Our First Six Months

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Hub Solution Designs, Inc. was incorporated in September 2007. At this point in our history, I thought I’d spend a few minutes reflecting on what we’ve done so far and where we’re headed.

Clients: we’ve been lucky to get off to a strong start here and have formed some great relationships. We take confidentiality seriously, but you can get a sense for the relationships in our article A Good Client Site Visit. One client said they’ve “made huge strides toward our MDM vision, and you’ve helped us work through the areas that were broken”.

Team: another area where we’ve been very fortunate. We have a strong group of experienced MDM practitioners: Tim O’Sullivan, Gaurav Arora, Eric Gustafson, and Maureen Butler. I believe that with a great team, anything is possible – and we’re very lucky to have assembled this team in the first six months or so.

Partners: from the beginning, our vision has been to partner with all of the MDM hub software vendors. Our strongest relationships on Day 1 were with Oracle and D&B/Purisma (due to my three years working at D&B, managing its alliance with Oracle). But we’ve developed great working relationships with both Siperian and Initiate Systems as well (for example, Tim O’Sullivan just attended a week-long training class on Siperian). We’ve been very impressed with the caliber and professionalism of both Siperian’s and Initiate’s people. And we’re working hard to further develop our IBM and SAP partnerships as well.

Marketing: We’ve been getting the word out on Hub Solution Designs over the last three months. In February, we launched a completely redesigned web site, and this month has been our best month ever on our corporate blog. We’ve had 4,850+ hits to date, with 1,000+ hits so far in March ’08.

We started publishing a monthly newsletter in February, and currently have almost 2,500 subscribers. If you’d like to subscribe, just visit this page and enter your e-mail address.

DM Review magazine has also been very supportive. My article on “The Politics of Master Data Management & Data Governance” was published as the cover story in the March ’07 issue. Tim O’Sullivan has an article that will be published as the cornerstone of an MDM supplement that will be mailed with their June issue. And I’ll be doing a monthly column for DM Review’s Online Edition starting in May.

Speaking engagements: We’re speaking at the Spring 2008 MDM Summit in San Francisco next week, and in the MDM track of the Oracle Applications Users Group COLLABORATE 08 conference in Denver in mid-April.

The MDM Summit session, which will be presented jointly by myself and our client, Shirlee Collins from ADP Dealer Services, is entitled “Real World Data Governance” (Tuesday, April 1st, 4:00-4:30 pm PDT). We’ll talk about establishing a data governance organization, improving underlying customer data quality, and creating a robust process to enrich customer data in Oracle Customer Hub with D&B information. The ADP Dealer Services story reflects a pragmatic approach, aligning Sales Operations and Finance, and balancing each group’s needs and priorities in managing customer master information.

I’m also speaking at COLLABORATE 08 in Denver, CO, which is the annual conference of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), and which will have a Master Data Management track for the first time. The session, “Best Practices in MDM and Data Governance” (Tuesday, April 15th, 9:45-10:45 am MDT) will present some useful best practices, and will also cover what works and what doesn’t, the importance of a holistic approach, how to get the political aspects right, and how to address more than just the technology elements.

So at this point in our firm’s development, I couldn’t be more excited about the overall MDM market, about our great clients and team members, and the future potential we’ve got for the remainder of this year and beyond.  We’re building a great company from the ground up, working hard for our clients, and having a lot of fun in the process.

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