First Experiences with the MDM / PIM Solution Selection Service

As announced 3 weeks ago here on the blog I have started a service for MDM / PIM solution ranking based on your context, scope and requirements.

It has been good to see that the first 2-digit number of people have requested their solution list based on their specific requirements. A few have also provided the feedback, that they actually already had made a list. In these cases, I am happy that the responses were, that the result from the automated selection process corresponded very well with their traditional and (I guess) time and money consuming selection project.

The set of requirements I have processed have been very varying and thus the solution lists have also been somewhat different encompassing a lot of solution vendors both being on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List as well as those recognized by Gartner, Forrester and Information Difference.

Anyone else who would like to jumpstart a tool selection? Start here.

Select your solution process

The People Behind the MDM / PIM Tools

Over at the sister site, The Disruptive MDM / PIM List, there are some blog posts that are interviews with some of the people behind some of the most successful Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) tools.

People behind MDM tools

CEO & Founder Upen Varanasi of Riversand Technologies provided some insights about Riversand’s vision of the future and how the bold decisions he had made several years ago led to the company’s own transformational journey and a new MDM solution. Read more in the post Cloud multi-domain MDM as the foundation for Digital Transformation.

In a recent interview FX Nicolas, VP of Products at Semarchy, tells about his MDM journey and explains how the Semarchy Intelligent Data Hub™:

  • Extends the scope of data available via the data hub beyond core master data
  • Takes an end-to-end approach for the data management initiative
  • Transparently opens the initiative to the whole enterprise

Read the full interview here.

I hope to be able to present more people behind successful solutions on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List Blog.

When Vendors Decline to Participate in Analyst Research

In the Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) space there are some analyst market reports with vendor rankings used by organizations when doing a tool selection project.

These reports are based on the analyst’s survey at their customers and perhaps other end user organizations as well as the analysts research in corporation with the solution vendor. However, sometimes the latter part does not happen.

One example was the Gartner late 2017 Magic Quadrant for MDM solutions where IBM declined to participate as reported in the post Why IBM Declined to Participate in The Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant.

Another example is the Forrester and Informatica dysfunctional relationship. In the Forrester 2019 MDM Wave it is stated that “Informatica declined to participate in our research. This was also apparent in the Forrester 2018 PIM Wave where Forrester’s placement of Informatica as a Germany-based vendor didn’t reflect movements (and perhaps achievements) since 2012 as told in the post MDM Alternative Facts.

Both Gartner and Forrester have though positioned IBM and Informatica in their plot with the note that the research did not include interaction with the vendor.

Analyst Relationship

Information Difference has taken another approach and does not include nonparticipating vendors as discussed in the post Movements in the MDM Vendor Landscape 2019.

This challenge is a bit close to me as I am running a list of MDM / PIM / DQM vendors where there now also is a ranking service based on individual context, scope and requirements. Here I have chosen to include vendor solutions on the three above analyst reports and the list itself as noted in select your solution step 4.

Longlist, Shortlist and Proof of Concept

When selecting a tool for a Master Data Management (MDM) / Product Information Management (PIM) / Data Quality Management (DQM) solution you can:

  • Select a longlist of 5 to 10 solutions that you after some research narrow down to a shortlist and after some more thorough research you will from this select a solution for a PoC / contract.
  • Select a shortlist of 3 to 5 solutions and after some research select a solution for a PoC / contract.
  • Directly select a solution for a Proof of Concept (PoC) and Business Case.

How would you – or did you – select a tool?

 

By the way: There are also some different approaches to get the work done:

Longlist shortlist PoC

MDM / PIM solution ranking based on your context, scope and requirements

Popular Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) market reports with solution vendor rankings as the Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant, the Forrester MDM / PIM wave and the Information Difference MDM Landscape are generic, meaning they are not based on the specific context, scope and requirements that every organization on the look for a solution has.

So, no organization can just pick the solution positioned in the top right corner at their favourite analyst firm, neither make a shortlist with the solutions being most top-right or even a longlist with the well positioned solutions. They will need own research or consultancy from the report makers or consultancy firms – or yours truly.

Well, until now.

At The Disruptive MDM / PIM List there is a new service that, based on information about your context, scope and requirements, will provide a solution list that is fit for you.

Your solution list

Curious? Go to select your solution here.

The Disruptive MDM, PIM and Data Quality Solution List

This blog has a sister site called The Disruptive MDM / PIM List.

The site is a list of available solutions for:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) and
  • Product Information Management (PIM)

as well as:

  • Application Data Management (ADM) – kind of NEW,
  • Customer Data Integration (CDI),
  • Customer Data Platform (CDP),
  • Data Quality Management (DQM) – NEW on the list,
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM),
  • Product Data Syndication (PDS),
  • Product experience Management (PxM) and
  • Reference Data Management (RDM) – NEW.

You can use this site as an addition to the likes of Gartner, Forrester, MDM Institute and others when selecting your new MDM, PIM and data quality solution, not at least because this site will include both larger and smaller disruptive solutions.

Vendors can register their solutions here.

Organizations on the look for a solution within these disciplines can inspect the solutions here.

 

Data Management New Wordle

Product Data in ERP, MDM and PIM

Organizations typically holds product data in three different kind of applications:

  • In an ERP application together with all other kinds of master data and transaction data.
  • In an MDM (Master Data Management) application either as a Product MDM implementation or a multidomain MDM implementation together with other master data domains.
  • In a PIM (Product Information Management) application.

Each of these applications have their pros and cons and where an organization utilizes several of these applications we often see that there is no single source of truth for all product data, but that some product attributes are controlled by one application and some other attributes are controlled by another application. Recently I wrote a post on the Pimnews think forum with a walk through of different kinds of product attributes and if they typically are controlled in PIM or ERP / MDM. The post had the title Six Product Attribute Levels.

The overwhelming part of organizations still use ERP as the place for product data – often supplemented by satellite spreadsheets with product data.

However, more and more organizations, not at least larger global ones, are implementing MDM solutions and, also midsize organisations, are implementing PIM solutions. The solution market was before split between MDM and PIM solutions, but we now do see some of the PIM solution providers also encompassing MDM capabilities. On the Disruptive MDM/PIM List there is a selection of solutions either being more MDM-ish or more PIM-ish as examined in the post MDM, PIM or Both.

MDM ish and PIM ish vendors

Top 15 MDM / PIM Requirements in RFPs

A Request for Proposal (RFP) process for a Master Data Management (MDM) and/or Product Information Management (PIM) solution has a hard fact side as well as there are The Soft Sides of MDM and PIM RFPs.

The hard fact side is the detailed requirements a potential vendor has to answer to in what in most cases is the excel sheet the buying organization has prepared – often with the extensive help from a consultancy.

Here are what I have seen as the most frequently included topics for the hard facts in such RFPs:

  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution have functionality for hierarchy management?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution have workflow management included?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution support versioning of master data / product information?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution allow to tailor the data model in a flexible way?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution handle master data / product information in multiple languages / character sets / script systems?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution have capabilities for (high speed) batch import / export and real-time integration (APIs)?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution have capabilities within data governance / data stewardship?
  • MDM and PIM: Does the solution integrate with “a specific application”? – most commonly SAP, MS CRM/ERPs, SalesForce?
  • MDM: Does the solution handle multiple domains, for example customer, vendor/supplier, employee, product and asset?
  • MDM: Does the solution provide data matching / deduplication functionality and formation of golden records?
  • MDM: Does the solution have integration with third-party data providers for example business directories (Dun & Bradstreet / National registries) and address verification services?
  • MDM: Does the solution underpin compliance rules as for example data privacy and data protection regulations as in GDPR / other regimes?
  • PIM: Does the solution support product classification and attribution standards as eClass, ETIM (or other industry specific / national standards)?
  • PIM: Does the solution support publishing to popular marketplaces (form of outgoing Product Data Syndication)?
  • PIM: Does the solution have a functionality to ease collection of product information from suppliers (incoming Product Data Syndication)?

Learn more about how I can help in the blog page about MDM / PIM Tool Selection Consultancy.

MDM PIM RFP Wordle

PIM and PDS

Product Information Management (PIM) has a sub discipline called Product Data Syndication (PDS).

PIM and PDS

While PIM basically is about how to collect, enrich, store and publish product information within a given organization, PDS is about how to share product information between trading partners. One challenge here is that two trading partners very seldom use the same product classification system(s), taxonomy and structure for product information.

Some PIM vendors offer PDS as extensions to their PIM offerings. Examples are Stibo Systems and Salsify. Other MDM (Master Data Management) / PIM vendors are facilitating PDS through general data integration services in their wider data management offerings. Examples are Informatica and Dell Boomi.

Product Data Synchronization is a variant concept of PDS. The most known service is the Global Data Synchronization Network (GSDN) operated by GS1 through data pool vendors, where 1WorldSync is the dominant one. In here trading partners are following the same classification, taxonomy and structure for a group of products (typically food and beverage) and their most common attributes in use in a given geography.

However, from working as a consultant in the MDM and PIM space i know that there are lots of organizations who cannot utilize the current offerings in a cost effective way and having all their needs for covering the many product attributes you need to share today as well as product relationships and the related digital assets. This is the reason why we have launched a Product Data Syndication service called Product Data Lake.

MDM Megavendors vs the Other MDM Vendors

In the latest Gartner Master Data Management Solutions magic quadrant it is stated that “Gartner-estimated 2016 revenues of the four largest vendors commanded over 77% of the market (SAP, IBM, Oracle and Informatica). These four held a Gartner-estimated market share of just over 73% in 2017.”

There seems to be a little decrease in the dominance from the megavendors, though the market according to Gartner is still ruled by the big four. The number of licenses sold by these vendors and those midsize vendors who also are in the quadrant can be found in the post Counting MDM Licenses.

For the future trend it is also worth noticing, that Oracle is not a part of the MDM magic quadrant anymore, as Oracle in the Gartner lingo is not an MDM vendor, but an ADM vendor today. Oracle is not included in the latest Forrester MDM wave either.

Another market distinction is around MDM versus Product Information Management (PIM) solutions. The post Several Sources of Truth about MDM / PIM Solutions examines the positioning by Gartner and Forrester and in that sense the magavendors are better at MDM than PIM.

Any Gartner estimation will be biased towards large vendors having large clients as these are the Gartner clients. In a LinkedIn discussion a big four person suggested that the market is fragmented and there are many MDM-like solutions.

This remark followed the market estimation from a fresh market report from Information Difference. The positioning results from here were shown in the post Movements in the MDM Vendor Landscape 2019. In here the megavendors did not perform so well on the technology axis, which is largely made up by customer satisfaction feedback in the underlying survey.

So, what do you think? Will the megavendors still rule the MDM market or will the midsize and smaller vendors get a larger piece of the cake?

MDM megavendors

For bigger picture click here.