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

How Bosch is Aiming for Unified Partner Master Data Management

A recurrent theme on this blog is the way organizations should handle party master data management as examined in the post What is Best Practice: Customer- and Vendor- or Unified Party Master Data Management?

What I advise my clients to do, is to have a common party (or business partner) structure for identification, names, addresses and contact data. This should be supported by data quality capabilities strongly build on external reference data (third party data). Besides this common structure, there should be specific structures for customer, vendor/supplier and other party roles.

This week I attended the MDM event arranged by Marcus Evans in Barcelona. The presentation by Udo Couto Klütz of the industrial giant Robert Bosch highlighted the clever way of handling customer master data, by having a partner master data concept.

Bosch

At Bosch they have reached the conclusion, that unified partner master data management is the way to achieve:

  • A single source of truth
  • Transparency
  • Standardized processes
  • Worldwide applicability
  • One compliance standard
  • Increased efficiency

I absolutely agree.

The Product Data Domain and the 2017 Gartner Data Quality Magic Quadrant

data-quality-magic-quadrant-2017The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools 2017 is out. One place to get it for free is at the Informatica site.

As data quality for product data is high on my agenda right now, I did a search for the word product in the report. There are 123 occurrences of the word product, but the far majority is about the data quality tool as a product with a strategy and a roadmap.

The right context saying about the product domain is, as I could distil it based on word mentioning, as follows:

Product data is part of multidomain

Gartner says that the product domain is a part of multidomain support, being packaged capabilities for specific data subject areas, such as customer, product, asset and location.

Some vendors were given thumbs up for including product data in the offering. These were:

  • BackOffice Associates has this strength: Multidomain support across a wide range of use cases: BackOffice Associates’ data quality tools provide good support for all data domains, with particular depth in the product data domain.
  • Information Builders has this strength: Multidomain support and diverse use cases: Deployments by Information Builders’ reference customers indicate a diversity of usage scenarios and data domains, such as customer, product and financial data.
  • SAS (Institute, not the airline) has this strength: Strong knowledge base for the contact and product data domains.

One should of course be aware, that other vendors also may have support for product data, but this is overshadowed by other strengths.

Effect on positioning

Multidomain brings vendors to the top right. Gartner’s metrics means that leaders address all industries, geographies, data domains and use cases. Their products support multidomain and alternative deployment options such as SaaS.

Product data focus can make a vendor a challenger. Gartner tells that challengers may not have the same breadth of offering as Leaders, and/or in some areas they may not demonstrate as much thought-leadership and innovation. For example, they may focus on a limited number of data domains (customer, product and location data, for example). This also means, that missing product data focus keeps vendors away from the top right positioning, which seems to be hitting Pitney Bowes and Experian Data Quality.

Product data will become more important, but is currently behind other domains

Gartner emphasizes that data and analytics leaders including Chief Data Officers and CIOs must, to achieve CEOs’ business priorities, ensure that the quality of their data about customers, employees, products, suppliers and assets is “fit for purpose” and trusted by users.

Organizations are increasingly curating external data to enrich and augment their internal data. Finally, they are expanding their data quality domains from traditional party domains (such as customer and organization data) to other domains (such as product, location and financial data).

According to Gartner, data quality initiatives address a wide variety of data domains. However, party data (for existing customers, prospective customers, citizens or patients, for example) remains the No. 1 priority: 80% of reference customers considered it the top priority among their three most important domains. Transactional data came second highest, with 45% of reference customers naming it among their top three. Financial/quantitative data was third, with 39% of reference customers naming it. The figure for product data was 34%.

In my view, the 34% figure is because not all organizations have high numbers of product data and have major business pains related to product data. But those who have are looking at data quality tool and service vendors for suitable solutions.

Supplier 360 + Product 360 = The Buy Side Oval

Having a 360 degree of something is a recurring subject within Master Data Management (MDM). “Customer 360” is probably the most used term. “Product 360” is promoted from time to time too and occasionally we also stumble upon “Supplier 360” (or “Vendor 360”).

Product 360 was recently examined by Simon Walker of Gartner, the analyst firm, in the post Creating the 360-Degree view of Product.

Supplier 360, as in having a single golden supplier/vendor record to connect all databases, was touched by Grant Watling of HICX Solutions a while ago in the post All Aboard! Six steps to supplier onboarding.

The Buy Side Oval is a combination of Product 360 and Supplier 360

Buy Side MDM 

Within (Multi-Domain) Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) we must be able to provide solutions that enables the buy side to effectively and consistently handle the core entities involved.

The solution to that is not having a supplier product data portal as discussed in the post PIM Supplier Portals: Are They Good or Bad? A key part lies outside your in-house platform in the business ecosystem where you and your suppliers all are participants and can be achieved as told in the post Master Data, Product Information, Digital Assets and Digital Ecosystems.

MDM Summit Europe 2017 Preview

Next week we have the Master Data Management (and Data Governance) Summit Europe 2017 in London. I am looking forward to be there.

MDMDG2017The Sponsors

Some of the sponsors I am excited to catch up with are:

  • Semarchy, as they have just released their next version multi-domain (now promoted as multi-vector) MDM (now promoted as xDM) offering emphasizing on agility, smartness, intelligence and being measurable.
  • Uniserv, as they specialize in hosted customer MDM on emerging technology infused with their proven data quality capabilities and at the same time are open to coexistence with other multi-domain MDM services.
  • Experian Data Quality, as they seem to be a new entry into the MDM world coming from very strong support for party and location data quality, however with a good foundation for supporting the whole multi-domain MDM space.

The Speakers

This year there are a handful of Danish speakers. Can’t wait to listen to:

  • Michael Bendixen of Grundfos pumping up the scene with his Data Governance Keynote on Key Factors in Successful Data Governance
  • Charlotte Gerlach Sylvest of Coloplast on taking care of Implementing Master Data Governance in Large Complex Organisations
  • Birgitte Yde and Louise Pagh Covenas of ATP telling how they watch after my pension money while being on a Journey Towards a New MDM System
  • Erika Bendixen of Bestseller getting us dressed up for Making Master Data Fashionable by Transforming Information Chaos into a Governance-Driven Culture.

MDM as Managed Service

This month I am going to London to attend the Master Data Management Summit Europe 2017.

As a teaser before the conference Aaron Zornes made a post called MDM Market 2017-18: Facts vs. Beliefs (with apologies to current political affairs fans!).

In his article, Aaron Zornes looks at the slow intake of multi-domain MDM, proactive data governance, graph technology and Microsoft stuff ending with stating that MDM as MANAGED SERVICE = HOT:

“Just as business users increasingly gave up on IT to deliver modest CRM in a timely, cost effective fashion (remember all the Siebel CRM debacles), so too are marketing and sales teams especially looking to improve the quality of their customer data… and pay for it as a “service” rather than as a complex, long-time-to-value capital expenditure that IT manages”.

Master Data ShareI second that, having been working with the iDQ™ service years ago, and will add, that the same will be true for product data as well and then eventually also multi-domain MDM.

How that is going to look like is explained here on Master Data Share.

Multi-Domain MDM and PIM, Party and Product

Multi-Domain Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) are two interrelated disciplines within information management.

While we may see Product Information Management as the ancestor or sister to Product Master Data Management, we will in my eyes gain much more from Product Information Management if we treat this discipline in conjunction with Multi-Domain Master Data Management.

Party and product are the most common handled domains in MDM. I see their intersections as shown in the figure below:

Multi-Side MDM

Your company is not an island. You are part of a business ecosystem, where you may be:

  • Upstream as the maker of goods and services. For that you need to buy raw materials and indirect goods from the parties being your vendors. In a data driven world you also to need to receive product information for these items. You need to sell your finished products to the midstream and downstream parties being your B2B customers. For that you need to provide product information to those parties.
  • Midstream as a distributor (wholesaler) of products. You need to receive product information from upstream parties being your vendors, perhaps enrich and adapt the product information and provide this information to the parties being your downstream B2B customers.
  • Downstream as a retailer or large end user of product information. You need to receive product information from upstream parties being your vendors and enrich and adapt the product information so you will be the preferred seller to the parties being your B2B customers and/or B2C customers.

Knowledge about who the parties being your vendors and/or customers are and how they see product information, is essential to how you must handle product information.  How you handle product information is essential to your trading partners.

You can apply party and product interaction for business ecosystems as explained in the post Party and Product: The Core Entities in Most Data Models.