Will Salesforce be the Catalyst to Propel MDM into the Cloud?

Salesforce.com – a company that has become synonymous with the cloud – acquired over 100,000 customers and one million users within a span of just 10 years. Compare that to a traditional company like General Electric, the only company to be on the Dow Jones Index for over 100 years – it took them over five-times that many years to acquire the same number of customers. This goes to say that customers have been enamored by the cloud and its benefits – no software maintenance, rapid time-to-value, and subscription pricing – to name a few. No wonder, there are thousands of cloud applications and millions of users out there now. I’ve seen projections that the cloud computing market will grow to $241 billion by 2020. This might be a conservative estimate.

Master Data Management (MDM) has been around since before salesforce.com was founded. Yet, enterprise MDM in the cloud has been as rare as a Big Foot sighting! Why? Some of the reasons (and perceptions) include:

  • MDM has been traditionally seen as a back-office technology within the confines of an IT fortress
  • Business data is often seen as too sensitive to put in the cloud; and
  • Integrating on-premise and cloud apps has been consistently cited as a barrier to cloud adoption.

Per Gartner’s “Hype Cycle for Master Data Management, 2012”, G00227133, published July 31, 2012 by Bill O’Kane, John Radcliffe and Andrew White, “At present, nearly all MDM software is implemented on-premises, and many industries (for example, financial services) are reluctant to place important, heavily shared information such as customer or financial master data outside the firewall.”

However, that is all about to change. Why? These are exactly the same reasons cynics used about on-premise CRM before salesforce.com proved otherwise. Starting with the early adopters and continuing with the masses today, companies have embraced salesforce.com as the CRM and now cloud platform as a service (PaaS) of choice. These pioneers are now looking to MDM-in-the-cloud as the solution to reconcile customer data across Salesforce and on-premise enterprise applications. In that same report, “Hype Cycle for Master Data Management, 2012”, G00227133, Gartner also advises, “Organizations that have already built up a comfort level in running SaaS applications, and want to take this a step further. These organizations can improve data quality in their cloud environment or integrate it with their on-premises or other cloud applications.”

Companies that installed multiple on-premise instances of CRM and other heterogeneous applications inadvertently duplicated customer data across these systems. Today, the explosive growth of Salesforce CRM has resulted in many of the same challenges – customer data is distributed and duplicated across multiple Salesforce instances (called “orgs”) and other enterprise applications – all within the same company. MDM is the technology that reconciles these disparate customer data and creates a single, golden copy of the customer. Salesforce.com users are demanding cloud MDM solutions to seamlessly manage customer data directly within the CRM and Force.com environment. To meet their demands, MDM itself is moving to the cloud to deliver trustworthy master data specifically within cloud applications like Salesforce.

And that is exactly what we announced on Tuesday – Informatica Introduces Cloud MDM. Informatica Cloud MDM is a multitenant software-as-a-service (SaaS) MDM application, natively built and deployed on Force.com.

Learn more about what Informatica Cloud MDM can do for you and sign up to watch a demo of its capabilities here. You can see Informatica Cloud MDM in action next week at Dreamforce, where Informatica is a gold sponsor – visit us at booth #1313. Hear from three Informatica MDM customers including Oppenheimer and Interstate Batteries and a personal computer accessories manufacturer.

So the answer to my question in the title is, “Yes, Salesforce has become a catalyst to propel MDM into the cloud.” Do you agree? I’m interested in hearing your opinions. So, please post your comments here.


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