Notes from the 2013 Informatica Analysts Conference
I was doing some research recently on the search terms that bring people to the Hub Designs Blog. So I took a few minutes and found that for the most frequently used 40 search terms over the past year that I looked at, the Hub Designs Blog was in the Top 10 search results on Google for every single one, with an average position of Google’s search results page of third. That, to me, is amazing. Read more
Inspired by Crysta Anderson from Initiate, who put together IBM’s Mastering Data Management blog Top 10 Posts of 2010, I decided to put together a similar “Top Ten Posts of 2010″ for the Hub Designs Blog.
In our holiday greetings article, Thank You To Our Readers, we covered some of the top articles from the beginning of this blog in July 2007, and included some readership statistics, which we won’t bore you with today.
Our reports on MDM vendors like Oracle, IBM Initiate, Informatica (formerly Siperian), Kalido, and Orchestra Networks were very popular in 2010. And our series on MDM best practices, practicing enterprise architecture within MDM (by Jim Parnitzke) and on data profiling (by Rob DuMoulin) were also big hits.
Without further ado, here’s the Hub Designs Blog “Top 10 for 2010″.
- Oracle’s MDM Strategy and Roadmap – A look at Oracle’s MDM strategy and roadmap, from the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) COLLABORATE conference in April 2010.
- Building MDM-Powered Solutions with Initiate Composer – A description of Initiate’s new Composer product, which is a framework for building solutions on top of IBM’s Initiate Master Data Service hub.
- Master Data Management Best Practice Series, by Dan Power – A ten part series on MDM and data governance best practices, based on my presentation at Oracle OpenWorld 2010.
- Modeling the MDM Blueprint, by James Parnitzke – A six part series on applying important enterprise architecture concepts to MDM projects.
- Data Profiling For All The Right Reasons, by Rob DuMoulin – A five part series on data profiling and its role within MDM and data governance initiatives.
- Siperian Acquired By Informatica – My analysis of Siperian’s acquisition by Informatica, written on the day the news broke.
- Informatica Analyst Briefing – Hub Designs is regularly briefed by the major MDM vendors; this one by Informatica was about 2 months after the acquisition. A later briefing from October 2010 can be found here.
- Kalido MDM and AB InBev – I live blogged this at the Gartner MDM Summit during a session by Kalido’s President and CEO Bill Hewitt and Jonathan Starkey, the Director of Business Intelligence at AB InBev North America.
- Intersection of MDM, CRM and ERP – My article on Why Product Information Management in Information Management magazine sparked a short blog article by Andrew White of Gartner. The “Intersection of MDM, CRM and ERP” article is in response to Andrew’s.
- Orchestra Networks Enters Gartner Magic Quadrant – We thought it was newsworthy that Orchestra Networks, a specialized MDM vendor, was included in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Product Data” for the first time. Also, Orchestra Networks sponsored a white paper titled A Real Multidomain MDM Solution or a Wannabe? by Hub Designs that was published in September.
It’s been a busy 2010. I recently read the 2009 Year in Review from this time last year, and was exhausted just reading it, but this year has been the same – several conferences (Gartner MDM Summit, OAUG COLLABORATE, Oracle OpenWorld, Kalido), webinars (with eLearning Curve, TechTarget and Oracle Applications Users Group) and some exciting things to look forward to and update you on in 2011.
I’d like to to thank my wife and two boys for their unwavering support throughout 2010 – and my heartfelt thanks to the folks on the Hub Designs team - I couldn’t do it without you!
And thank you – as always – for your readership and support. Happy New Year!
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.
This is a transcript (lightly edited for brevity) of today’s Informatica MDM Tweet Jam. We hope you enjoyed the actual Tweet Jam and this transcript. If there were questions you didn’t get a chance to ask, please feel free to ask them via our web site’s Contact Us page.
Dan Power: Informatica MDM Tweet Jam like playing “stump Dan” – see if you can perplex, mystify and amaze me!
Dan Power: Actually, just kidding – want to have a good dialogue with everyone – would love to have a good MDM discussion.
Informatica Corp.: Right now! Join the #MDM TweetJam with @dan_power. 9am PT.
Dan Power: OK, the Tweet Jam is officially open!
Jakki Geiger: Dan, what are the most common concerns you hear about MDM?
Dan Power: IT people still seem concerned about how to involve the business and sell it to senior management.
Jakki Geiger: what advice do you give them?
Dan Power: IT seems to know that MDM is needed but sometimes can’t seem to get the business on board, and it can be hard to pitch to the C-Suite.
Dan Power: We advise building a compelling business case – getting outside help if needed – and recruiting internal business champions.
Jakki Geiger: What strategies to get the business on board have you seen work?
Dan Power: I wrote an article about that in a recent Information Management magazine and a blog article on Hub Designs Blog that accompanied it.
Jakki Geiger: We’ve seen IT successfully tie MDM to key strategic imperatives like improving cross-sell and up-sell=getting sales on board.
Ravi Shankar: One thing we have done to help IT is to quantify how much DQ issues can cut costs or increase revenue.
Dan Power: Getting the business on board means STARTING in the business – find out their pain points and recruit them to drive from Day 1.
Jakki Geiger: Others include onboarding channel partners onboard faster, which appeals to sales and channel operations.
Jakki Geiger: A huge driver has been regulatory compliance = appealing to those who gather data across the enterprise and create reports.
Ravi Shankar: I like what Charles Bloodworth of J&J said at Informatica World 2010 – “MDM is not just a project; it’s a discipline – a way of doing bus for us”.
Dan Power: Good points Jakki & Ravi – those are the pain points I’m talking about: increasing revenue / onboarding channel partners faster.
Jakki Geiger: One area I think is really going to take off is improving business processes = improve data to improve the process.
Jakki Geiger: One exec got buy in from exec team with “we need to manage our product supply chain and info supply chain equally efficiently”.
Ravi Shankar: Agreed – bus needs to be involved in MDM. Charles of J&J said bus involvement drove their MDM and data governance success.
Dan Power: That’s right – becomes a way of life – new discipline for the business – to have a golden copy of the data that they can trust.
Jakki Geiger: I agree with u. IT needs to understand what the business pains and strategic imperatives are, then evaluate “can MDM help?”
Dan Power: Product management and supply chain are just as fertile for most companies as customer data – so MDM is just getting started.
Dan Power: I’ve been talking to a lot of companies lately that have already done customer MDM and are now looking at doing product MDM.
Ravi Shankar: Product MDM: I see lot of demand for this from manufacturing companies. Just came from S. Korea – product MDM is hot.
Dan Power: Or even supplier MDM – in order to get global strategic sourcing initiatives off the ground, which can save millions of $.
Ravi Shankar: Customer MDM to product MDM – we’ve seen that with our own early customers – They leveraged the same Informatica platform.
Julie Hunt: How do you see MDM implementations evolving to take advantage of newer tech such as ‘cloud’?
Julie Hunt: And what advantages does the cloud offer to MDM solutions?
Dan Power: Good question, Julie – definitely see a movement towards the cloud – people don’t want to create tomorrow’s “legacy systems”.
Dan Power: So they increasingly are asking their vendors about cloud deployment options, even if they don’t rush to take advantage of them.
Dan Power: They want to know they’re available
Dan Power: To Julie’s Q about cloud, I think eventually we’ll see cloud deployments at lower cost than on-premise (particularly hardware).
Ravi Shankar: Let me outline 2 use cases we’ve seen @ InformaticaCorp.
Ravi Shankar: Use case 1: During peak times like holiday seasons, retailers can burst into cloud for additional capacity.
Ravi Shankar: Use case 2: Mktg mgrs can use self service tools to upload attendee list from event w/o having to bother IT.
Dan Power: The promise of cloud for me, is more flexibility as my business grows and if we have seasonal peaks and valleys of demand.
ocdqblog (Jim Harris): What do you say to companies that expected that from their data warehouse? How is MDM different from conformed dims?
Ravi Shankar: ocdqblog – welcome. Looking forward to a lively MDM discussion.
Dan Power: Good question, Jim. Most companies had unrealistic expectations from data warehouses, which ended up being expensive, read-only,
Dan Power: and updated infrequently. MDM gives them the capability to modify the data, publish to a DW, and manage complex hierarchies.
Dan Power: So to finish answering your question Jim, I think MDM offers more flexibility than the typical DW.
Dan Power: That’s why BI on top of MDM (or more likely, BI on top of a DW that draws data from an MDM) is so popular.
Ravi Shankar: MDM for DW – 90% of Informatica MDM customers use it for analytical use (in addition to operational).
ocdqblog (Jim Harris): Thanks Dan – Follow-up is do you see MDM as compliment or replacement for DW?
Dan Power: Definitely a compliment – fills void in the middle between trx systems and the DW – does things that neither can do to data.
Jakki Geiger: are you seeing this trend? Evolving beyond single customer view= visibility into 360 customer view w/products and channels, etc.
Dan Power: Yes, Jakki – people want more than a single view – they want multiple views on top of the single view.
Ravi Shankar: Siperian customers – We’re having a lively chat on MDM and data governance. Join in!
Ravi Shankar: Dan, what do you tell DW admins that DW provides their single view for enterprise?
Dan Power: I tell DW admins that most people in the enterprise aren’t completely happy with DW – that’s why there’s pain leading to MDM.
Jakki Geiger: Since the driver of MDM is the business, how are we getting master data into the hands of the business?
Dan Power: Good Q, Jakki – getting MDM data back into hands of the business should be built into the project – and the software platform.
Ravi Shankar: Compliance is driven out of DW – you need MDM for accurate compliance reports – Do you agree?
Dan Power: Yes, Ravi – Garbage in, Garbage out – you need quality data from the MDM system to feed into the data warehouse.
Julie Hunt: So we must advocate value of data governance as well as value of MDM with business, senior management?
Dan Power: I tell people to think of their initiative as a data governance project that happens to involve #MDM technology.
Dan Power: Not an #MDM technology project that requires data governance.
Dan Power: And to start the data governance piece about 6 months before the technology piece, if possible.
Julie Hunt: The importance of data quality = another layer to be advocated to the business and to management – show them the impact on outcomes.
Jakki Geiger: MDM is like a Ferrari. If you don’t use DQ with MDM, it’s like putting regular gas in Ferrari=sub optimal performance.
Dan Power: I’ve seen people try to do MDM without data quality – and it’s a disaster, like trying to run a submarine on dry land!
Dan Power: The fact is that #MDM and data quality are linked, just as #MDM and data governance are linked.
Ravi Shankar: Should data quality be integrated within #MDM?
Dan Power: Good question, Ravi – I’ve seen it both ways – a data quality engine integrated with the MDM platform or separate, both can work as long as the data quality tool is robust and the integration is solid, shouldn’t matter.
Dan Power: Most MDM platform vendors are not equally good at developing data quality tools – Informatica is one of the few that is.
Julie Hunt: How much does corporate culture impact success/failure of projects for #MDM, data governance etc.?
Dan Power: Great Q – corporate culture is a huge impact on success because data governance drives MDM and requires a lot of change mgt. So spend a lot of time on org. change in the data governance side of the #MDM initiative in order to be successful.
Ravi Shankar: Heard a customer say – “Don’t overdo data governance – do just what’s necessary” Do you agree?
Dan Power: I’d agree not to go overboard on data governance – balanced approach that’s right for your co. just enough to get the job done. Too much data governance can be worse than not enough – can be bureaucratic – the “data governance police”.
Ravi Shankar: Data governance applies to all data, but I hear that in MDM context a lot. Do you hear “master data governance” for MDM?
Jakki Geiger: Some argue shouldn’t call it data governance because the -ve connotation of “governance” thoughts?
Dan Power: I actually like that phrase – master data governance – makes it more clear and precise what we’re talking about
Dan Power: Because otherwise, data governance organization can get drawn into all kinds of weird things not related to master data
Dan Power: We need to recognized that data governance is (a) political, (b) controversial, (c) going to have an enforcement side.
Ravi Shankar: Now, do orgs do data governance first before implementing MDM or after they select an MDM product?
Dan Power: So in some ways, I actually like the term “data government” better – makes it more explicit what we’re talking about.
Dan Power: And it reminds people that we’re talking about governing the enterprise’s core master data – just like we govern other key assets.
Jakki Geiger: I think the challenge is that we’re still in the process of understanding that data is a strategic asset.
Dan Power: It’s ideal if they can start data governance before even selecting a product – so that the data governance org. can help w/ the selection process.
Ravi Shankar: Dan wrote an excellent whitepaper – “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic” – you can download it from http://bit.ly/ck2Gw8.
Dan Power: Truly competitive 21st century companies not only understand that data is a strategic asset, it’s how they run their business.
Dan Power: Forward looking businesses like Google, Amazon, Century 21, eBay, etc. realize that the data IS their business!
Jakki Geiger: “Data as strategic asset” is a fairly new concept. Visionaries recognize need 4 scale and intelligence=harnessing & analyzing data.
Dan Power: That was a fun white paper to write – looking forward to doing another one with the great folks at Informatica again soon!
Jakki Geiger: What I liked about Dan’s WP was the discussion around stopping the problem of data quality at the source.
Seth Grimes: Is data governance also (d) useful on balance and (e) capable of delivering ROI?
Dan Power: Yes, of course – or people wouldn’t be doing it. You can’t bring together massive amounts of data in an MDM hub and not have some type of governance framework in place. And if there was no ROI, it wouldn’t be happening.
Dan Power: I’m pretty familiar with Oracle’s data governance program, and for a huge company, it’s not real expensive.
Ravi Shankar: Welcome to #INFATJ – good data governance question.
Ravi Shankar: Successful Informatica MDM customers like J&J, Merrill, and numerous others have had strong global data governance orgs.
Ravi Shankar: Data is a key asset that many firms make a lot of money out of it – Bloomberg for e.g.
Ray Wang: RT @Ravi_Shankar_: Data is a key asset that many firms make a lot of money out of it – Bloomberg for e.g.
Dan Power: Good example with Bloomberg – welcome Ray!
Ravi Shankar: @rwang0 thx for the RT
Jakki Geiger: Can you create a career out of MDM? Many of our customers have extended MDM to address more and more issues in their orgs.
Dan Power: Good Q, Jakki – u can create a career out of it, I have for the last 6 years, but you’ve got to really have this in your blood
Ravi Shankar: Within Informatica customers, we’ve seen careers of several people take off b/c of successful #MDM data governance.
Julie Hunt: Thanks for great tweet jam!
Jakki Geiger: Thank you for participating! Looking forward to next time. Good luck to you all!
Dan Power: Thanks for joining us today – hope you enjoyed it! Check out the Hub Designs Blog at http://blog.hubdesigns.com.
Ravi Shankar: Thx for your insightful discussion and advice on #MDM data governance. Hope you all enjoyed it. Until next time!
Dan Power: This is Dan Power, signing off – have a great day everyone!
This article was originally published in The Data Warehousing Institute’s FlashPoint newsletter.
Whether you call it software-as-a-service or cloud computing, deploying enterprise applications via the Internet continues to gain momentum. In fact, pioneers such as Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Salesforce.com, and NetSuite have experienced rapid growth in demand, despite global economic uncertainty.
Although we’re still in the early days of cloud computing, its benefits are compelling. Dave Powers, Eli Lilly’s associate information consultant for discovery IT, recently said “We were … able to launch a 64-machine cluster computer working on bioinformatics sequence information, complete the work, and shut it down in 20 minutes. It cost $6.40. To do that internally–to go from nothing to getting a 64-machine cluster installed and qualified–is a 12-week process.”
Master data management (MDM) is also moving to the cloud. MDM is a set of disciplines, processes, and technologies for ensuring the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, and consistency of multiple domains of enterprise data across applications, systems, and databases, and across multiple business processes, functional areas, organizations, geographies, and channels. Note the key words: “multiple,” “across,” and “enterprise.” MDM spans multiple domains of master data and reaches across the many silos that exist in today’s enterprises, and cloud computing helps organizations integrate master data across multiple data centers in different geographies or from different acquisitions.
When I talk to people about moving MDM hubs from corporate data centers to cloud computing environments, security and compliance are by far the most frequently raised issues.
Ironically, corporate data centers may actually be less secure than cloud computing environments. Over the last few years, there have been thousands of well-publicized breeches at “household name” organizations. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has compiled an extensive list of known data breaches, along with the number of records exposed with each incident. Of course, there have also been attacks on, and breaches by, cloud computing providers such as Google, but there are far fewer of these incidents. That being said, there’s both a perception issue and a real need for improved security by cloud providers, particularly as security threats continue to grow and evolve.
When it comes to compliance, moving enterprise applications into the cloud doesn’t absolve a company from the laws and regulations it falls under compared to when the company provides that service inside its firewall. Depending on the industry involved, evaluating potential cloud providers against that industry’s compliance requirements can definitely be a nontrivial effort.
MDM vendors–Oracle, IBM, SAP, Informatica/Siperian, Initiate (an IBM company) and smaller providers–are evolving to the cloud. Oracle’s Fusion MDM hub will offer a cloud deployment capability when it ships early next year. IBM and Initiate are likely working on future versions of their products that will operate smoothly in the cloud. Informatica, having acquired Siperian, has also made major investments in cloud computing.
Security, legal, and technical issues still need to be resolved by the cloud computing providers, software vendors, systems integrators, and their enterprise customers. This will involve firewalls, encryption, backup solutions, disaster recovery, service-level agreements, and so on, but technology and legal teams are good at solving these kinds of problems.
Meanwhile, the benefits are too large to ignore. Economically, it makes more sense to share complex infrastructure and pay only for what you actually use. From a time-to-value perspective, cloud computing allows you to skip hardware procurement and capital expenditure and instead just order from a “menu.”
Maintenance and updates are a constant headache for most IT shops. Thankfully, most cloud providers continuously update their software, adding new features as they become available. As for scalability, cloud systems are built to handle sharp increases in workload. Furthermore, cloud solutions are designed to work with a simple Web browser, so users can access them from their desktops, laptops, or smartphones.
The MDM market will probably trail the rest of the enterprise a bit, but the appetite for building large, multi-million dollar applications inside the firewall is cooling. CIOs see the economics of buying, maintaining, and upgrading the applications and accompanying servers, and end up saying, “On the whole, I think I’d rather rent!”
I’d love to know what you think of the question of moving MDM into the cloud. Please click the “Leave a Comment” button and share your thoughts.
You are cordially invited to join the Informatica MDM “Tweet Jam” on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010, from noon – 1pm Eastern (9-10 am Pacific, 10-11 am Mountain, and 11-noon Central).
What’s that? You don’t know what a Tweet Jam is? I’m glad you asked (because until recently, I didn’t know either).
“Musicians ‘jam’ by getting together and playing unscripted music, constantly working off each other, around a general theme. A Tweet Jam is the same concept, but using Twitter to have a fast-paced conversation around a particular topic. The idea is that one or more people, who are knowledgeable on a theme, are available to answer questions. Anyone can pose a question and anyone can answer.” (source: George Parapadakis’ “for what it’s worth …” blog)
So what is the Informatica MDM Tweet Jam?
That’s another good question. It’s going to be myself, Dan Power, hanging out on Twitter for one solid hour, answering questions, asking questions, telling jokes (well, maybe not telling jokes), and trying to help people better understand master data management (MDM) and data governance.
But I’m hoping my MDM friends (I keep a Twitter list of them at twitter.com/dan_power/mdm – if you want to be added to this list, send me a Twitter direct message) will join me and liven up the conversation, ask questions of course, but also answer them, add to the conversation, disagree with me on things, get a good debate going, give us all their viewpoint on some MDM topics, in short, make it a lively conversation among a good portion of the whole MDM community.
The official timing of the Informatica Tweet Jam is this Thursday, November 11, 2010, from noon – 1pm Eastern (9-10 am Pacific, 10-11 am Mountain, and 11-noon Central). Of course, no one controls what is posted on Twitter, so if you want to start early and end late, that’s fine. But I’ll be there at least for that time, monitoring and answering questions.
What do I do to follow the Informatica MDM Tweet Jam?
Just sign onto twitter.com and search for the terms #INFATJ #MDM (both need to be there). Anything related to the Jam will have these two hash tags in the message so it will appear in the search. Or you can use a popular Twitter tools like TweetDeck or Seesmiq and monitor the search terms there.
How do I join in?
Also very simple: you can post anything on Twitter – a question to the panel, a response to a previous question, a comment. As long as you remember to add the hash tags #INFATJ #MDM to your message, you are participating in the Tweet Jam. That’s all! No need to register, or sign up, or anything else. Just join right in!
I’ll probably post a transcript of the Tweet Jam on the Hub Designs Blog after we’re done, in case anyone does tell any good jokes.
Looking forward to seeing you on Twitter this Thursday, November 11, 2010, from noon – 1pm Eastern (9-10 am Pacific, 10-11 am Mountain, and 11-noon Central) – don’t forget the #INFATJ #MDM hash tags!
And here’s Ravi Shankar at Informatica’s take on the event.
A specialized professional services firm is looking for several experienced people for the following positions:
- Responsible for configuration of Siperian Hub, BDD and HM
- Develop logical and physical data model
- Develop Siperian design specifications
- Configure Siperian MRM/HM/BDD to meet requirements
If you’re interested, please contact Dan Power at www.hubdesigns.com/contact_us.html, and we’ll forward your message to the appropriate person.
Hub Designs recently hosted a 30 minute webinar on “Best Practices in MDM and Data Governance with Dan Power”, in concert with our friends at eLearning Curve and Information Management magazine.
For the “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic” white paper mentioned in the presentation, go to http://bit.ly/data-governance. Scroll to and click the link at the end of that article.
Thanks for attending the webinar (or the replay). We hope you found it valuable!
How Data Governance Police Can Constrain the Value of Your Multidomain Master Data Management Initiative
(this appeared as a guest post on Informatica’s blog on Friday, April 30 2010)
I published a white paper last year, entitled “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic,” that looked at how reactive data governance was preventing organizations from realizing the full value of master data management (MDM). By “reactive”, I mean organizations using a “coexistence” architecture where front office applications (CRM) and back office applications (ERP) are still used to author master data (customer and product data, suppliers, employees, etc.). Because these applications remain the “Systems of Entry” while the MDM hub’s role is limited to being the “System of Record,” some of the biggest promises of MDM remain unfulfilled.
So, what exactly would proactive data governance look like? Essentially, the proactive model places more emphasis on business users being the owners of the master data. Rather than letting data stewards carry the burden of the central issues of accuracy and completeness, the accountability for these goals shifts towards the business users. Since end users are empowered to enter new master data directly into the hub, their trust in the accuracy and completeness of master data goes up, plus there’s less need for data stewards to act as the “data quality police.” Once users are no longer dependent on the CRM and ERP systems to perform initial entry and updating of master data, the data stewards can focus on managing exceptions and measuring data for quality, availability, security and usefulness. In this less-intrusive role, data stewards don’t present a bottleneck to critical business processes such as order management or invoicing.
By getting the master data right at the source, your initial level of quality for new records is much higher. The proactive style of data governance also effectively eliminates any time lags between the initial entry of a new master record, and its certification and publishing via middleware to the rest of the enterprise. As such, marketing campaigns can be done more quickly, with no upfront data remediation needed prior to launching a campaign. Finance benefits as well, since all of the data elements needed for a new customer are captured at once, and the hub-based process for adding a new customer can include pulling third-party content and calculating a credit limit, then passing that information back to the ERP system. Customer service benefits too, because all information is stored in one hub and made accessible through an efficient, user-friendly front end. Customer service reps are able to access all of the data needed for each customer interaction, as well as being able to author new data when necessary.
When is the right time to transition from reactive to proactive data governance? Some situations call for starting out immediately with the proactive approach, such as when you’ve got multiple CRM systems and ERP systems that would require integration with the hub in order to allow them to continue to operate as Systems of Entry, or when your current source systems are very brittle or hard to maintain or modify. In those cases, bite the bullet and plan from the beginning for proactive data governance.
Want to learn more about the reactive vs. proactive governance? You can download the complete whitepaper “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic” here.
At the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) COLLABORATE 2010 conference this week, I attended a session by Pascal Laik, Oracle’s VP of Master Data Management Strategy.
He started out by talking about several Oracle MDM customers, their success stories and their return on investment, across drivers like growth, efficiency, improved IT agility, and compliance.
Pascal moved on to talk about MDM implementation challenges. Oracle surveys its MDM customers every two years. Measuring actual ROI achieved is the most difficult challenge reported. Next is breaking down organizational silos, and then demonstrating incremental business value.
Five out of the top ten challenges were related to data governance and project/organization. These were big themes two years ago as well. So Oracle worked with an outside partner on the areas of strategy, policies & processes, organization, measurement & monitoring, technology, and communication. They got a group of 10-15 customers together 2-3 times per year, and that group put together a set of requirements for a product that Oracle has now created called Data Governance Manager. This product helps data governance professionals to operate and monitor the hub and to define and enforce policies.
Pascal showed a short video from an Oracle customer, Areva. Their program was called STOCK – Strategic and Operational Customer Knowledge, to ensure the high quality of customer data. They used a five step approach: Collect, Harmonize, Merge, Enrich, and Publish. The benefits included saving employees time, ensuring that internal people can rely on customer and prospect data, and providing the entire enterprise with a clear vision of the customer database.
The second set of challenges related to ROI and business case – measuring actual ROI achieved. Oracle now has a web-based ROI model available through its sales team. Oracle also has a group of people that do a 3-5 week management consulting exercise called “Insight” that delivers a full business case.
The third set of challenges is the first one involving technical issues: #10 and #11 (integration and data quality).
Two years ago, the #1 issue was procuring skilled resources. So Oracle has been working closely with systems integrators, so now this issue is down to #7. Integration with operational applications has gone from #2 to #11.
Lastly, Pascal discussed Oracle solutions, investments and its strategy going forward. Oracle now has Customer Hub, Supplier Hub, Product Hub, and Site Hub. Data Relationship Management, which is a financial hub to manage financial entities such as the chart of accounts and other hierarchies, is also an analytical hub.
Oracle Customer Hub (formerly known as Universal Customer Master) is now on release 8.2, which shipped in January 2010, and includes the new Data Governance Manager module. This is the largest customer release in four years.
Oracle’s MDM strategy has two legs – embedded “best in class”. Oracle has OEM’d the Informatica solution, using the Identity Systems solution (now owned by Informatica) and the Address Doctor solution (also from Informatica) for postal cleansing for 200+ countries. The other leg is “open” – Oracle is providing a “Universal DQ Connector” for selected vendors like Trillium, Acxiom, D&B and Datanomic. (Note: the embedded “best in class” approach is somewhat controversial, since Informatica is now competing directly with Oracle, since it has acquired the Siperian MDM hub).
The end-to-end data quality framework (the Data Quality “Machine”) has a Rules Manager for design, development and validation (IDQ). There is a process (Analyze/Profile, Standardize/Cleanse, Match & De-Duplicate, Enrich) with a Scorecard & Reporting, and an Exception Management Process. The output is to load the MDM system with zero rejects.
Oracle has also acquired Silver Creek Systems, which is focused on product data quality. It is a self-learning semantic engine to handle the complexities of product information.
Pascal talked about some of the newer MDM hubs, Supplier Hub and Site Hub. Site Hub in particular has experienced strong interest from retailers, fast food companies and large enterprises, which are using it to manage stores and locations.
Oracle’s MDM investments are critical for Oracle in terms of its differentiation strategy, and data governance is the number one item from its customer advisory board. Oracle has reached 1,000 MDM customers across all of its various MDM products.
Pascal wrapped up by talking about how competitive the MDM space is and the recent acquisitions in the market. Oracle’s history is in applications. Oracle brings a pre-built, flexible schema with enterprise-grade, verticalized hub applications. Oracle MDM hubs are pre-integrated with both Oracle and non-Oracle applications. And Oracle provides best-in-class data quality and data governance solutions.
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.
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.
What does this mean for the average Fortune 1000 company buying MDM technology? Not as much as you might think.
On the mega-vendor side, they’ve still got Oracle, IBM and SAP to choose from. IBM, obviously, now has three MDM platforms to offer (InfoSphere MDM Server, InfoSphere MDM Server for PIM, and Initiate Systems) where they used to have two. But Oracle has three as well, and will soon have four: Customer Data Hub and Universal Customer Master for customer MDM, PIM Data Hub for product MDM, and Fusion MDM Hub, Release 1 of which is supposed to ship later in 2010. And SAP continues to forge ahead with improved versions of their NetWeaver MDM product. So the recent consolidation doesn’t seem to have affected the mega-vendors that much – “the big get bigger”, you might say.
Outside of the “Big Three”, I continue to think Siperian being acquired by Informatica is a good thing, for Siperian’s customers, for the product roadmap, and for the market as a whole. Informatica brings a lot of expertise in integration and data quality to the table, and its Identity Systems matching engine and Address Doctor data cleansing tools are very good at what they do. It will be interesting to see how Informatica integrates Siperian as a company and as a product into itself, but I have a lot of confidence that they’ll do it well.
All this does pose an interesting issue for Oracle, however. Oracle made a big commitment to Informatica in its Fusion MDM Hub by including Informatica components for matching and cleansing on an OEM basis. But by buying Siperian, Informatica has declared itself a direct competitor in the MDM market. So there’s a lot of speculation as to what Oracle will do about this. In the short term, it may be too late to pull the Informatica components out of Fusion MDM Release 1.0, but longer term, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Informatica components either replaced or deemphasized, perhaps with an open architecture approach allowing other third party identity resolution / matching and address cleansing products to be plugged in, in place of Informatica’s. Although there’s also been a lot of speculation about Oracle buying Informatica.
D&B/Purisma remains an interesting player. Disclosure: prior to starting Hub Designs, I worked for D&B. I saw D&B’s launch of a hosted version of Purisma last fall and was impressed by it. For a lot of situations, Purisma’s product can be a good solution. So even though I wouldn’t call Purisma a full-fledged master data management solution, it’s worth keeping an eye on because it does a great job of integrating internal customer data with D&B’s external reference data. And having it available on a hosted basis can be very helpful.
So the bottom line is, where there used to be six players, now there are five. Of course, the MDM market being as hot as it is, everyone and their brother claims to be an MDM solution, but these are the five products that I pay the most attention to, and that we see the most in the marketplace. What do you think? Please let us know by commenting here.
Editor’s Note: Today’s post was written by Jeff Schaffzin. Jeff is an independent consultant with over 15 years of experience in high tech. He’s worked with a number of leading software vendors in roles such as product marketing, professional services and information technology. Specializing in data management, Jeff has spent the last three years focusing on Customer Data Integration and Master Data Management and has worked with a number of high profile companies in the United States and abroad.
DISCLAIMER: While the facts that I’ve included here are true, I’m speculating on the reasons why they’re taking place. I have no affiliation with any company mentioned here, nor should my opinions be construed as knowledge of their actions.
If you, like me, have followed MDM for the past year or two, you knew that what has been happening recently was going to happen sooner or later. Whether it was due to choice or necessity, MDM has been in the IT press a lot lately. Oracle acquired Silver Creek to enrich its product information management offering. Talend has announced and started to promote its open source MDM application. Data integration provider Informatica acquired Siperian recently in order to enter the MDM space and IBM recently acquired Initiate Systems as well.
Each of these events leads to one key question – how will this impact MDM in the short term and in the future? Given my understanding of the space, I think three scenarios are likely:
It is hard to ignore the movements that IBM and Oracle have been making in the past year or so. In a market economy, the goal is to have as much market share as possible. In order to do this, you either build new products or acquire existing companies that have the technologies that you want.
While each company has done a combination of both building and buying solutions, their strategic plans are hardly a secret. IBM has proposed a vision of an end-to-end data management platform, which includes their MDM offering as well as reporting tools like Cognos and analytics/statistics from SPSS. Now that IBM has acquired Initiate Systems to complement their MDM stack, the question is why. Do they want to be known as a serious player in the health care industry? There could be other reasons too – they may consider MDM just a small piece of their data management toolkit and this could solidify that position, moving MDM from one of the hottest ‘technologies’ out there to just a “means to an end” to increase market share for their software business unit. Regardless of the reason, it means one less major MDM player in the market.
Then we have Oracle. For as long as I can remember, Oracle has been promoting its Fusion strategy. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Fusion is Oracle’s attempt to provide one code base that would pull together the applications it has built and purchased. This momentous undertaking was finally demonstrated at last year’s Oracle Open World (while Oracle continued to acquire other companies such as Silver Creek Systems).
However, like IBM, one can speculate on where MDM fits in this Fusion strategy. Oracle has always promoted its database first and sold its applications second. Even with the numerous special purpose hubs they’ve been developing lately, could this finally be the technology that enables Oracle to transcend from being a database vendor to a true platform player. Only time will tell with this one.
There’s always the possibility that MDM has been considered the “secret sauce” – the so-called missing link – that rounds out the product lines for data integration/migration vendors.
Talend’s acquisition of French software company Amalto provided them a way to enter the MDM space. The open source vendor has been a darling of the analysts for a number of years and even won an award by Gartner, one of the first (if not the first) they offered such a company. However, since I don’t have contacts within Talend, it’s not clear what their next step will be, since they seem to be focusing their energies mostly in MDM after hiring two people to drive that effort within the past 6 months or so.
As the de facto leader in data integration, Informatica needed to extend its reach beyond that space. If you look at their job listings, they are looking for someone to market their CEP (Complex Event Processing) efforts. Relatively recently, they were looking to hire someone who had experience with ERP or MDM, but it is unclear which path they decided to take with that. Regardless, there were always looming rumors of them wanting to add MDM to their portfolio with the press suggesting that they would acquire Initiate Systems. However, instead of buying them, they purchased Siperian – a company half its size in terms of customer base and revenue.
In either of these cases, MDM may not be their flagship product, but at least it shows that it is a viable technology and shows that it is something that won’t be going away any time soon.
People like me who have been in the data management space are always interested in improving something. I believe in the statement, “even if something isn’t broken, there’s always a reason to make it better.” This was clear when Customer Data Integration (CDI) first came about and many companies hopped on that bandwagon, knowing that they wanted a way to track their customers more efficiently.
At the same time, other companies explored Product Information Management (PIM), a way to have a single source of product information which was sourced from PLM, inventory and supply chain systems. Following that was the concept of MDM – a beautiful vision – having a single source of truth that can be used by an entire company.
Now we have a new concept that has been promoted – Multi-domain MDM. Siperian and other companies have began to promote this to show the world that they are truly the most advanced players out there. While this has been going on, there have been rumblings about Enterprise Information Management (EIM). What I’m still not clear on is – what’s the difference between multi-domain MDM and EIM? Are they the same? If not, what are the differences between the two concepts?
In any case, there’s a lot to think about. I don’t know where you stand, but one thing is certain – MDM is not going away, at least for the foreseeable future.
Siperian, one of the last best-of-breed providers of master data management (MDM) technology, is being acquired by Informatica.
The two firms were already working together closely, having an alliance and OEM relationship through Informatica’s acquisitions in 2008 of Identity Systems (for entity resolution and matching) and in 2009 of Address Doctor (for customer address cleansing).
This will strengthen the Siperian product further by bringing Informatica’s technology even more tightly into the Siperian MDM Hub.
At the same time, it eliminates the “company viability” question mark that sometimes gets raised in large IT shops’ minds when evaluating enterprise software vendors. When a Fortune 500 company is evaluating a smaller company, they sometimes wonder how long a company like Siperian can last against companies like IBM, Oracle and SAP. I’ve never been a big fan of that argument, since some of the best software gets created at small and medium-sized companies, but there’s no doubt it’s a obstacle to be overcome with the larger enterprises. Now, it shouldn’t be an issue.
As a Siperian partner, Hub Designs is excited about this acquisition. Based on the information we’ve got at this point, it seems like a good thing for Siperian’s customers, products, shareholders, partners and people. In today’s economic climate, dreams of a big IPO (for any venture-backed technology company) are unlikely, so an acquisition by a well-run larger company is a good outcome.
I know a lot of the people at Siperian personally, and have worked closely with them over the last few years. I hope the people at Informatica realize what a strong team they are getting in this acquisition, and do everything they can to hang onto them all.
I do suggest they stop using the term “MDM Infrastructure” though (which appeared 5 times in Informatica’s press release announcing the acquisition). First, it’s not accurate – MDM projects typically need to be drive by the business to be successful, so they can’t and shouldn’t be thought of as “IT Infrastructure” projects. Secondly, from a marketing perspective, “infrastructure” is about as exciting as mud – it’s hard to get senior management excited about spending money on something with the word “infrastructure” in the name.
As for the acquisition’s impact on the rest of the MDM market, it’s still growing pretty quickly, but the number of players is shrinking. So I think we’ll see it become even more competitive, and with Informatica now becoming a strong player in the MDM hub market, that’s got to cool its relationship with Oracle, who selected Informatica as an OEM component of its Oracle Fusion MDM hub.
IBM is rumored to be acquiring Initiate Systems, which is an interesting play in its own right, especially given the expected growth in spending in the e-healthcare space over the next few years.
And SAP continues to improve its products slowly but steadily, while D&B/Purisma is doing some interesting things with web services access to the D&B central database of information on businesses.
As for the remaining independent MDM vendors, like Orchestra Networks and Kalido, or Product Information Management (PIM) solutions like Stibo and Riversand, they should see this as further validation of the strength of the MDM market. Kalido feels that it’s the only independent MDM provider who can manage every master data domain. That may be true. I plan on learning more about Kalido over the next few months.
So like the Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times”, the beginning of 2010 promises to be interesting for all of us in the MDM business!
If you’d like to continue the discussion on the “Impact of Informatica’s Acquisition of Siperian”, click http://ning.it/aJ1Xj5.