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.
Orchestra Networks is launching EBX5, the new version of its flagship product, today (Feb. 8, 2011).
This is a big release for Orchestra Networks – the culmination of 18 months of development, and it will define their market strategy for the coming year.
The company made a lot of progress in 2010. It landed ten new customers, including six in the Global 500, and announced partnerships with a number of global and regional systems integrators. A big accomplishment, which we covered here, was being positioned on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for MDM of Product Data. This is quite an achievement, because Gartner’s criteria for inclusion on the Magic Quadrant are quite strict. Orchestra Networks also hired a sales team and established a direct presence in the US and Canada, which helped the company be more accessible to its North American customers. The company also sponsored a white paper titled A Real Multidomain MDM Solution or a Wannabe? by Hub Designs that was published in September.
Orchestra’s 2011 strategy includes increasing its US market presence, growing its Sales and Professional Services teams, a Platinum sponsorship at the Gartner MDM Summit 2011, the launch of EBX5 (a major new release), and new functional solutions for business users.
One thing I found very interesting is that Orchestra Networks has surveyed its customers and found that 80% of them are using EBX for multidomain MDM. Orchestra has also got a solid start on growing its North American presence, with customers like the National Bank of Canada, NetSpend, and Schlumberger, and with more than 30 customers total from a dozen industries worldwide.
One thing I’ve liked about Orchestra Networks since we started to work with them in June 2010 is the company isn’t afraid to take a different approach from other MDM vendors. They call it “MDM Redefined”, and they contrast their product versus the other vendors as allowing full business user ownership of MDM; true multidomain MDM (as opposed to former Product Information Management and Customer Data Integration products, which are too rigid and specific for multiple domains); and providing all MDM features in one product, as opposed to including up to 5 products that need to be integrated. Having talked to some of their customers in depth, I’d say they come pretty close to these goals.
Their product is a 100% web-based solution, which aims to deliver a user-centered experience. A very important part of Orchestra Networks’ design philosophy is that their product is a model-driven solution, which means that the implementing team can build true multidomain MDM hubs. Orchestra likes to call the result: “What You Model is What You Get”, which illustrates the importance of data modeling on both the business and technical sides of your team.
Orchestra Networks aims to provide “Enterprise MDM in One Product”, with all of the following features under a single umbrella, to allow customers to gain complete control of the master data life cycle:
- Master Data Modeling: semantic modeling with an intuitive web experience, complex data types, relationships and hierarchies, advanced inheritance and calculated values, and a multi-language dictionary
- Master Data Quality: validation rules enforced at the point of entry (a personal crusade of mine), a business rules editor, a validation engine with reporting capability, and advanced data quality with stewardship workflows and survivorship. No third party data quality tools required.
- Master Data Authoring: a dynamic user interface, sophisticated hierarchy management, advanced views and data maintenance features, an inheritance engine.
- Master Data Governance: fine-grained role-based security, built-in collaborative workflow, easy workflow configuration
- Master Data Timeline: control past, present and future versions of data at the same time, “What If?” impact analysis, “As Of?” record-level history, “Who did What?” real-time monitoring,
- Master Data Lineage: source/target systems mapping, cross-referencing, impact analysis, auditing
- Master Data Integration: Data Staging, real-time and bulk data services, ready for variety of middleware platforms, optional EBX5 data integration services (3rd party tool – not yet announced), IT landscape integration
- Master Data Scalability: vertical scalability (HX for very large data sets, up to 100 million records, deploys to standard RDBMS), and horizontal scalability (Distributed Data Delivery or D3 for clustering for MDM in SOA and geographical federation)
Orchestra Networks has also developed “functional solutions” for the following three use cases, with Global 500 references in each domain, a developing go-to-market partner ecosystem and best practices and data model templates:
- MDM for Finance & Accounting
- MDM for Human Resources
- MDM for Sales & Marketing
I think this is a great move, because many of the elements of a good MDM solution can be replicated from one company to another, and it’s the intended use that drives the solution design.
In the “MDM for Finance & Accounting” use case, the key master data are things like GL accounts, cost centers, organizational hierarchies, and assets. The business drivers include mergers & acquisitions, global vs. local finance, corporate standards & government regulations, and ease of sharing information with other corporate functions and departments. The main features of EBX5 are hierarchy management, version control, built-in workflow, role-based security, auditing, and data lineage.
In the “MDM for HR” use case, the key master data are items like the employee master, organizational structures, and HR reference data and widely used codes. The business drivers include the need to offer new HR services, M&A, HR outsourcing, adapting to local markets & regulations, better business intelligence, and the need to sharing information across the enterprise. The main features of EBX5 are hierarchy management, version control, built-in workflow, role-based security, auditing, and lineage.
In the “MDM for Sales & Marketing” use case, the key master data are items like the products & services master, territories, the party master, and locations. The business drivers include reducing time-to-market, improving BI, multi-channel commerce, global MDM (not just PIM), and sharing with other departments. The main features of EBX5 are data & rules modeling, hierarchy management with inheritance, change management & approvals, and version control.
I saw a demo of EBX5 that was significantly more user friendly than the previous version, while allowing more on-the-fly changes to the underlying data model (provided you have the right security privileges, of course). Orchestra Networks showed how their product can manage complex hierarchies, such as 30,000 cost centers in a geographic hierarchy, and easily move nodes between parents.
The workflow-based master data authoring capability was very compelling, allowing a data governance team to set up exactly how a new customer, product, employee, etc. should be entered into the MDM hub, with data quality and other business rules built into the workflow. From a data governance perspective, even the most complex corporations should be able to model their “real world” operations and design their master data Create/Read/Update/Delete (CRUD) processes using EBX5.
Hub Designs has been working with and following Orchestra Networks for almost a year now, and we’ve been impressed with the integrity and commitment to quality that Orchestra has. The new version of their flagship product, EBX5, reflects that focus, and promises to be even more powerful and flexible than the previous release.
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.
I’ve written a new white paper which is now available on the Orchestra Networks web site.
Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives are challenging at best but selecting the wrong MDM technology is a difficult mistake from which to recover and can make it impossible to achieve the expected return on investment from your MDM program.
This new white paper outlines the eight aspects to consider when evaluating MDM technology with data governance capabilities. The paper was written to help guide organizations as they do their due diligence when evaluating MDM software.
It describes the importance of a flexible, model-driven approach and of proactive data governance in delivering true multidomain master data management (MDM). The model-driven approach allows all domains of data to be incorporated into the MDM hub’s data model on an equal basis. And the proactive data governance model 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.
I’ve always felt that MDM programs should start with the business need, pain or problem, and that the business should own the initiative.
If you are considering launching an MDM initiative, I recommend you start by creating a roadmap that captures where you are now, where you want to go, how you want to get there, and over what period of time. In addition, make sure you develop a compelling business case. This will greatly increase your odds for success. Most importantly, don’t skip conducting a thorough software evaluation for your MDM and data governance platform. Completing the business case and software evaluation steps will deliver dividends throughout your MDM program.
To download a complimentary copy of the white paper, please visit http://bit.ly/on_whitepaper.
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.