Leading Research Firm’s Take on Multidomain MDM in Its 2010 Predictions

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Just this week, leading research firm Gartner, Inc. published its 2010 predictions for MDM. There is one prediction related to multidomain MDM that I found particularly interesting. It mentions that the number of companies shopping for multidomain MDM solutions has increased. Now, why is that?

To get some insight into MDM purchasing and implementation trends, we simply need to look at companies that began their MDM journey in the past five years, especially those companies that started off with a single domain, such as customer data.  Many of these MDM pioneers have since expanded their implementation to other domains such as finished products, materials, price, employees, and so on. But how did they do that? By using the same multidomain MDM platform? Or by separately implementing distinct single-domain MDM applications, such as one for customer data and another for product data?

Gartner contends that no vendor has a comprehensive multidomain MDM technology that handles all different industry use cases using different data domains. A true statement if you are purchasing an “MDM application.” Similar to packaged applications, like ERP or CRM which manage back-office or front-office operations, purpose-built “MDM applications” that focus on a single data domain for a certain industry can, in fact, only handle use cases that are specific to that data domain. So, Gartner is right in saying that a customer that uses “MDM applications” will have to work with different MDM vendors and technologies.

However, this should not be the case if you use an “MDM platform.” We can think about the situation as similar to database or web server technology; these technologies are pretty horizontal and flexible enough to address just about any use case in any industry. In the same way, a multidomain “MDM platform” is flexible enough to accommodate any data domain, and has the ability to cleanse, enrich, match, merge, and display data relationships across multiple domains.

What I don’t agree with in the Gartner predictions is the statement that only large vendors will provide “stronger” multidomain MDM. In my experience, these vendors are largely packaged application vendors, and coming from that heritage, they currently sell different single-domain “MDM applications.” While they talk up “multidomain MDM,” their customer base tells a different story – they have to use multiple distinct MDM applications because no single MDM application can accommodate diverse use cases involving different data domains. In contrast, Siperian has customers in different verticals using our multidomain “MDM platform” to manage multiple data domains on the same platform. Our customers don’t need different “MDM applications” because they’re fully capable of implementing multidomain MDM on their single Siperian platform.

Stay tuned for my forthcoming blog discussing the differences between the “MDM application” and “MDM platform” approaches for cross-industry, multidomain MDM use cases.

In the meantime, what do you think?

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