“All NDAs are lifted” were the magic words uttered by Steve Miranda from Oracle at the Fusion Inner Circle Event at Oracle OpenWorld on October 15th.
Just to make sure, I asked Steve explicitly during the Q&A section of the program if it was okay under the non-disclosure agreement we had all signed to write about Fusion on my blog, and he said “Yes.”
Hub Designs was invited back in February to help Oracle’s Fusion MDM team with some design review, validation, and testing activities. In return for our assistance, we’ve gotten to see Fusion MDM inside and out, and we can proudly say that we are one of the very few trusted partners who helped Oracle to design and develop the application.
We participated in a lot of conference calls with Haidong Song, Oracle’s Product Strategy Director for Customer MDM, and other members of his team. And we attended a week-long “hands-on validation” event at Oracle headquarters in August, looking specifically at the customer data management aspects of the Fusion MDM hub.
My first impressions of Fusion MDM during that hands-on session were very favorable. I remember thinking to myself, “Oracle could almost start selling this into the MDM hub market right now!”
Of course, Fusion isn’t scheduled to ship until sometime in 2010, and there’s still plenty of work to be done between now and then. But the core functionality needed for master data management was there, and the Oracle Fusion MDM team had a room full of customers and partners banging on it for a week without any significant crashes or issues.
There was plenty to like in Fusion that didn’t relate specifically to master data management – the new and improved user interface, the embedded analytics, the modern, standards-based architecture, the usability research that Oracle has done, the improved business processes, the built-in collaboration capabilities …
But the fundamentals of MDM were strong as well. Haidong and his team demonstrated how to import and consolidate customer data from outside sources, and we did our first hands-on lab session bringing in a small customer data load from a desktop file, such as a list of trade show leads.
We also tested a larger volume of customer data being brought into Fusion MDM through the Bulk Import process.
We did another exercise simulating how a typical customer data steward would identify potential duplicate customers, and then resolve those duplicates by merging the duplicate parties.
We also got a good look at the Informatica components that Oracle is bundling into Fusion on an OEM basis: the former Identity Systems matching engine and the former Address Doctor address cleansing tool. Previous Oracle MDM products like Customer Data Hub have had loose integration with Trillium and Firstlogic for address cleansing, but it’s refreshing to see Oracle investing in deep integration with industry leading solutions.
I think there are going to be a lot of Oracle customers who will move to Fusion MDM as the first wave of their overall migration to Fusion, who will see Fusion MDM as a good way to get some early experience with the Fusion applications family, before committing their mission critical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications to the Fusion platform.
And in 2010 and beyond, I think will be a lot of potential customers who evaluate Fusion MDM positively on its own merits against competitive MDM hubs. Oracle brings a robust data model, open architecture, and a next-generation approach to master data management, with state-of-the-art matching, data quality, middleware, and business process management.
Please let me know by commenting here what your thoughts and expectations are for Oracle’s Fusion MDM hub.