Trip Report on Fall 2008 MDM Summit

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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. 

Tuesday was a bit of a blur. I had a couple of meetings in the morning, then went to lunch with Siperian at a great Venetian restaurant named Remi near the Hilton. 

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!

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