My Take on Oracle OpenWorld 2010

Black Eyed Peas at Oracle OpenWorldI’m flying home today from Oracle OpenWorld 2010, which I enjoyed enormously, as usual. Beyond the “old home week” aspect of it – seeing old friends, who for some reason I only seem to see at the Oracle Applications Users Group COLLABORATE conference in the spring or at Oracle OpenWorld in the fall – there was a tangible energy in the halls, the session rooms and the exhibit areas this year. And the Black Eyed Peas’ performance Wednesday night was a lot of fun as well.

Let me start out by saying that Hub Designs is vendor agnostic – we partner with all of the leading MDM vendors, including Oracle, Informatica / Siperian, Initiate Systems / IBM, SAP, D&B / Purisma, and Kalido, and are having partnership discussions with others like Orchestra Networks and Stibo Systems.

But my roots in the Oracle community go back to 1995, and my knowledge investment in Oracle’s CRM, ERP and MDM products is considerable. So I feel very comfortable at OpenWorld, and have about 250 Oracle people in my address book.

So although we are vendor agnostic, it’s only natural that we’ve developed a strong relationship with some partners, and are still working on developing that level of partnership with others. It’s hard to have equally deep partnerships with ten or so different companies.

My schedule prevented me from arriving until Tuesday, and when I did get there, I didn’t feel too well. But I did get to some sessions on Wednesday, and I was particularly impressed by “MDM Customer Panel: Implementation Challenges and Best Practices with the MDM Institute, Credit Suisse, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cricket Communications, and Wind River Systems”.

The session was a very practical Q&A, with different Oracle customers from different industries talking about their experiences, difficulties, and successes over the past four years or so. Several of them had implemented Oracle’s Customer Hub (formerly Siebel Universal Customer Master or UCM), with Wind River having implemented the Customer Data Hub (CDH) product.

The session also included Aaron Zornes, a prominent thought leader and Chief Research Officer of the MDM Institute. It was great to see him and to chat briefly after the session. If you’re able to, you should definitely register for the upcoming MDM and Data Governance Summit in New York City on October 3-5. I’ve been attending these for several years and always find them helpful in order to stay in touch with the pulse of what’s going on in the MDM and data governance space.

The session that I did with Bill Miller and Vanessa Hsu from Oracle was well attended, despite being in the very last time slot of the conference (Thursday at 3:00 pm). We had 101 people in the room, and even though we went a few minutes past the top of the hour, almost everyone stayed to the end. I talked about the need for change in today’s corporations, and the power of being an MDM evangelist in bringing innovation and change back to your company, as well as about the Top Ten best practices that I’ve observed over the past nine years of working in the fields of Data Governance and Master Data Management, across both the customer and product domains.

Bill Miller talked about how Oracle has applied these concepts to its own MDM needs, and its own six year journey from data quality chaos to finely tuned governance machine. It was great to hear, because I’ve known Bill for almost that entire time, and watched him go through some incredible projects, and grow into an important role as Global Solution Owner for Data Quality Management with Oracle’s IT function. He works closely with the business people (the Global Process Owners) in marketing, sales, finance, customer service, and so on. That virtual team is Oracle’s data governance board, and is responsible for some huge improvements in Oracle’s data quality picture over the last few years. Oracle implemented Oracle Customer Hub internally, and made some great process and cultural changes.

Vanessa Hsu is a Senior Product Strategy Manager at Oracle, and is responsible for a new product called Oracle Data Governance Manager. That product is an extension to Oracle Customer Hub, and provides a centralized administration tool for data stewards, giving easy access to key MDM operations, to increase data steward productivity and highlight enterprise-wide data quality metrics at a glance. It’s an important capability that Oracle will extend to its other hub products over its next release cycle.

The “feel on the street” in the MDM track at Oracle OpenWorld this year was that it was “full speed ahead” at Oracle. Gartner recognizes Oracle as one of the leaders in its “Magic Quadrant” for MDM, and deservedly so. There are a lot of smaller vendors with great technology too, but Oracle has done a lot to advance the state of the MDM art, and it was a pleasure to be in San Francisco this week to see their customers talk about their success. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years as Oracle introduces Fusion MDM to the market.

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7 Comments on “My Take on Oracle OpenWorld 2010”

  1. eoracleapps 09/27/2010 at 6:30 am #

    very nice post on MDM , I am not MDM person but learning about MDM as I am expecting some work MDM.

    I am looking into your other posts too and they are too good.

  2. leigh 11/24/2010 at 6:59 am #

    Hi there. Great blog. Very informative.

    Can you please let me know a little about the difference between Oracle customer hub and Customer data hub?

  3. Dan Power 11/24/2010 at 7:51 am #

    Oracle now sells Oracle Customer Hub and lets the customer decide whether they want to implement Siebel Universal Customer Master -or- Oracle Customer Data Hub. So you buy both in the same box.

    Most of the time, though, when people refer to Oracle Customer Hub, they mean Universal Customer Master.

  4. leigh 11/24/2010 at 11:26 am #

    OK. Is Fusion hub a brand new product or a reworking of one of the existing ones?

    And the golden question: which is better UCM or Customer data hub? I presume you’ll say it depends on business requirements!
    Any particular scenarios that each is best for?
    thanks

  5. Dan Power 11/24/2010 at 11:43 am #

    Fusion MDM Hub is a brand new product. You can check out my take on it at http://blog.hubdesigns.com/2009/11/17/first-look-at-oracle-fusion-mdm-hub.

    I’m a Customer Data Hub loyalist from way back, but the product hasn’t aged well, and Oracle hasn’t invested much in it in the last few years. If you’ve got a big investment in E-Business Suite, and are primarily a manufacturer of tangible goods that sells to businesses, CDH can be a good fit. If you’ve got a lot of Siebel CRM, and provide services to large numbers of consumer customers, then UCM is probably a clear fit. If the situation isn’t so clear cut, then you’ve got to evaluate each of them against your business requirements (you guessed it). Just because they’re both from Oracle, doesn’t mean you can shortcut what we normally recommend – a robust, requirements-driven selection process (see http://www.hubdesigns.com/selection.html for more information).

    Best regards — Dan

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