Agility Multichannel delivers an in-depth briefing on Agility® 5.2. Read more
A briefing by Pitney Bowes Software for the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank
A briefing by Teradata for the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank
Olmstead Associates and Hub Designs Partner to Provide Information Management Services to the Financial Industry
A press release announcing the partnership between Olmstead Associates and Hub Designs to serve the financial services industry Read more
The Hub Designs MDM Think Tank recently received a briefing from Martin Turvey, CEO of Loqate.
Each year beginning in 2010, Information Management magazine recognizes the best information managers and “people to watch”. Read more
I spoke today with Christophe Barriolade, CEO of Orchestra Networks. His firm was just recognized by BNP Paribas, the largest bank in Europe and one of Orchestra’s biggest customers, for their contributions to BNP Paribas’ master data management (MDM) strategy.
BNP Paribas took the unusual step of communicating on its corporate web site about their MDM strategy, and recognizing Orchestra Networks as its IT solutions developer and development partner.
BNP Paribas, which is #18 on the 2010 Fortune Global 500, has annual revenues of $130.7 billion and more than 182,000 employees. In 2009, the bank set up an MDM shared service center and established a community of project owners and project managers from several parts of the bank to “capitalize on shared experiences and to promote the adoption of best practices with respect to the management of master data.”
To date, BNP Paribas has adopted Orchestra Networks’ EBX platform, as well as IBM’s InfoSphere MDM Server for Product Information Management.
Christophe Barriolade said this was the first time a large account had taken the step of featuring Orchestra Networks so prominently on its own web site. BNP Paribas now has three years of experience in working with EBX, and the MDM shared service center is starting to have a positive impact on their business.
Since 2010, when a global license for EBX was negotiated, Orchestra Networks has been used at BNP Paribas on an enterprise-wide basis. EBX now provides a multidomain MDM solution for the bank, including “risk management, human resources, real estate, suppliers and even shared terminology”.
Hub Designs is independent with regards to competing technologies, and we partner with all of the major MDM vendors. By partnering with all but not formally aligning with any, we’re able to remain objective. But it’s always nice to see one of our partners recognized like this, and to have something worth celebrating.
Rahul Kamath from Oracle kindly did an analyst briefing recently for Hub Designs, to fill us in on the details and progress of Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management, or DRM as it’s widely called.
Rahul is the Director of Product Management at Oracle for DRM. I’ve known him for several years, since my days at D&B managing its strategic alliance with Oracle.
Oracle’s Hyperion DRM product evolved from Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion, and in turn from a product called Razza that Hyperion acquired in 2005. Hyperion DRM manages and streamlines the process of synchronizing master data changes among complex hierarchical structures across enterprise systems.
It is primarily used in “financial master data management” (MDM) and “analytical MDM”. Oracle’s target customer for DRM is the largest, most complex companies.
Hyperion DRM is particularly useful when a company has to manage multiple financial systems. I talked to a potential client today that was using DRM to bring together, map and consolidate 20 different general ledger systems. They went live in May 2010, and were able to reduce the number of different GLs from 35 down to 20, which significantly streamlined their financial processes and dramatically reduced the amount of manual work involved in consolidating their results every month.
One thing that was interesting, according to Rahul, is that 40% of DRM’s customer base is in the financial services industry, with large customers such as Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo.
Also, 30% of DRM customers have some SAP financials in their enterprise architectures.
Another big industry vertical is oil & gas, with customers such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes. This shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose, as the oil & gas industry has some of the most complex reporting requirements I have ever come across in my career.
DRM can be used for more than just financial hierarchy management, too. Lockheed Martin is using it as an enterprise-wide Supplier Hub, so that all new suppliers that are onboarded are brought on through DRM.
In the high tech industry, companies like Dell, Google, NetApp, Symantec, Logitech and Xerox are all customers as well. Overall, Oracle has over 230 customers for DRM worldwide across all industries.
Oracle released a new version in May 2010 that is now browser-based and can run in-memory on the server, dramatically increasing performance. It handles Unicode and multi-byte characters, and runs in 64 bits, allowing essentially unlimited size models.
The MDM data model provides for inheritance and derived attribution, and has a strong versioning model, including “what if” analysis for potential changes.
Oracle’s customers seem to be using Hyperion DRM to react to an increasingly complex business environment, where they have to integrate and management dozens of general ledgers and other financial systems with corporate consolidation tools, business intelligence platforms, data warehouses, budgeting systems, multi-dimensional databases, allocation systems, etc.
DRM allows them to manage hierarchies, dimensions, business rules, mappings, and validations, and it enforces referential integrity across all subscribing systems and hierarchies, while maintaining historical versions for comparative reporting and analysis, and tracking all hierarchy and attribute changes with a full-featured audit log.
I understand from talking with several Oracle MDM salespeople in the field that Hyperion DRM is proving to be very popular with customers, and that there is a lot of interest in it from companies with heterogeneous IT environments as a way to “bring order to chaos”. In a way, it has been a bit of a sleeper product within Oracle’s MDM portfolio, but it looks like it’s finally being recognized as the solid piece of technology that it really is. And in Rahul Kamath, Oracle has put one of their best product managers on the job of managing its future.
Misti Lusher and Ravi Shankar from Informatica were kind enough to do an analyst briefing for Hub Designs recently, to bring us up to date on what’s been happening with Informatica in the past few months.
The combination of Siperian with Informatica has exceeded their expectations so far, with MDM revenue running significantly ahead of quota and Informatica landing customers in a number of new vertical industries such as retail, healthcare, aerospace/defense, agriculture, education, and hospitality. Informatica continues to penetrate EMEA and has had its first successes in Asia Pacific and Latin America as well.
There’s also a healthy sales pipeline being built for future quarters, with the top three verticals being healthcare and life sciences, financial services and insurance, and high tech and retail. Growth is being seen all over the world, with a large percentage of the bigger sales opportunities for Informatica involving MDM, regardless of the region.
Ravi highlighted how the Informatica Master Data Management (MDM) solution is solving multidomain business problems like physician spend compliance, product mastering, high volume reference data mastering, clinical trial management, customer and channel management, and Salesforce.com enablement. He also discussed how Informatica’s other products usually fit into an MDM solution.
As the Informatica MDM product has evolved, it has remained true to its roots, and continues to offer complex hierarchy management, to be business user focused, and to allow for fast time to value. What Informatica has done, building on what Siperian had created before its acquisition, is to provide for true multidomain master data management, which allows for a much wider range of problems to be solved.
Informatica continues to increase its market share beyond the pharmaceutical vertical, and shows a strong track record of expanding its footprint within existing customers as well.
Informatica MDM Data Director has been widely used as well, with every new customer since its release in March 2009 buying it along with the MDM hub.
Informatica just finished up an 18-city MDM road show in the U.S. and Canada, and featured its MDM product prominently at Informatica World in early November. It has both a horizontal and a vertical industry marketing strategy.
Ravi previewed for us the materials for their “Customer and Channel Management Solution”, which manages hierarchies and relationships between customers, channel partners, products, and resources, in order to maximize account penetration, optimize coverage, and enable business agility and speed.
Ravi also gave us a demo of the latest version of the Informatica MDM product, with built-in dashboards using Data Director measuring data quality for individual customers and organizational customers. He also demonstrated the integration of MDM with the rest of the Informatica Platform – Power Center Business Glossary and Metadata Manager, and Informatica Data Quality.
Another impressive feature is enabling business applications, such as Salesforce.com, to be MDM aware. New records can be entered in the Salesforce.com application and instantly be bounced up directly against the Informatica MDM hub, and customer hierarchies can be viewed in a Salesforce.com tab, rather than requiring the user to jump back and forth between a Salesforce window and an Informatica MDM window. And the Salesforce user can see a timeline of a record “as of” a particular date, including all the hierarchy data.
At the end of the briefing, I came away feeling (again) that Informatica had made a great move in purchasing Siperian, and that Informatica’s MDM business has clearly gained momentum since the acquisition. This is clearly one of those cases where one plus one equals three. Informatica has done a great job integrating Siperian into the company, in taking advantage of the synergies between the two companies, and in promoting the product. Opportunities exist to take it even further, but the Informatica team is to be congratulated, since almost 60% of all mergers and acquisitions fail to create shareholder value according to the Boston Consulting Group.
In yesterday’s article about the inclusion of Orchestra Networks in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Product Data”, I mentioned that Orchestra is not considered a “dedicated PIM vendor”.
One company that has historically been a strong player in the Product Information Management (PIM) space is Stibo Systems. Stibo is also developing a credible multidomain MDM vision. I’ve been following them since the 2009 Gartner MDM Summit and am impressed by both their product offering as well as their growing customer base (now up to 140 global organizations).
Stibo has now been included on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Product MDM for three consecutive years, and has been devoting more attention lately to marketing and analyst outreach. Their customer list is impressive and includes companies such as: GE, Sony, Siemens, Fujitsu, Sears, Office Depot, Harbor Freight Tools, Millipore, The Home Depot, W.W. Grainger and Thomas Cook.
On the product side, Stibo’s latest release, STEP 5.2 (available since July 2010) lets companies build and maintain a single authoritative view of product, supplier and location information for use across the enterprise. This ensures consistency across all phases of the information supply chain, and leads to cost reductions, reduced time to market and a faster new product introduction process.
As I continue to study the MDM market, and watch what the mega-vendors like Oracle, IBM and SAP are doing, it’s very encouraging to see so much innovation from best-of-breed vendors like Orchestra Networks and Stibo Systems.
To me, this indicates that the MDM market has a lot of growth and life in it yet, and the consolidation we’ve seen in the last couple of years, with IBM buying Initiate Systems and Informatica buying Siperian, doesn’t mean that the smaller vendors are finished creating great products and bringing them to market.
Please let us know – in the comments here or in the forums on the MDM Community – what you think of the latest developments in the master data management and data governance market and the latest “Magic Quadrant” report from Gartner.
Orchestra Networks, a specialized Master Data Management (MDM) software vendor based in France and the United States, announced yesterday that the company will be included in Gartner Inc.’s “Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Product Data”, released on September 27, 2010.
Since Orchestra Networks provides a model-driven solution to model and master all types of master data and reference data, it’s interesting that Gartner is including them on the Product MDM “Magic Quadrant”.
As described in our recent white paper, “A Real Multidomain MDM Solution or a Wannabe?”, a true multidomain solution allows all domains of data to be incorporated into the MDM hub’s data model on an equal basis. So although Orchestra’s product doesn’t specialize in product information per se, it handles this data very well, and in many ways, allows the enterprise to model its ideal way of describing its products, and build that into its MDM hub from the ground up.
The Orchestra Networks product also provides for enterprise-wide data governance at a business level – what we refer to in the white paper as “proactive data governance”. The combination of a flexible, model-driven approach and of proactive data governance includes the business in the entire MDM life cycle, so business owners, end users and data stewards are involved in every step of solving tough business problems using the data governance platform.
But Orchestra Networks is a bit of “square peg in a round hole”, from the analysts’ perspective. It doesn’t fit neatly into the “Customer Data Integration” or the “Product Information Management” pigeonholes. Recognition by Gartner in the “Magic Quadrant” for PIM shows how strong Orchestra’s solution is, since it’s the only multidomain solution competing head to head against dedicated PIM vendors.
As I’ve worked with Orchestra Networks over the past few months I’ve come to respect the company and its products. I’m pleased to see them recognized by Gartner in its “Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Product Data”. The MDM market is starting to realize that the most challenging business problems involve data from many different domains, and that true multidomain MDM platforms are required to enable enterprise-wide data governance.
As MDM continues to evolve at a frantic pace, all vendors are rapidly evolving their products. But Orchestra Networks is one to keep an eye on.
Please let us know – in the comments here or in the forums on the MDM Community – what you think of multidomain MDM and the continuing evolution of data governance in the enterprise.
Yesterday, I attended a great webinar hosted by Orchestra Networks and Michelin. I found it full of good insights into how Michelin has deployed proactive data governance with real benefits to the business.
To view the webinar replay and download the presentations, just register at http://www.orchestranetworks.com/webinar-master-data-governance-michelin.html. And if you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Orchestra Networks
Orchestra Networks provides advanced Data Governance and MDM software, with a strong focus on governance for all shared data across an organization. This model-driven approach with its dynamic user interface and data services provides the means for business and IT to finally collaborate on MDM. Founded in 2000, Orchestra Networks has presence across Europe and North America.
Earlier this week, I saw a demo of Initiate’s new Composer product, and was impressed. Composer, announced in March and scheduled for release in June, will be available to all existing Initiate customers.
Initiate Composer is a framework for building MDM-powered solutions on top of the company’s MDM hub, which is called Initiate Master Data Service. Typically, an MDM hub is populated with data from monolithic enterprise systems like front office suites such as customer relationship management (CRM) applications and back office suites such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications.
Essentially, these data sources offer the best of both worlds. By pulling the data into a robust MDM hub, you create a “single view of the customer” rather than having multiple views within different silos across the enterprise. Then by building a new, easy-to-use application on top of that trustworthy data, you’ve found a way to quickly deliver value from the MDM initiative back into the business.
Of course, in the real world it’s never quite that easy. But one of the most common things we see clients wanting to do with their newly-built MDM hub is to make the information in it widely available to the enterprise – for search, for reference, for additional data entry, for automation of manual processes, and for viewing corporate hierarchies and other relationships.
Based on the demo I saw, Initiate fulfills this need with Composer. Customer teams can now quickly create production-ready user interfaces that are pre-integrated with the Initiate Master Data Service.
Composer creates Adobe Flex applications, which are cross-platform rich Internet applications. This is helpful because they will run on a variety of clients inside only a browser.
It was impressive to see the degree to which business analysts could quickly be productive writing simple MDM applications, even if they were prototypes that would need to be finished up by a developer. A lot of times, there’s a big gap between design documents and working code. It’s a lot easier for a power user or a business analyst to work with a tool like Composer to “show you what I want” than to just describe it verbally, in writing or on a white board.
With Composer, teams can more easily and more productively build a variety of different user interfaces on top of Initiate’s MDM hub. IBM thought highly enough of Initiate Systems back in February to acquire the company. While I’m sure that Composer was only a small part of why that happened, I’m sure it didn’t hurt.
Initiate has always been a company I’ve followed closely and with whom Hub Designs has partnered, and we look forward to continuing that as they become part of the IBM universe.
Hub Designs has been a partner of AMB, a provider of information governance, quality and discovery software, since November 2008.
Now AMB is launching an open source version of its Information Governance Suite, called the Community Edition. AMB delivers tools to facilitate real time governance, and is now extending its reach as one of the first major vendors with an open source version of its core product.
This might be an ideal way for companies looking to familiarize themselves with a data profiling and data quality product to learn the tool, get a data governance proof of concept up and running in a cost effective way, and then demonstrate value to the business.
The Community Edition allows you to:
- become familiar with the concept of data profiling as a way of identifying and fixing information anomalies
- enable enterprises embarking on a data stewardship program to use the Community Edition to spotlight, identify and determine the priority of their internal information issues
- enable organizations to define and automate a repeatable process, using software to administer the information governance program that aligns with the repeatable process, not the other way around
The Community Edition should provide a core set of data profiling and governance, and training and support is available, as are upgrades to the Professional and Enterprise Editions.
“All NDAs are lifted” were the magic words uttered by Steve Miranda from Oracle at the Fusion Inner Circle Event at Oracle OpenWorld on October 15th.
Just to make sure, I asked Steve explicitly during the Q&A section of the program if it was okay under the non-disclosure agreement we had all signed to write about Fusion on my blog, and he said “Yes.”
Hub Designs was invited back in February to help Oracle’s Fusion MDM team with some design review, validation, and testing activities. In return for our assistance, we’ve gotten to see Fusion MDM inside and out, and we can proudly say that we are one of the very few trusted partners who helped Oracle to design and develop the application.
We participated in a lot of conference calls with Haidong Song, Oracle’s Product Strategy Director for Customer MDM, and other members of his team. And we attended a week-long “hands-on validation” event at Oracle headquarters in August, looking specifically at the customer data management aspects of the Fusion MDM hub.
My first impressions of Fusion MDM during that hands-on session were very favorable. I remember thinking to myself, “Oracle could almost start selling this into the MDM hub market right now!”
Of course, Fusion isn’t scheduled to ship until sometime in 2010, and there’s still plenty of work to be done between now and then. But the core functionality needed for master data management was there, and the Oracle Fusion MDM team had a room full of customers and partners banging on it for a week without any significant crashes or issues.
There was plenty to like in Fusion that didn’t relate specifically to master data management – the new and improved user interface, the embedded analytics, the modern, standards-based architecture, the usability research that Oracle has done, the improved business processes, the built-in collaboration capabilities …
But the fundamentals of MDM were strong as well. Haidong and his team demonstrated how to import and consolidate customer data from outside sources, and we did our first hands-on lab session bringing in a small customer data load from a desktop file, such as a list of trade show leads.
We also tested a larger volume of customer data being brought into Fusion MDM through the Bulk Import process.
We did another exercise simulating how a typical customer data steward would identify potential duplicate customers, and then resolve those duplicates by merging the duplicate parties.
We also got a good look at the Informatica components that Oracle is bundling into Fusion on an OEM basis: the former Identity Systems matching engine and the former Address Doctor address cleansing tool. Previous Oracle MDM products like Customer Data Hub have had loose integration with Trillium and Firstlogic for address cleansing, but it’s refreshing to see Oracle investing in deep integration with industry leading solutions.
I think there are going to be a lot of Oracle customers who will move to Fusion MDM as the first wave of their overall migration to Fusion, who will see Fusion MDM as a good way to get some early experience with the Fusion applications family, before committing their mission critical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications to the Fusion platform.
And in 2010 and beyond, I think will be a lot of potential customers who evaluate Fusion MDM positively on its own merits against competitive MDM hubs. Oracle brings a robust data model, open architecture, and a next-generation approach to master data management, with state-of-the-art matching, data quality, middleware, and business process management.
Please let me know by commenting here what your thoughts and expectations are for Oracle’s Fusion MDM hub.
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.
Editor’s note: from time to time, the Hub Designs Blog profiles companies and solutions you may not have heard of yet that are relevant to master data management (MDM).
Company & location: Gryphon Networks, headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, provides “on demand contact governance” solutions.
Value proposition: Gryphon’s approach combines compliance and preference management, converting consumer contact preferences, compliance policies, and corporate governance into a consumer contact database, tracking the legal methods for contact. This gives you a “safe” list that expands your marketable base.
What point in MDM lifecycle: This is particularly useful when you’re using an MDM hub to support marketing activities and you’re concerned about maintaining a “single source of truth” on “Do Not Call” status, as well as opt-in / opt-out status for fax, email, and direct mail campaigns.
Relevance to MDM: Today’s hubs are evolving into “policy hubs”, where the enterprise can go beyond basic customer name & address data to tracking advanced attributes like contact preferences and managing compliance with a growing list of privacy regulations. But for a lot of industries, the current generation of MDM hubs doesn’t go far enough. That’s where Gryphon Networks comes in – it provides a real-time, on-demand contact governance capability that your MDM hub can interact with via Web Services.
If you’re in an industry like financial services, hotels, healthcare, telecommunications, insurance, etc. where there’s a need for a lot of outbound marketing activities and at the same time, strict privacy regulations around “Do Not Call” and opt-out status for e-mail, fax and direct mail marketing, your MDM strategy should probably include integration with Gryphon Networks’ platform.
For more information, contact Bob Hadden at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: another in an occasional series where the Hub Designs Blog profiles companies and solutions you may not have heard of that are relevant to master data management (MDM).
Company & location: SmartCo, headquartered in Paris, France, with an office in Boston MA, provides a product called the SmartCo DataHub, a master data management solution for financial institutions.
Value proposition: SmartCo DataHub consists of several data management modules including a Security Master, which handles every type of asset class and manages reference data, market data and corporate actions data. The product can receive information from many different internal or external sources, and then cleanse it, enhance it and distribute it to all departments and systems, so everyone shares the same data.
SmartCo DataHub also provides other modules such as Indices and Benchmarks, and Business Entity Management, which centralizes and consolidates all information about third parties with which the financial institution is directly or indirectly in business. This is linked to the Security Master for monitoring and mitigating credit and operational risks.
SmartCo DataHub has built-in connectors to data sources like Bloomberg, Thomson/Reuters, Factset, Interactive Data, Markit, Six Telekurs / Fininfo, and several others. SmartCo DataHub is designed using the latest SOA technology in order to provide users with more flexibility.
What point in MDM lifecycle: this would be most appropriate for banks and other financial institutions looking to replace one or more internally built security masters. Most financial services companies don’t regard creating their own custom security master as a competitive advantage any more. So a “commercial off-the-shelf” (COTS) solution might be a good fit for companies looking to reduce the number of security masters they’ve got to maintain, and save money vs. developing a new security master internally.
Relevance to MDM: the financial services industry is going through its biggest upheaval in more than 75 years. But consolidating multiple custom built systems that are expensive to maintain can save a lot of money and provide a very strong return on investment.
If you’re in the financial services industry and are investigating master data management as a strategy for cost savings, revenue enhancement or regulatory compliance, SmartCo is an interesting company that is growing its presence in the North American market.
Editor’s note: another installment in an ongoing series where the Hub Designs Blog profiles companies and solutions which are relevant to master data management (MDM).
Company & location: Silver Creek Systems, headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, provides automated data mastering solutions which enable enterprise-wide standardization and integration of product information.
Value proposition: I recently had a briefing with several Silver Creek people. Their core product, DataLens™, applies semantic technology to standardize, enrich, match, repurpose and govern product information. I think of it as data quality for product information on steroids.
The semantic approach makes a lot of sense. I remember from my ERP days how painful dealing with product information can be (requiring endless massaging in Excel or complex SQL queries to extract and reformat it). Silver Creek seems to have an intelligent solution to one of the thorniest issues in MDM.
What point in MDM lifecycle: if your MDM initiative involves product information, you’ll quickly find out that Product MDM is very different from Customer MDM. It’s common for product data to have dozens or even hundreds of required attributes. The hierarchy management requirements for product data are typically more complex. And because a lot of product data is unstructured or semi-structured, you need a specialized parsing engine if you want to automate the standardization of your data.
Relevance to MDM: data quality tools designed for customer information have a hard time handling the widespread variability of product data, its relative lack of structure, the dearth of referential data from third-party sources, the overloading of the “description” field, the classification and categorization requirements and the added complexity in hierarchy management.
As I do more work in the Product MDM area, I’m impressed with Silver Creek Systems and its DataLens solution.
Update on 04/14/09: Silver Creek Systems announced today that its DataLens™ System was named the top Data Quality product by SearchDataManagement.com’s 2008 Products of the Year program. The awards were judged by a team of industry analysts and consultants and presented by the editors of TechTarget’s Enterprise Applications Media Group. For more information, please visit http://www.silvercreeksystems.com/PR_SDMPOY2008/.