Tag Archives: Siperian

Informatica Acquires Siperian: One Year Later

It was about one year ago on January 28, 2010, that Informatica announced its acquisition of Siperian, a pure-play multidomain MDM vendor.

What a year it’s been. As a five-year veteran of Siperian/Informatica, it’s been thrilling and gratifying to be a part of the enterprise technology landscape that MDM has become. Part of the reason for this success is simply the proven business value that MDM is delivering to companies across multiple industries with data that is trusted, authoritative, and current. Just consider some of the momentum and highlights we’ve seen over the past year:


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

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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Siperian Wraps Up The Best Ever User Conference!

Now that we’re back in the office from last week’s Siperian’s 5th user conference, it’s apparent that the event was quite a success. The two days went quick, which says to me that we got the format, presentations and atmosphere right. There was a lot of enthusiastic response to the technical tracks, and with 270 people, this was our largest user conference, ever!

I wrote in a previous post that multidomain MDM was emerging as Topic A at the conference, and that was definitely the case. John Radcliffe’s keynote addressed it and several customers gave presentations demonstrating multidomain implementations as well. It’s a subject we’re definitely going to be hearing a lot more about. Two other trends to watch: increasingly creative use of Siperian Business Data Director, and corporations turning to system integrator partners to gain value from MDM as quickly as possible. Our inaugural GOOEY Award winners were a clear indication on this score.

The winners, Cognizant and Wipro, are both Siperian system integration partners who have been leveraging Business Data Director to build viable and replicable business-specific solutions on top of the Siperian MDM Hub. Wipro has enhanced its Reference Data Management solution for banks with reject management analysis capability, which improves the quality of data within Siperian MDM Hub. Cognizant, focusing on data governance, added Business Data Director to its MDM-in-a-Box for Life Sciences solution, thereby helping its customers to reduce downstream data management issues and improve decision making by business users.

With 14 leading partners sponsoring the event, we received good feedback from both customers and partners on the structure, content, and speakers. Here’s to a yet another successful user conference!

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Key Learnings from Gartner MDM Summit

The Siperian team is back in the office after attending the Gartner MDM Summit in Los Angeles last week. As usual, it was a great event for picking up on the latest developments in the field, meeting the analysts who cover MDM, and hearing from the organizations and endusers in the field who are using MDM to resolve their business challenges.

The topic getting the most buzz at the Summit was the shift towards “multidomain MDM.” We heard this from both analysts and vendors, and we were pleased to hear Siperian mentioned frequently in presentations as a vendor that “knows how to do multidomain MDM.”

Of the delegates I interacted with, and there were 330 in attendance total, the consensus was that the analyst presentations and advanced use cases from firms with MDM implementations were real highlights. Among these were case studies presented by Siperian customers Cephalon and Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson was also highlighted as a past Gartner MDM Excellence Award winner.

Some general notes from the conference:
• Gartner expects the market for MDM to grow from $1.1 billion (in license revenue) in 2008 to $3 billion in 2013.
• North America is still the largest market for MDM (over 50%) followed by Europe (35%).
• IBM, SAP and Oracle control 40% of the MDM market, while specialists like Siperian control 30%.
• Analysts are saying that there’s a “land grab” on for multidomain MDM, but most vendors have yet to span master data province.

Siperian news from the conference:
• John Radcliffe presented the CDI magic quadrant and mentioned Siperian as a “good best-of-breed company.”
• Siperian was recognized as a “multidomain MDM” player in the analyst charts, and was also mentioned as one of the top 5 vendors that can handle customer data.
• Siperian was named a “company to watch” for product data.
• Siperian receives the 4th most inquiries from prospects behind SAP, Oracle, and IBM.
• As a platinum sponsor, Siperian had 4 customer sessions and an evening cocktail session as well. For everyone who attended our events: Thanks!

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MDM Becoming More Critical in Light of Cloud Computing

Over the weekend note blogger David Linthicum did a blogpost on eBiz regarding master data management (MDM) and cloud computing. The crux of David’s argument is that while the profusion of cloud computing will exacerbate the need for MDM, the rush to embrace cloud applications could potentially drive MDM into the background at many companies. That, ironically enough, since organizations can save so much money by replacing big enterprise systems with lighter SaaS applications, in the headlong rush to embrace cloud applications “MDM will be an afterthought” and get pushed aside even as the need for it intensifies.

I agree with David that the migration to cloud computing is going to further spark demand for MDM, but I don’t agree that MDM is going to get pushed aside. The reason I make this argument is that we already have a few customers at Siperian who are using MDM with cloud-based applications, and it’s working out very well. These customers are combing MDM with the cloud in the following two ways:

1. Using MDM to create a single version of the truth before enabling the cloud-based applications (i.e., they’re cleaning up data from multiple in-house CRM systems, and feeding reliable, consistent customer data into Salesforce.com)

2. They’re combining customer and other forms of data from the cloud-based applications (e.g. Salesforce.com) along with internal CRM applications to create a single version of the truth to enable operational and analytical business processes.

As organizations grow the number of cloud based applications, they have to control the key data that they will use across those applications as well as internal applications and data warehouses. MDM enables organizations to do just that—either for enabling cloud-based applications or creating a single view of the master data across cloud-based applications and internal applications. Thus a strong foundation of MDM will be the key to successfully taking advantage of cloud computing.

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MDM Business Data That Sticks – The Gooey Award

A few months ago we blogged MDM for the Business Masses, where we speculated that custom data governance applications for MDM would be the next step to enable business users to directly create and consume master data.  We saw further evidence of this through Dan Power’s white paper detailing  how proactive data governance – MDM hub as a system of entry – would be the next wave to benefit organizations looking to take the next step in their MDM journey. 

It is exactly with this in mind that we released Siperian Business Data Director (BDD), a configurable data governance application that provides an intuitive, business-user focused, and easy-to-use interface by leveraging the Siperian MDM Hub services and MDM solution components. Since then our customers and partners have been busy using BDD in a variety of ways such as integrating with custom widgets and bringing in data from sources outside of the hub so that business users can view everything from within a single user interface through the BDD.

At the upcoming Siperian Masters User Conference scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, October 20-21 at the Hyatt Regency, Princeton, New Jersey, there will be a session where some of the most innovative BDD configurations and integrations will be showcased. The best, as voted on by a panel of judges and the audience, will receive the first ever coveted Gooey Award.

This contest, apart from being fun and interesting, highlights the fact that the most successful implementations for MDM come from adaptable and configurable platforms that allow an organization to gradually extend their MDM deployments as their business needs change. Throughout their MDM journey, they can also learn and benefit from best practices encapsulated as MDM solution components (BDD specific or otherwise) thereby ensuring their success.

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MDM Rocks!

It’s that time of the year again! Siperian's 5th Annual Masters User Conference (SM09) is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, October 20-21 at the Hyatt Regency, Princeton, New Jersey.  This year's theme is MDM Rocks! Building a Solid Foundation for Business Management in Good Times & Bad

The conference, which has consistently grown in attendance throughout the years, will feature case studies and best practices from customers and partners using MDM to address critical business priorities in today's demanding economy. The two-day conference includes a technical workshop on the first day covering Business Data Director – Siperian’s new data governance application, and advanced MDM architectures. The main user conference is on the second day, when we will explore a range of MDM and data governance topics including customer case studies, implementation best practices, and industry-specific solutions. Whether you are an IT user, data steward, or a business user of MDM, this conference gives you a great opportunity to advance your learning, to share your experiences, and to network with peers in your industry.

Our special guest keynote this year will be Gartner analyst John Radcliffe.  As research vice president on the Gartner business applications team, John is well known, and leading authorities on CDI and MDM. Also featured will be a keynote from Siperian CEO Peter Caswell on the Future of MDM. The latest Siperian roadmap will be unveiled and several of Siperian’s senior technical members of staff across product management, professional services, and engineering will present sessions featuring the new capabilities of Siperian’s multidomain MDM platform.

Even in these difficult times, we believe that everyone deserves a rock solid foundation for MDM success so once again we are pleased to offer participation at the Masters User Conference to our customers at no charge; so be sure to register today as space is limited. Come join us at Siperian Masters 2009, where we will also be “rocking-on” and having a great time while learning.

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Why You Still Need to Master your Data before Mastering your Business (Intelligence)

On www.ebizq.net a few days ago, the question was posed “Why is a Single Version of the Truth Still Difficult to Achieve With BI?” I provided a quick response there but felt that it’s a topic worthy of expanded discussion.

As I wrote in my comment, a single version of the truth by definition means that there's a single representation of critical master data such as customers, products, assets, and more that's unique, complete, and consistent, and becomes the most reliable and authoritative information for the entire enterprise.

Business Intelligence as a technology or market is specialized to report on existing data from multiple systems without prejudice. It may do some aggregation or rollup for dimensional analysis but it is not designed or equipped to create a single version of the truth. The inconsistency in customer or product dimensions from siloed applications can make any BI analytics running on data warehouses or operational data unreliable. It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog and to those familiar with MDM that MDM is needed to recognize (disparate data), resolve (into a single version of the truth), and relate (them to derive some meaning). In fact, many MDM projects have been kicked off for the initial goal to have BI reporting to more accurately reflect the true nature of the business.

Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft made another interesting comment by saying “Even within classical BI systems, more than one version of the truth can persist.” He reasons that OLAP systems that require OLAP cubes exacerbate the problem by holding yet more copies.  In an MDM system this could be avoided as a matter of process by always using the latest dimensions fed from the MDM Hub. In effect, the OLAP system or data warehouse should be considered a downstream sync which needs to be updated by the integration capabilities of the MDM platform.

Regardless, I think the question posed was an excellent one because it reminds us that many companies out there are still starting to learn about MDM. Those of us who have been living and breathing MDM for the last 5 years or more take it for granted that MDM should be a precursor for many downstream benefits such as more accurate BI. It goes to show that plenty of continued education and support is needed by all of us to help organizations learn about and realize the benefits of MDM. Hence this blog :-)

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The Flawed Vision of CDI – How to get it right the first time

Early pioneers of Customer Data Integration (CDI) had a primary goal – to bring together and resolve inconsistent, and oftentimes incomplete, customer data which was siloed in disparate applications across the enterprise. These golden customer records, as they were known, were to benefit a myriad of customer-facing operations in marketing, merchandising, account management and more. To achieve this goal, CDI technology was selected solely to optimize customer data. Other enterprise data types such as products, locations, and accounts were considered out of scope and not necessary for the initial CDI project.

While incremental benefits were gained with this approach, many companies caught up in the CDI “gold rush” realized in hindsight that their projects missed the big picture. For example, a major financial services firm, providing a range of banking, investment, and trust services to businesses, professionals, and affluent individuals deployed a CDI system to provide the answer to “who is my customer?”
While they were now able to determine who they were interacting with, an individual or an organization, the question “how do my customer interactions across all of the banking services affect my business?” remained unanswered. This lack of insight led to unrealized revenue potential as a result of unexplored opportunities to cross-sell new banking products to their clients.

It was a flawed CDI vision that did not take into account that significant business benefits could be realized by tying customer data to other enterprise data types such as products, accounts, and locations, for a true 360-degree view. In the end, the bank had to acquire different technologies as a further investment to continue to move forward.

Organizations deriving the greatest value from their CDI investments are the ones that anticipated that mastering customer data would only be a precursor to multi-domain MDM, which would form the basis for addressing major business requirements well into the future. If you are interested in more information, I have written a complete white paper on this topic. Let me know your thoughts and experiences.

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Thoughts On Proactive Data Governance From Dan Power

Through his many speaking engagements and regular contributions to publications such as Information Management, Dan Power has built a solid reputation as one of the most knowledgeable commentators on all things in master data management. He’s got a new white paper titled “When Data Governance Turns Bureaucratic: How Data Governance Police Can Constrain the Value of Your Master Data Management Initiative” that we’re featuring on the Siperian website.


Dan observes that while many early adopters of MDM expected to quickly establish a “single source of truth” across their information systems, many have encountered problems. The culprit? Reactive data governance.


As many as 80% – 90% of companies implementing MDM start with a “coexistence” architecture whereby front office applications (CRM) and back office applications (ERP) are still used to author master data (customer and product data, suppliers, employees, etc.). Because these applications remain the “Systems of Entry”, while the MDM hub’s role is limited to being the “System of Record,” some of the biggest promises of MDM remain unrealized.


Dan shows that firms embracing a proactive data governance approach can overcome these limitations. By authoring data directly in the master data management hub itself, firms can decouple data entry from the traditional CRM and ERP systems. When the System of Entry and the System of Record are one and the same, the application architecture is simplified quite a bit. The CRM and ERP systems become consumers of master data only – they no longer originate it.


Read Dan’s new white paper to learn about the shortfalls of reactive data governance and how proactive data governance can benefit you. You can download the white paper here.

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