Siperian Solutions Day

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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.

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