Andrew picked up on my comment “If CRM and ERP platforms were better able to manage master data, perhaps we wouldn’t need MDM solutions.” He goes on to say that “these applications were designed in an era when there was no need to take account of information requirements ACROSS the enterprise.”
The operating assumption for most CRM and ERP platforms, unfortunately, was that you were going to run your ENTIRE business on them. This rarely, if ever, turns out to be the case, particularly if the business does a lot of acquisitions. One business unit or geography certainly. And the count may grow over time. But there are always going to be areas of the business “outside the pale” – not included in that particular CRM or ERP solution’s purview. This leads to silos of data, which create many problems in the management and analysis of information in the enterprise.
That’s why an MDM hub makes so much sense. It provides a neutral place for customer, product and other master data from all over the enterprise to be created, read, updated and managed. Increasingly, today’s CRM and ERP applications are being used in concert with a robust MDM hub. Even now, CRM and ERP products just aren’t designed to manage master data effectively. They don’t have the built-in data quality and data governance processes that are needed to ensure a single view of accurate, complete, timely and consistent master data across the enterprise.
You can read the article by Andrew White of Gartner Research at http://blogs.gartner.com/andrew_white/2010/06/07/good-summary-of-mdm-of-product-data-and-its-value-to-the-business/.