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.
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.
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.
As we’re about to enter 2010, it’s a good time to reflect on what happened in 2009 and what it all means.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” So Dickens begins “A Tale of Two Cities”, but it’s also a good description of the past year.
The first half of the year was one of the most challenging I’ve faced in my twenty-three year career in business and technology. The second half of 2009 was better – not without its speed bumps but every month was a little better than the one before it.
The macro-economic climate has been tumultuous at best. But the second half of the year showed enough improvement that Hub Designs’ revenue for the year was up 33%. Not bad for a two and a half year old company during the worst economic conditions in 80 years …
Marketing and Thought Leadership
We launched a new web site in January, and it’s been well received. Total visits to www.hubdesigns.com were up 14% over 2008.
A little later in the year, we updated the “look and feel” of the Hub Designs Blog, branding it as the “world’s fastest growing blog covering master data management and data governance”. We’ve gotten more than 43,000 hits since we started writing in July 2007, and our readership more than doubled in 2009, to about 27,000 hits per year.
We published six issues of our “Best Practices in Master Data Management” newsletter this year. We publish the newsletter about six times a year to roughly 3,300 subscribers.
I wrote six articles for Information Management magazine, including some popular ones on “Product Information Management Challenges”, how to build a business case for master data management, and how to select the right MDM vendor for your organization. I also wrote for Identity Resolution Daily, on “The Growing Role of Identity Resolution in MDM” and “Matching – MDM’s Secret Sauce”.
With our partner Siperian, we wrote a white paper in August called “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic: How Data Governance Police Can Constrain the Value of Your MDM Initiative” that has generated quite a bit of discussion. You can download a copy of it here.
A second white paper, called “Best Practices for Leveraging D&B in Oracle E-Business Suite”, was written in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet. It describes using D&B information to drive better supply chain performance for companies using Oracle E-Business Suite. You can download it here.
I volunteer for the Education Committee of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG). A big part of that effort lies in programming the MDM track for the annual conference. This year, it was in Orlando in May, and I really enjoyed speaking there and seeing people from the Oracle community that I don’t see very often. Here’s a link to my OAUG presentation.
We participated in conference calls with Oracle Development during the year, and ultimately attended the Oracle Fusion “Hands-On Validation & Testing” session for Customer MDM at Oracle headquarters in August. It was a great chance to get some early insights into Oracle’s next major product release and to see the progress Oracle has made in building out its Fusion MDM vision, which is striking in its powerful hub technology and its elegant & productive user interface.
In 2008, we attended the Gartner MDM Summit to decide whether to exhibit there in 2009. We were impressed enough with the conference that we did exhibit in 2009, in October in Los Angeles. We had a positive experience, so we’ll be a Silver level sponsor in April 2010 in Las Vegas. Since we specialize in MDM and data governance, we find the association with Gartner’s MDM event a powerful one.
I didn’t attend Oracle OpenWorld for the past couple of years, but this year I was glad I did. It was like “old home week”, seeing people from Oracle itself and from the broader Oracle community that I’ve met over the past 15 years. David Butler, Senior Director of MDM Marketing at Oracle, posted my presentation on Oracle’s web site, and said “you were our cleanup hitter and you hit a home run with the bases loaded”.
We also did webinars with our partners Siperian and Initiate Systems. The Siperian webinar covered the differences between MDM platforms like Siperian and ERP platforms like SAP from a master data perspective. The Initiate webinar, with Initiate’s CTO Marty Moseley, discussed developing strong MDM business case, deploying core MDM technologies and lessons learned on the “build vs. buy” question.
After experimenting with social networking in 2008, this year we had a coordinated strategy to use the Hub Designs Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate & collaborate with our clients, potential clients, team members, partners, suppliers, etc.
It’s a pretty simple strategy. Short updates (140 characters or less) go out on Twitter, and are re-published on both LinkedIn and Facebook. Longer updates (i.e. blog articles) are published on the Hub Designs Blog. We encourage responses and feedback using @replies on Twitter and comments on LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as longer-form comments on the blog. And we get them – almost every blog article gets at least one comment, sometimes as many as a dozen.
When a new blog article comes out, we notify everyone via a single update on Twitter. What’s amazing is that during 2009, social networking now drives about 15% of the Hub Designs Blog’s total traffic. And one of our clients gave us some good feedback that our social networking activities help her stay current on what we’re up to, and help her feel connected to us as a company.
Another social networking experiment that developed further in 2009 was the MDM Community. We started this using Ning (a “social network in a box”) in November 2008, out of frustration with LinkedIn’s “Group” functionality. It now has more than 210 members, from 23 different countries. It’s still a work in progress, but if you’re interested in master data management or data governance, you should check it out at http://mdmcommunity.ning.com. It’s becoming an international “who’s who” of the MDM world.
Summary of Client Projects
In case you think the Hub Designs team has been doing nothing but marketing, writing white papers and magazine articles, speaking at conferences, and volunteering for user groups, here’s a summary of our 2009 client projects:
- Technology provider for vehicle dealers: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with D&B data
- Payroll services company: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite with external credit information
- Information services company: technical support for customers using Oracle E-Business Suite
- Legal information services company: readiness assessment and product MDM strategy & design
- Simulation and engineering software company: advisor to data governance board
- Manufacturer of oil and gas equipment: integration of Oracle E-Business Suite R12 with D&B
- Software company: built connector between Oracle AR and D&B’s DNBi risk management solution
- Technology company: customer MDM strategy workshop
Out With The Old, In With The New
This past year has been a lot of fun, but it has also been somewhat exhausting. So I’m looking forward to a bit more deliberate pace in 2010.
We’re very excited about the coming year at Hub Designs. We’ve got some great projects underway and in the pipeline, and we’ll be continuing to grow and expand to meet our clients’ needs and market demands.
In closing, I’d like to say how grateful I am to my family, for their patience with my traveling so much and for their unconditional love.
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.
Last week, I attended Siperian’s Solutions Day event in Princeton, NJ. I’ve been to several Siperian events in the past and always found them to be well done, with interesting and educational sessions. Nancy Ellickson and the Siperian team did a great job, and about 125 people attended.
After a brief “MacGyver” video, Ramon Chen (Siperian’s VP of Product Marketing) kicked things off, welcoming everyone and introducing the first speaker.
I saw the presentation by Charles Bloodworth, Director of IT at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, when J&JHCS won the first “MDM Excellence” award at the Gartner MDM Summit. This time, he had more time and was able to tell a more complete version of their story. I liked his emphasis on “master data as the foundation of what we do”.
They funded their MDM effort by reallocating money from 3-4 different IT projects which would have all involved master data on customers, affiliations, products, list prices and sales force alignment. I’ve seen this approach to building a business case work several times – rather than duplicating all that effort, do it once and share the results, and you can usually do it for less.
J&JHCS has been weaving consistent master data into their major reengineering programs for about four years now. Information flows from the MDM system into their ERP and manufacturing applications, and from there into a data consolidation and business intelligence delivery capability, and this has driven a huge amount of value for them.
That session was followed by a demonstration of Siperian’s Business Data Director™, a new data governance user interface. I was impressed by its built-in workflow for data stewards, the slick view of data lineage, and its flexible hierarchy management.
Dan Goldsmith, a partner at IBM Life Sciences, did a session on IBM’s new managed service offering for Siperian MDM. It was revealing that IBM chose Siperian as the heart of its managed services offering, rather than its own MDM product. I spoke to Dan after his session, and he agreed to do an interview with me in a future article on the Hub Designs Blog.
Lynn Weishaupt, the MDM Technical Team Lead for Weyerhaeuser, talked about their use of Siperian in their SAP manufacturing environment. Having done a number of ERP implementations at manufacturing companies prior to the development of separate MDM systems, I found her session very interesting.
Siperian’s founder and CTO, Ken Hoang, gave an overview of the next generation of the company’s products, including an intriguing look at the Semantic Master, also referred to as Master Content Management. It was an interesting view into the way Siperian listens to its customers.
Morgan Norris, the Bioscience Division Market Manager for Millipore, talked about customer data management and their vendor selection process. He laid out some useful “lessons learned”: find or hire a technical team with experience in MDM and an experienced manager for data governance, start data governance 4-5 months before capturing your requirements, be flexible and keep it simple, follow a phased development approach, and communicate constantly with your stakeholders. Most importantly, make sure you’re solving a business problem, not just building infrastructure.
The highlight of the day for me was being invited to be part of the “Ask the Experts” panel discussion. I really enjoyed answering questions with Lynn Weishaupt from Weyerhaeuser, Morgan Norris from Millipore, and Manish Sood and Ken Hoang from Siperian.
We had a very successful webinar on Feb. 5th with Siperian, on the “Top 5 Reasons Not To Master Your Data in SAP ERP”.
A lot of organizations use SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for their transaction processing, but struggle to manage their non-transactional (or master) data on customers, products, suppliers, etc.
These types of data typically require a separate Master Data Management (MDM) system – to streamline business processes, reduce costs, and increase revenue by creating a single view of the customer, product, or supplier.
To view the replay, please click here.
She pointed out that Andrew White of Gartner thought the webinar raises some good questions in his recent blog article.
Andrew White said “ERP might be a good place to master data. The real question for the user is this: where is the right source of master data for you?”
Andrew is on the right track. In the webinar, we’ll outline the differences between SAP ERP and Siperian MDM, and when it makes sense to have a separate MDM hub.
I think companies should evaluate whether their ERP system is helping them solve business problems involving master data – or causing them.
To register for the webinar, please click here.
Siperian, an innovative provider of Master Data Management (MDM) solutions, is teaming up with Dan Power from Hub Solution Designs on a webinar titled “Top Five Reasons Not To Master Your Data in SAP ERP”.
A lot of organizations use SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for their transaction processing, but struggle to manage their non-transactional (or master) data, including customer, product, and supplier information. These types of data require a separate Master Data Management (MDM) system – to streamline business processes, reduce costs, and increase revenue by creating a single view of the customer, product, or supplier.
Dan Power will discuss the following topics during this 45-minute webinar:
- Why SAP ERP is not the right place to master data
- Why a separate MDM system is required for streamlining business operations
- How MDM and SAP ERP coexist
- The technical attributes, strengths and weaknesses of SAP and Siperian MDM products
- The requirements of an effective MDM system and best practices for implementation
This free webinar will be held on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM Pacific (y:00 PM Eastern), and will include a live question & answer session.
To register, please visit http://forms.siperian.com/content/5Reasons-SAP.
The Fall 2008 MDM Summit conference ended a couple of days ago. Here’s a quick trip report summarizing it.
I’ve attended the last six MDM Summit events in the U.S. and have spoken at five of them. I always enjoy them, because of the great job that SourceMedia and The MDM Institute do, because I enjoy seeing everyone I’ve come to know in the MDM world, and because of the new people I meet and the new ideas I pick up.
This year, I arrived via the Acela Express train from Boston, went straight to the Hilton New York, and attended Evan Levy’s pre-conference workshop on “Best Practices for MDM Delivery: Lessons from the Trenches”.
Most people who attended one of the pre-conference workshop came to the Experts and Analysts Panel, with Jill Dyché, Aaron Zornes and myself, moderated by Jim Ericson, Editorial Director of DM Review. The panel was a lot of fun. I’ve known Aaron for several years and continue to appreciate the quality and depth of his analysis. Jill’s insights were right on the money as usual, and Jim did a great job moderating and guiding the discussion.
After the opening night reception in the exhibit hall, I ran into a friend and fellow consultant, Mani Kumar Manda from Rhapsody Technologies. We went to dinner with Christopher Dwight, Director MDM Field Strategy from Oracle’s Master Data Management team. We had a great time, and talked about Oracle’s Hyperion Data Relationship Management solution and the upcoming Oracle Applications Users Group COLLABORATE 09 conference. Mani and I are involved in planning the MDM track of that conference.
The next morning, I attended Aaron Zornes’ keynote “Milestones on the MDM Road for 2008-2009″, which I particularly like as a way to stay current on developments in MDM over the past six months.
Tony Fisher from DataFlux gave a great talk on “Stop Kicking the Tires and Start Your Master Data Engine”. I first met Tony at the Fall 2006 event, and I chatted briefly with him afterwards about Hub Solution Designs’ interest in becoming a DataFlux partner.
Next was Pascal Laik, VP of MDM Product Strategy at Oracle. I’ve known Pascal for several years, since he took over for Ronda Krier in that position. Pascal laid out Oracle’s strengths in the manufacturing, telecommunications, retail and financial services industries, and included an interesting but apocryphal story about the “Battle of Ulm”, where the Russian army showed up 12 days late for the battle due to the difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.
Bence Gazdag also spoke about Oracle’s internal MDM efforts, and I later bumped into my friend Bill Miller, Oracle’s Director & Global Solution Owner for Data Quality Management, who was supposed to deliver that part of the presentation.
The last keynote before lunch was by Chris Lucas from D&B and Kim Fahey, Senior Director of Information Architecture at R.R. Donnelley. Kim did a great job describing Donnelley’s MDM journey and the growing value they’ve gotten from their implementation of Purisma.
I had a quick lunch, then headed off to a session on “Best Practices in DG, DQ & Identity Resolution” by Alex Bentley from Initiate Systems and Scott Drummond from Grange Insurance. This one I really enjoyed – down-to-earth delivery by Scott, and lots of good “lessons learned”.
I spent a fair amount of time Monday in the exhibit hall, talking to the different vendors, gathering more information, and seeing old friends working for various companies. I went to the end-of-day reception again, then headed out to a great dinner at the Blue Water Grill with Initiate Systems.
In the afternoon, I caught the “Global B2B Hierarchy Management in the High-Tech Industry” session by Jesse Weissman from EMC. Jesse did a great job describing the challenges and corresponding benefits of managing complex corporate hierarchies in EMC’s MDM environment.
The last session I caught was Eric Hansen from Nationwide Insurance, talking about “Data Governance and MDM – The Nationwide Experience”. This one was very well done too, with lots of good insights into the process of developing a vision for data governance in a large-scale Financial MDM project.
Aaron Zornes would want me to remind you about the virtual MDM Summit, which starts on Nov. 11th.
I don’t know the dates yet for next spring’s MDM Summit, but it’s usually in San Francisco and it’s one of my favorite events of the year.
If I met you, spoke to you, had lunch or dinner with you, or learned new things from you – thank you for making the Fall 2008 MDM Summit such a great experience!
Many companies are still deploying Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), with proprietary adapters and integration servers. However, for a Master Data Management (MDM) solution, we recommend a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach for integration between the hub and source systems using web services.
A typical web server provides Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), so Web browsers can receive pages from a web site.
Application servers provide the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interface and host the web services. The web services also provide object components, which provide the business service layer above the applications.
The development time for SOA-based MDM integration will depend on the number of business entities to be exchanged, the availability of a vendor-supplied Software Development Kit for the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), the complexity of the applications to be integrated and the number of Web services to ultimately be deployed.
Some guidelines for developing an SOA integration for an MDM hub are:
- Use XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for all data exchange (XML is a language that provides a standard way of representing data and information).
- Use UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) for listing and locating applications. UDDI is a directory standard that is provided by some application tools as a built-in service to use during integration.
- The WSDL (Web Services Description Language) file should be obtained from the source system to which data needs to be sent or retrieved. WSDL is a “descriptor standard” that an application uses to describe its interface and interaction rules to other applications. WSDL is a document written in XML which describes a Web service. It specifies the location of the service and the operations (or methods) the service provides.
- WSDL should be leveraged with the help of proprietary tools provided for each application to generate the XML message required to meet that data structure.
Currently, some of the Master Data Management platforms (such as Siperian, Initiate Systems, Oracle and IBM) provide excellent SOA libraries of web services.
With some work by the end customer, these products can provide a standard set of data services at the application level. We believe this approach ultimately will give you more flexibility and adaptability than EAI-based integration.
In this article, we’ll give some perspective on the current state of the Master Data Management (MDM) market.
Well-meaning skeptics have raised doubts about whether MDM initiatives have long-term viability, sufficient ROI or in fact, are just another system. This skepticism is, of course, understandable.
Every major new type of enterprise technology, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) goes through an adoption cycle, with early enthusiasm leading to the “Trough of Disillusionment” and eventually, the “Plateau of Productivity”. For more information, see Gartner’s definition of Hype Cycles.
And if you look at the history of MDM solutions over the past few years, the space was very fragmented, initially populated mainly by data quality and matching vendors.
But more recently, some innovations have come together in the MDM space so that it’s starting to offer real value to mainstream companies, not just early adopters.
There have been several innovations on the IT architecture front, such as Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), plus new analytics capabilities, improved tools to facilitate data stewardship and more mature MDM hub platforms. All this adds up to a fast-changing landscape.
To add to the momentum, the top enterprise software players (like Oracle, IBM and SAP) have jumped feet first onto the MDM bandwagon, joining the best-of-breed players (like Purisma, Siperian and Initiate Systems) who helped launch the space, giving rise to a whole new ecosystem of system integrators, data service providers and an increasing trend toward global solutions beyond North America.
This growing ecosystem is driving significant growth for the MDM industry as a whole. There are exciting frontiers ahead.
For example, we’re already seeing some business process outsourcing relating to the creation and maintenance of an organization’s master data to an external provider.
At Hub Solution Designs, we’re excited to be part of the MDM wave of adoption from the very beginning. We see more growth, better solutions, and more organizations succeeding with MDM every day.
Please use the Comment button to let us know what you think about the trend towards outsourced data stewardship.
At Hub Solution Designs, our MDM partnership strategy is pretty straightforward.
We are a management & technology consulting firm focused exclusively on Master Data Management and Data Governance. Our strategy is to partner with all of the leading MDM vendors, because there is no “one-size fits all” solution and businesses need options here. So our strategy is to provide unbiased solutions that best meet the needs of our clients.
Partnering with all of the MDM vendors is an ambitious strategy, but as Teddy Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing”.
And pragmatically speaking, as trusted advisors who bring a tested methodology and sound best practices to bear on every MDM engagement, we think the question of which consulting firm or systems integrator you select is, if anything, more important than which MDM hub platform you select.
So here’s where we stand today with the three MDM “mega-vendors” (Oracle, IBM and SAP) and the three smaller MDM vendors (Siperian, Initiate Systems and Purisma/D&B).
Oracle: We joined the Oracle Partner Network as a worldwide partner in November 2007. Several of our team members have extensive experience with Oracle’s growing portfolio of MDM solutions, and have driven successful implementations of them at financial services institutions, software companies, and high tech firms. We have good relationships with Oracle’s MDM product strategy team and with Oracle sales teams around the country. We’re also involved in the independent Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and, as part of its Education Committee, helped plan the MDM track of OAUG’s upcoming COLLABORATE 08 conference.
IBM: We joined IBM’s PartnerWorld program in September 2007, based on knowing several people from DWL (acquired by IBM in 2005) and other parts of IBM. We think that IBM is going to do very well with companies in their “sweet spot” (certain industries like financial services and companies that are historically heavy users of IBM hardware or software). So we’ll keep looking for opportunities to grow our client relationships, our team and our expertise in the area of IBM’s MDM solutions.
SAP: another slow starter, with an MDM solution that was originally very centered around the “Product” domain. But SAP’s NetWeaver MDM solution continues to evolve and develop. And SAP also has a strong “sweet spot” of companies (global manufacturers, consumer packaged goods companies and European-headquartered firms), and a large installed base of SAP applications users who are pretty loyal when it comes to considering an MDM solution from SAP. We’re just about to join the SAP partner program at the Associate Partner level to start, and have just brought on a new team member with significant experience in Master Data Management and SAP.
We also continue to be impressed by the smaller MDM software vendors. We think we’re still in the early stages of MDM market development and there’s still room for a “best of breed” MDM strategy at this point.
The Siperian MDM Hub is a robust product, and is able to identify and manage relationships among multiple types of enterprise data, such as customers, products or accounts, across multiple applications and lines of business. The company has done very well in the financial services and pharmaceutical & life sciences industries. Siperian had a more than 300% growth rate from 2006 to 2007, and just received a $25 million round of financing in January, to support additional expansion in Europe and further development of its channels and products. The Siperian customers we’ve talked to really like the product, and the Siperian people we work with are top notch. We’ve been an approved Siperian partner since October 2007, and are planning to attend the Siperian user group and partner summit in San Francisco in early April.
Initiate Systems filed with the SEC to go public in November 2007. The company was founded in 1995 and has more than 140 customers in production, in industries such as health care, financial services, public sector, retail and technology, with marquee customers such as Microsoft, Intuit, Capital One, Countrywide, Wells Fargo, Humana, Hyatt Hotels, Barnes & Noble, CVS, and SuperValu. We signed a partnership agreement with Initiate in December 2007, after talking with some Initiate people and customers at the Fall 2007 MDM Summit conference in New York. The company’s technology has some very interesting capabilities, and we’re impressed with what we’ve seen to date of the product, the company and its people.
Purisma (a D&B company): Prior to starting Hub Solution Designs in mid-2007, I worked for Dun & Bradstreet for three years in its Global Alliance team, managing D&B’s strategic alliance with Oracle. I was part of various CDI and MDM related teams and initiatives within D&B, and was one of the few people from D&B to attend the first public CDI-MDM Summit conference in Spring 2006. After being an internal MDM evangelist at D&B for several years, I was pleased to see the company acquire Purisma in November 2007. The acquisition was a good strategic fit for both companies, allowing D&B to become more of a player in the Customer Data Integration (CDI) and MDM marketplace, and giving Purisma the chance to extend its market reach. We’re not formal partners with D&B/Purisma yet, but we’re working on it, and in the meantime, our network of informal relationships within both companies continues to grow.
After establishing and growing our relationships with all of these companies, we’re listening carefully to what our clients and the market as a whole are telling us about their relative strengths & weaknesses, who has the best product for which situation in which industries, and who’s growing their market share over time. We think there will be some additional consolidation in MDM, as in every other part of the enterprise software market, and we hope to continue as thought leaders by being able to look “around the corner” at what’s coming two to five years down the road.
We’ve got our eye on other large enterprise software players, like Microsoft, salesforce.com and Google, that are not yet really playing in the MDM space in an organized way.
Our formal & informal relationships with Oracle, IBM, SAP, Siperian, Initiate Systems and Purisma/D&B will continue to develop and grow. Our clients benefit from our solid methodology, approaches and best practices, plus the processes, procedures and data governance that we help you wrap around these MDM products, regardless of which vendor you select. Please review our service offerings for Educational Workshops, Readiness Assessment, Software Selection, and Business Case Creation to get an idea of how we help clients map out and execute a winning MDM strategy.
The vendors bring great technology and we bring great people with broad domain expertise.