In a recent article, we covered the importance of data integration to Master Data Management (MDM).
This article elaborates on that in the context of today’s software market, and talks about how the visionary data integration vendors are scrambling to acquire and offer data quality as part of their integration suites.
Historically, data quality initiatives have been rolled out only on a project-by-project basis, while integration initiatives have been point-to-point application integration projects.
But more recently, as MDM programs have started gaining momentum, there is a need being felt in the marketplace for a single platform that can integrate data from multiple sources across the enterprise (web, data warehouse, ERP, CRM, legacy systems and systems from acquired companies) as well as run sophisticated data quality processes on these sources.
This requirement allows for a single administration console and metadata repository, as well as common transformations, user interface and a unified developer workbench, all on a single, combined integration and data quality platform.
This vision is consistent with moving towards a Service-Oriented Architecture as well, and is very conducive to providing a single environment for “data as a service” that is trusted and consistent across sources.
The customer tends to love it, since an integrated platform like this generally implies lower Total Cost of Ownership and smaller IT costs than standalone integration and data quality investments, and more rapid software development cycles.
The MDM vendor, if not providing such a platform itself, loves it since it can focus on what it does best, i.e. matching, merging and building data hierarchy.
Recognizing the above need, California-based Informatica Corporation acquired identity resolution vendor Identity Systems, while Massachusetts-based Trillium Software acquired address cleansing vendor Global Address. These are just two examples of recent data integration and data quality market convergence.
And the acquisition of Group 1 Software by Pitney Bowes provides more evidence of this shift. In the process, niche data quality players are finding it more difficult to compete in such a dynamic marketplace.
If you’re considering acquiring a data quality tool for a corporate initiative, consider the above dynamics. And we’d love to hear your thoughts via comments on this article.