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A Case for Universal MDM: The Federation of Point-MDM Solutions

I’m at Barcelona this week for the European Gartner MDM Summit. I had a chance to catch up with one of the Gartner MDM analysts before the event, and we had a discussion about the growth of MDM.  He mentioned that MDM will become pervasive within the enterprise as organizations expand its use as a necessary foundation for governing all of their business-critical master data such as customers, products, and so on.

To solve their business problems accurately, companies seek targeted MDM solutions. For e.g., retail, distribution, and manufacturing companies use PIM for merchandising, distributing products, and supplier on-boarding, while financial services, healthcare, and high tech companies use customer MDM with their CRM, such as salesforce.com, for improving customer segmentation, cross-sell , and up-sell.

But how do you keep the master data in sync across these master data solutions and make it available for the entire enterprise? Enter Universal MDM.

Universal MDM brings the various types of master data from these targeted MDM solutions into a central repository, creates the cross-domain relationships, and publishes the data for both operational and analytical use cases. Call it federated MDM, hub-of-hubs, or enterprise MDM. It’s the enterprise standard that harmonizes the master data across point-MDM solutions.

But why do you need Universal MDM?  Consider this business use case: In a multichannel commerce, a retailer would use PIM to streamline the product variety, selection, availability, promotion, and price across brick-and-mortar, catalog, internet, and mobile sales channels. At the same time, they would use a customer MDM with their CRM to ensure consistent consumer experience and service, and, in the process, improve customer loyalty and hence their competitive differentiation. But how do you answer this question? “Which customers, bought what products, and through which channels?”

By tying the customer and product data together, Universal MDM can help not only answer this question, but also go even further to display the relationships among customers, their products, and channels to sales, marketing, merchandising, operations, and supply chain people.

However, not all MDM solutions can become Universal MDM. Only a true multi-domain MDM solution that can handle any data type, any architectural style, any data source or target, and any operational or analytical use case, qualifies to become a Universal MDM solution.

To learn more, check out this e-book on Choosing the Right MDM Approach for Your Business.

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