Gartner MDM Summit 2012

Recapping the 2011 Gartner MDM Summit

This is the fourth article in an ongoing series sponsored by SAP. 

Was it better this year?

I’d have to answer a resounding “Yes” to that question. Hub Designs has sponsored the Gartner MDM Summit for three years now (since 2009, its second year), and we noticed a real uptick in the number of attendees (nearly 500) and the energy in the conference.

The conversations in the halls were very enthusiastic. There has been a shift in the past year or so from the “early adoptor” phase in the market to the “mainstream” phase, and the attendee companies this year included industries like media & entertainment, aerospace manufacturing, retail, high tech manufacturing, county government, consumer packaged goods, and hospitality.

This is well beyond the financial services, insurance, health care and pharmaceutical industries that were so well represented at earlier conferences. Although they were still present, it was good to see other industries present in such healthy numbers.

One session I went to, “MDM Market Movements and Trends 2011 and Beyond: Does the Phoenix Rise Again?” by Chad Eschinger, forecast MDM market growth in 2011 of 18%, and 21% for 2012-2013.

Needless to say, I found this very reassuring, as the founder of an MDM consulting firm that has survived some of the most challenging economic times in the last 80 years.

Also, the traffic at our booth was way up over last year, with the number of visitors almost double what we recorded in 2010.

And we met with a number of current and potential clients while at the conference, so it was time well spent while in Los Angeles.

The Gartner MDM Excellence Awards for 2011

This year, the finalists for the Gartner MDM Excellence Awards were Daymon Worldwide, Lexmark International and xpedx.

I made it a point to attend all three presentations on Friday morning, and I enjoyed them all. But to me, there was a clear winner – Lexmark. Their presentation was by far the most “business oriented”, and did the best job making the case why they needed MDM, and how they folded data governance into their approach.

I also particularly liked how they had a strong change management component, something we’ve been recommending for a long time to our clients.

For their technology infrastructure, they used SAP’s NetWeaver MDM repository for customer, vendor, product and material information, and NetWeaver Portal, BusinessObjects Data Services and Real Time Enrichment Services as well.

What really impressed me, though, was the clarity of vision that came through from the Lexmark speaker, Joe Young, who is a Senior Manager in their Enterprise Information Systems group. He was enthusiastic and sharp, and communicated well while being self-deprecating and funny. So much of a presentation like that rests on the personality of the speaker, and Joe did a terrific job representing his company.

I had to leave the conference before the results were announced, but I was watching Twitter on my phone from the airport, and I wasn’t surprised when I saw the announcement that Lexmark was the winner of the 2011 Gartner MDM Excellence Awards.

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