At Least Two Versions of the Truth

Precisely one year ago I wrote a post called Single Company View examining the challenges of getting a single business partner view in business-to-business (B2B) party master data.

Yesterday Robert Hawker of Vodafone made a keynote at the MDM Summit Europe 2012 telling about supplier master data management.

One of the points was that sometimes you really want the exactly same real world entity to be two golden records in your master data hub, as there may be totally different business activities made with the same legal entity. The Vodafone example was:

  • Having an antenna placed on the top of a building owned by a certain company and thus paying a fee for that
  • Buying consultancy services from the same company

I have met such examples many times when doing data matching as told in the post Entity Revolution vs Entity Evolution.

However at one occasion, many years ago, I worked in a company where not having a single business partner view nearly became a small disaster.

Our company delivered software for membership administration and was at the same time a member of an employer organisation that also happened to be a customer.

A new director got the brilliant idea, that cancelling the membership of the employer organization was an obvious cost reduction.

The cancellation was sent. The employer organisation confirmed the cancellation adding, that they were very sorry that internal business rules at the same time forced them to not being a customer anymore.

Cancellation was cancelled of course and damage control was initiated.

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