And Then There Were Five

The landscape of the MDM hub vendors has shifted quite a bit in the last month. Siperian has been acquired by Informatica, and Initiate Systems has been acquired by IBM.

What does this mean for the average Fortune 1000 company buying MDM technology? Not as much as you might think.

On the mega-vendor side, they’ve still got Oracle, IBM and SAP to choose from.  IBM, obviously, now has three MDM platforms to offer (InfoSphere MDM Server, InfoSphere MDM Server for PIM, and Initiate Systems) where they used to have two. But Oracle has three as well, and will soon have four: Customer Data Hub and Universal Customer Master for customer MDM, PIM Data Hub for product MDM, and Fusion MDM Hub, Release 1 of which is supposed to ship later in 2010.  And SAP continues to forge ahead with improved versions of their NetWeaver MDM product. So the recent consolidation doesn’t seem to have affected the mega-vendors that much – “the big get bigger”, you might say.

Outside of the “Big Three”, I continue to think Siperian being acquired by Informatica is a good thing, for Siperian’s customers, for the product roadmap, and for the market as a whole. Informatica brings a lot of expertise in integration and data quality to the table, and its Identity Systems matching engine and Address Doctor data cleansing tools are very good at what they do. It will be interesting to see how Informatica integrates Siperian as a company and as a product into itself, but I have a lot of confidence that they’ll do it well.

All this does pose an interesting issue for Oracle, however. Oracle made a big commitment to Informatica in its Fusion MDM Hub by including Informatica components for matching and cleansing on an OEM basis. But by buying Siperian, Informatica has declared itself a direct competitor in the MDM market. So there’s a lot of speculation as to what Oracle will do about this. In the short term, it may be too late to pull the Informatica components out of Fusion MDM Release 1.0, but longer term, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Informatica components either replaced or deemphasized, perhaps with an open architecture approach allowing other third party identity resolution / matching and address cleansing products to be plugged in, in place of Informatica’s. Although there’s also been a lot of speculation about Oracle buying Informatica.

D&B/Purisma remains an interesting player. Disclosure: prior to starting Hub Designs, I worked for D&B. I saw D&B’s launch of a hosted version of Purisma last fall and was impressed by it. For a lot of situations, Purisma’s product can be a good solution. So even though I wouldn’t call Purisma a full-fledged master data management solution, it’s worth keeping an eye on because it does a great job of integrating internal customer data with D&B’s external reference data. And having it available on a hosted basis can be very helpful.

So the bottom line is, where there used to be six players, now there are five.  Of course, the MDM market being as hot as it is, everyone and their brother claims to be an MDM solution, but these are the five products that I pay the most attention to, and that we see the most in the marketplace. What do you think?  Please let us know by commenting here.

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4 Comments on “And Then There Were Five”

  1. Ravi Shankar 02/26/2010 at 11:48 am #

    Dan Power is a great visionary in the MDM space and understands the players and their technologies very well. This is a very good analysis, description on the state of IBM, ORCL, and SAP. INFA with Siperian acquisition is well positioned to provide a Comprehensive set of technologies for MDM (Data profiling, Data integration, Data quality, etc.), Unified on a single platform, yet Open enough to work with heterogenous applications and data warehouses. INFA comes with a good set of technology differentiators against the big 3.

  2. Dan Power 02/26/2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks for the kind words, Ravi. I agree that the INFA acquisition of Siperian will make things interesting for all of us in the MDM market. Informatica is indeed well positioned to compete against the mega-vendors, and will undoubtedly do well in buyers’ evaluations of its technologies.

  3. Eric Callmann 03/01/2010 at 12:59 pm #


    As always a great post at providing a snapshot of the current MDM landscape. In regards to what may happen next for Oracle. You state that Oracle may replace or reduce the reliance on Informatica’s components. Here’s a crazy thought why wouldn’t Oracle acquire INFA at some point. Oracle has been known to purchase competitors as well as companies with unique capabilities that they would like in the past.

    On another note, I often wonder where the providers of what I would consider Master Data fall? For example there is D&B, Equifax and Experian who provide business information or information on individuals. I understand the need to have all the right technology in place, but as companies implement MDM solutions don’t they also need the ability to have high quality third party information flowing through their pipes so to speak to ensure the quality of their Master Data?

    Just a couple of additional thoughts.

    Thanks again for your writings, I find them very useful.


  4. Dan Power 03/01/2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Thanks, Eric.

    I think there’s a good chance that Oracle might acquire INFA, exactly as you point out, and I mentioned that (“there’s also been a lot of speculation about Oracle buying Informatica”).

    I think the external content providers like D&B, Equifax, Experian and Axciom are absolutely necessary. I think of external content as one of the Five Essential Elements for success in MDM. MDM may be the engine, but high quality internal information and external content is the fuel.

    Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for your comment!

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