of the fastest-growing software segments, as Gartner has been predicting too.

But let’s tap into YOUR collective intelligence – what do you think? Please comment here or on the MDM Community.


MDM Community

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Recently, I created an online community for everyone in the MDM community. 

After attending the Fall 2008 MDM Summit in New York, and the Gartner MDM Summit in Chicago, I was looking for a way to keep that feeling of community alive. 

Conferences like these are a great way to see old friends and to meet new people, to learn from our colleagues, to exchange best practices and lessons learned, and to investigate vendors of Master Data Management and related technologies. 

The MDM Community is an effort to keep that going after everyone heads home. 

To join, just click here. And please let me know what you’d like to see there.  And I’ll need your help to make it a place that adds value for everyone.


And The Winner Is …

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The winner of the 2008 Gartner MDM Excellence Award is Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems


Day 2 of Gartner MDM Summit

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I started out yesterday attending the MDM Excellence Award Finalist presentations. Asian Paints, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems and State Street Bank presented, and each of them told an impressive story.

It was very significant that J&J and State Street are both committed Siperian MDM customers. The announcement of the winner will be at 4:00 pm today. I’ll be heading to the airport just after the announcement, but I’ll announce it here via my phone.

I also attended a VIP session where Gartner had DataFlux speaking about the benefits of exhibiting at the conference, and had Rick Woodand from State Street Bank and Ken from W.W. Grainger gave their perspectives as attendees.

I had a great briefing with Lorita Vannah and John Evans from Kalido, and walked away from it much more aware of Kalido’s product features and their approach to analytical MDM.

I spent some time in the Solutions Showcase, and was talking with Steve Meister and Ken Kotansky from AMB Predictive Data Management. We recently signed a Service Partnership agreement with AMB, and will be using their data profiling and data quality tools on client engagements going forward. I’ve been very impressed with their product’s capabilities and by how flexible and easy it is to work with the company.

Then, I met with Julie Langenkamp, the editor-in-chief of DM Review magazine, and her colleauge David Boone. I will be writing a monthly column in the print edition of DM Review, beginning with the January issue, and we brainstormed a number of other ideas on how we can work together more closely going forward.

Towards the end of the day, I hung out at the Siperian hospitality suite. I’ve been impressed for a while now with Nancy Ellickson, Siperian’s Senior Director of Corporate Marketing.  The gathering was very well attended and a number of Siperian people were on hand, chatting with customers and potential customers. I had a great time and thought the understated, classy “California Picnic” theme was the perfect way to end the day.

I had dinner with a good friend from D&B/Purisma, catching up on things and chatting about the MDM market in general and how well Purisma in particular has been doing in 2008.

So look for the update after 4:15 or so today with the announcement of the MDM Excellence award winner!


Day 1 of Gartner MDM Summit

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First, I want to encourage everyone who reads this blog to join the free MDM Community at

I’m in Chicago attending Gartner’s second Master Data Management Summit

I didn’t make it to last year’s event in Hollywood, Florida, but I’m attending this one to investigate exhibiting at next year’s event, and to keep my finger on how the MDM market is doing in the current economic climate

The first keynote session, by John Radcliffe and Andrew White, was on “Where is MDM Going Over the Next Five Years”.  Their lead-in was that MDM is more relevant than ever in today’s econonic meltdown. 

Projects will need to offer incremental value, without being too tactical. Developing a data stewardship culture doesn’t hit the capital expense budget. They recommended people focus on the “hard benefits”, efficiencies and compliance requirements, while preparing for the (eventual) upturn. And they strongly suggested developing the metrics to quantify and communicate the value of your MDM program. 

They presented the “MDM Hype Report Card”, saying that the hype cycle is at or near its peak. The links between MDM, business process management, service-oriented architecture and business intelligence remain unclear to many users.  And external service providers (in their opinion) are finally starting to add some value to MDM programs.  And they predicted that by 2012, 70% of SOA projects will fail to yield expected results unless they include Master Data Management. 

Andrew and John covered Gartner’s “Seven Building Blocks”: vision, strategy, metrics, governance, organization, process and technology, and recommended a business-driven, holistic approach to MDM, which I’ve been recommending for a couple of years now. 

I also really enjoyed “Building the Business Case for MDM” by Michael Smith.  It was an engaging but thorough review of Gartner’s recommended steps for creating a thorough business case for your MDM initiative. 

After covering the process for developing an effective business case, Michael Smith discussed how metrics can be used to quantify the benefits, and how to use the business case to manage the initiative through the entire lifecycle. 

The main argument for taking the time to create a detailed business case is the fact that without one, IT projects in general seem to have only a 50% success rate, but when the time to create a robust business case is invested, the success rate goes up to as high as 75%.  If your total project budget is high enough, that higher success rate can translate into some serious savings. 

I attended the IBM session highlighting Nationwide’s “Transformation to a Customer-Centric Organization”, and I really enjoyed the remarks by Tara Paider, their Lead Architect for Customer Information Management. 

The attendees and exhibitors I spoke to in the Solution Showcase all commented on the power of Gartner’s brand and that the 1st day of the conference was well-attended and full of good content. 

I’m a big fan of Aaron Zornes at The MDM Institute and the MDM Summit conference he puts on twice a year in the U.S. with SourceMedia. I’ve attended all six events they’ve done together in the last three years, and have spoken at five of them. 

But I see the appeal of the Gartner MDM event as well. At this stage in the development of Master Data Management, competition is a good thing – between software vendors, services firms, and conferences. It makes us all better to have another entry in the market to measure ourselves against and to strive to outdo. 

If you’re attending as well, I’d love to hear your comments here.


Trip Report on Fall 2008 MDM Summit

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The Fall 2008 MDM Summit conference ended a couple of days ago.  Here’s a quick trip report summarizing it. 

I’ve attended the last six MDM Summit events in the U.S. and have spoken at five of them.  I always enjoy them, because of the great job that SourceMedia and The MDM Institute do, because I enjoy seeing everyone I’ve come to know in the MDM world, and because of the new people I meet and the new ideas I pick up. 

This year, I arrived via the Acela Express train from Boston, went straight to the Hilton New York, and attended Evan Levy’s pre-conference workshop on “Best Practices for MDM Delivery: Lessons from the Trenches”. 

Most people who attended one of the pre-conference workshop came to the Experts and Analysts Panel, with Jill Dyché, Aaron Zornes and myself, moderated by Jim Ericson, Editorial Director of DM Review.  The panel was a lot of fun.  I’ve known Aaron for several years and continue to appreciate the quality and depth of his analysis.  Jill’s insights were right on the money as usual, and Jim did a great job moderating and guiding the discussion. 

After the opening night reception in the exhibit hall, I ran into a friend and fellow consultant, Mani Kumar Manda from Rhapsody Technologies.  We went to dinner with Christopher Dwight, Director MDM Field Strategy from Oracle’s Master Data Management team.  We had a great time, and talked about Oracle’s Hyperion Data Relationship Management solution and the upcoming Oracle Applications Users Group COLLABORATE 09 conference.  Mani and I are involved in planning the MDM track of that conference. 

The next morning, I attended Aaron Zornes’ keynote “Milestones on the MDM Road for 2008-2009″, which I particularly like as a way to stay current on developments in MDM over the past six months.  

Tony Fisher from DataFlux gave a great talk on “Stop Kicking the Tires and Start Your Master Data Engine”.  I first met Tony at the Fall 2006 event, and I chatted briefly with him afterwards about Hub Solution Designs’ interest in becoming a DataFlux partner. 

Next was Pascal Laik, VP of MDM Product Strategy at Oracle. I’ve known Pascal for several years, since he took over for Ronda Krier in that position. Pascal laid out Oracle’s strengths in the manufacturing, telecommunications, retail and financial services industries, and included an interesting but apocryphal story about the “Battle of Ulm”, where the Russian army showed up 12 days late for the battle due to the difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.

Bence Gazdag also spoke about Oracle’s internal MDM efforts, and I later bumped into my friend Bill Miller, Oracle’s Director & Global Solution Owner for Data Quality Management, who was supposed to deliver that part of the presentation. 

The last keynote before lunch was by Chris Lucas from D&B and Kim Fahey, Senior Director of Information Architecture at R.R. Donnelley. Kim did a great job describing Donnelley’s MDM journey and the growing value they’ve gotten from their implementation of Purisma

I had a quick lunch, then headed off to a session on “Best Practices in DG, DQ & Identity Resolution” by Alex Bentley from Initiate Systems and Scott Drummond from Grange Insurance.  This one I really enjoyed – down-to-earth delivery by Scott, and lots of good “lessons learned”. 

I spent a fair amount of time Monday in the exhibit hall, talking to the different vendors, gathering more information, and seeing old friends working for various companies. I went to the end-of-day reception again, then headed out to a great dinner at the Blue Water Grill with Initiate Systems. 

Tuesday was a bit of a blur. I had a couple of meetings in the morning, then went to lunch with Siperian at a great Venetian restaurant named Remi near the Hilton. 

In the afternoon, I caught the “Global B2B Hierarchy Management in the High-Tech Industry” session by Jesse Weissman from EMC.  Jesse did a great job describing the challenges and corresponding benefits of managing complex corporate hierarchies in EMC’s MDM environment. 

The last session I caught was Eric Hansen from Nationwide Insurance, talking about “Data Governance and MDM – The Nationwide Experience”.  This one was very well done too, with lots of good insights into the process of developing a vision for data governance in a large-scale Financial MDM project.  

Aaron Zornes would want me to remind you about the virtual MDM Summit, which starts on Nov. 11th. 

I don’t know the dates yet for next spring’s MDM Summit, but it’s usually in San Francisco and it’s one of my favorite events of the year. 

If I met you, spoke to you, had lunch or dinner with you, or learned new things from you – thank you for making the Fall 2008 MDM Summit such a great experience!


Experts and Analysts Panel Discussion at MDM Summit

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I’m going to be attending the upcoming MDM Summit in New York on Sunday, 10/19/08 through Tuesday, 10/21/08.

I’ll be on an “Experts and Analysts Panel”, moderated by Jim Ericson, Editorial Director of DM Review, along with Jill Dyché, Partner & Co-Founder of Baseline Consulting and Aaron Zornes, Chief Research Officer of The MDM Institute.

The session will be on the first day of the conference (Sun. 10/19) from 5:15 – 6:00 pm, followed by the opening night reception in the exhibit hall.

I’m looking forward to it – Jim is really sharp, and I always enjoy hearing Jill’s and Aaron’s perspectives on the MDM space.

For more information, go to


Interview at MDM Summit on DMRadio

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I was interviewed recently at the Spring 2008 MDM Summit in San Francisco.

DMRadio (which broadcasts weekly on did a broadcast from the exhibit floor, featuring:

  • Marty Moseley from Initiate Systems
  • Christopher Dwight from Oracle
  • Dan Power from Hub Solution Designs
  • Justin Magruder from Freddie Mac
  • Richard Pilkington from SyncSort
  • John Smolarski & Anshuman Sindhar from Countrywide
  • David Codelli, Sun Microsystems

To hear the interview, just click, then click on the third “Play” button from the top.


MDM Summit Trip Report

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Last week’s MDM Summit conference was great, as usual.  Attendance may have been down slightly due to the well-publicized economic situation.  But there were still a lot of “end user companies” in attendance, either speaking or attending to learn more about this fast-growing field.

One theme we picked up on was the idea of “Master Data Management solving business problems”, rather than being a pure technology “silver bullet”.  While having a central hub, married up to powerful data quality software, and integrated with the rest of the enterprise via the latest Service-Oriented Architecture integration tools is very definitely sexy, what’s even more compelling is looking for and solving the most difficult recurring problems that today’s large companies are facing.

Whether it’s driving increased revenue through better, more effective marketing and selling, or reducing costs by improving process efficiency and sunsetting redundant application infrastructure, or enabling smoother, more rational regulatory compliance, the promises of MDM are being realized in the leading companies who are implementing it.

This is not hype, people.  While there may well be a “trough of disillusionment” in MDM’s future (or going on right now), the business and IT benefits are real, large and realizable.  This is not a repeat of the wave of ERP adoption prior to Y2K, or the rush to implement a “me too” CRM strategy.

Any time you can help the business make more money, spend less money, and have a markedly easier time getting the bureaucratic monkey off its back, people in the business are going to notice and reward you for it.

I hate to say “the future’s so bright we have to wear shades”, but from our perspective, MDM is just hitting its stride, and does indeed have a bright future.

If you disagree, we’d love to hear from you via a comment.


Gathering of the MDM Tribe

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We’re really looking forward to the MDM Summit conference in San Francisco, which runs from Sunday, March 30th through Tuesday, April 1st.

This is a very exciting space. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the mega-vendors like Oracle, IBM and SAP get more and more interested in master data management. We’ve seen the best-of-breed providers like D&B/Purisma, Initiate Systems and Siperian doing very well, as they enhance their products and grow their customer bases. And we’ve seen the “piling on” factor, as companies from all over the enterprise software spectrum re-brand and re-purpose their products for the MDM market.

This is my fifth MDM Summit, and at every one that we attend, we learn more – about the technology of course, but also about the people and personalities that drive the business, about the software vendors and systems integrators, and the end user companies and how they’re succeeding with MDM.

I’ve always loved using technology to solve business problems. And master data management really appeals to me there – it’s a great combination of better technology, better processes and better people/organization, resulting in better information, which can in turn solve some really big business problems.

It’s great to get together twice a year at Aaron Zornes’ and SourceMedia’s MDM Summit conferences. They’re very well-done, and it’s a great place to see people, catch up on what’s happening in the business, and hear the latest success stories.

So if you’re going to be in San Francisco, please look me up. You can drop me a note via our web site or give me a ring at 781-836-4875.


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