Welcome Riversand on The Disruptive MDM List

I am delighted to welcome Riversand as the next disruptive MDM / PIM / DAM solution on The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions list.

As a European MDM and PIM (Product Information Management) practitioner I have followed Riversand’s growing presence on the European scene both through being on the customer side in solution selection activities, on conferences and on the social media community and I have watched that MDM / PIM peers as Mark Thorpe and Ben Rund have joined the company.

Riversand is in a very exciting development with a recent funding that is used to accelerate Riversand’s global expansion and for further investment in its disruptive MDM platform. See how Riversand presents themselves on The Disruptive MDM List here.

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Gall’s Law, Minimal Viable Product and Product Information Management

Back in 1975 John Gall expressed this law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

Since then, we have learned the term Minimal Viable Product, which has the same sentiment.

Building a product from scratch by starting small and making that work in a context new to most potential users is close to me these days. The Product Data Lake venture I am involved with is exploring some frontiers as:

Our business model also allows you as a partner or customer to start small and influence the solution while you achieve the business benefits in a more and more profitable way.

As a subscriber you can grow with us through these phases:

  • Skateboard: Start testing with a selected trading partner. As a manufacturer you can push your product information in your way and as a merchant you can pull this information in your way.
  • Bicycle: Pedal further by including more trading partners. It will be a win-win for everyone.
  • Motorbike: Fuel the business benefits by reaching out to dozens of trading partners.
  • Car: Encompass all your regular trading partners in a comfortable journey where you – and your trading partners – will sell more and reduce costs.

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Building a MDM Solution Using Best-in-Class Modules

Sometimes keeping it simple is the shortcut to getting it all wrong. While I am a believer in mastering all master data domains under the same vision and strategy, there are still best-in-class options when it comes to orchestrating processes and applying technology in the right chunks.

Customer Data Integration (CDI)

A recent post on this blog was called What Happened to CDI? This post examines the two overlapping disciplines Master Data Management (MDM) and Customer Data Integration (CDI). In a comment Jeff Jones argues that MDM vendors have forgotten about proper CDI workflows. Jeff says: “It seems the industry wants to go from Source to Match/Merge, instead of Source to Match/Identify and finally to Merge.” Please find and jump into the discussion here.

Also, this question was touched some years ago in the post The Place for Data Matching in and around MDM.

Product Information Management (PIM)

The product domain within Multi-Domain MDM also holds some risks of forgetting the proper ways of handling product information. In this domain we must also avoid being blinded by the promise of a single source of master data with surrounding processes and applied technology.

There are many end-to-ends to cover properly as exemplified in the post A Different End-to-End Solution for Product Information Management (PIM).

 

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Why IBM Declined to Participate in The Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant

The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions was published a month ago as touched in the post Disruptive Forces in MDM Land.

In the section about IBM, there were this note: “IBM declined to participate in this research and did not supply supplemental information. Gartner’s analysis is therefore based on other credible sources, including previous research input from IBM, customer inquiries, Peer Insights reviews submitted during the period covered by this research and other publicly available information.”

My guess is that Gartner and IBM already had a bad relation around the previous report which led to that this report was delayed a couple of months as told in the post Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant in Overtime.

old-schoolToday Nancy Hensley of IBM published a post called Understanding the new Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant and the IBM position. In here Nancy explains that IBM chose not to participate because IBM has a different point of view on where the MDM marketplace is going. In other words: The Gartner MDM market view is old school.

Perhaps magic quadrants, and analyst reports in general, are old school then. Perhaps the new school is that IBM and all the other vendors explain themselves – and can be reviewed by the (professional) crowd. Well, this is the idea behind The Disruptive MDM List.

Classification of PIM Solutions

A core capability in a Product Information Management (PIM) solution is the ability to work with product classification, meaning having a way to group products for multiple purposes like how to present products in meaningful groups to potential customers and how to make sure all relevant product attributes are present for a similar group of products. This is a daunting task, usually much more demanding than the technical implementation of the PIM solution itself.

Ironically, we are also having trouble with grouping solutions for handling product data into meaningful groups. One challenge is the overlap with surrounding disciplines as discussed in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together. This post deals with classifying solutions as Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and/or Digital Asset Management (DAM).

Then there is the selection of Three Letter Acronyms starting with P and ending with M:

  • PCM: Product Content (or Catalog) Management
  • PDM: Product Data Management
  • PIM: Product Information Management
  • PLM: Product Lifecycle Management

A recent post from the declared PIM vendor Venzee examines PCM vs. PIM: Which One Does Your Ecommerce Business Need?

In here Venzee states: “You will occasionally see PCM solutions presented as if they were actually PIM platforms. Don’t get fooled. Yes, there are similarities and terminology overlaps, but PCM is not PIM. Think of PCM as PIM’s little cousin — it’s a place to house and enrich your data, but that’s about it. Ecommerce vendors that really want to manage, optimize and distribute their data need a good PIM platform”

PDL MenuIn my current venture called Product Data Lake a challenge is explaining what kind of solution it is. I usually call it PIM-2-PIM, as it is a solution that can make two different PIM solutions at two different trading partners interact. But it might as well be PIM-2-MDM or PLM-2-PIM or DAM-2-PCM or any other available combination. Anyway, I have put our solution on The Disruptive MDM/PIM List here.

PS: If you have a solution covering Master Data and Product Information, you can register it on The Disruptive MDM/PIM List here.

What Happened to CDI?

CDI is a Three Letter Acronym which in the data management world stands for Customer Data Integration.

Today CDI is usually wrapped into Master Data Management (MDM) as examined in the post CDI, PIM, MDM and Beyond. As mentioned in this post, a well-known analyst, Aaron Zornes, runs a business called the MDM Institute, which was originally called the The Customer Data Integration Institute and still has this website: http://www.tcdii.com/.

Many Master Data Management (MDM) vendors today emphasizes on being multidomain, meaning their solutions can manage customer, supplier employee and other party master data as well as product, asset, location and other core business entity types.

However, some vendors still focus on customer master data and the topic of integrating customer data by excelling in the special pain points here, not at least identity resolution and sustainable merge/purge of duplicates. One example is Uniserv Smart Customer MDM.

In my recent little venture called The Disruptive Master Data Management Solution List the aim is to cover all kinds of MDM solutions: Small or big. New (start-up) or old. Multidomain MDM, Customer Data Integration (CDI), Product Information Management (PIM) or even Digital Asset Management (DAM). As a potential buyer, you can browse all these solutions and select your choice of one-stop-shopping candidates or combine best-of-breed solution candidates that matches your requirements in your industry and geography.

First thing that must happen is that vendors register their solutions on the site here.

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Welcome Stibo Systems on The Disruptive MDM List

I am happy to welcome Stibo Systems and their STEP platform as the next disruptive Master Data Management Solution on the disruptive MDM list. You can learn more about, and review, Stibo Systems STEP here.

My first encounter with Stibo Systems was 7 years ago when I started an engagement there taking part in the first steps in transforming Stibo Systems from a Product Master Data Management / Product Information Management (PIM) vendor to a multi-domain MDM vendor.

Since then I worked for some of Stibo Systems clients with implementing the STEP solution.

During both engagements types I learned how a robust but still extremely flexible MDM solution STEP is and also came to know the very professional staff at Stibo Systems. You can see them below:

Stibo Systems Group photo