One thing I have been banging on about for a long time is how the MDM industry needs to move aways from its roots in CDI hubs and PIM if it is to address the needs of large enterprises on any scale. It seems obvious to me that if you end up with one specialised hub for each type of master data then you quickly descend into architectural anarchy. You have the various ERP systems, and are then going to add a customer hub, a product hub (different vendor) and then are going to notice that there are other important master data types that need managing, like financial data, assets, people data, brand information etc. Are hubs going to spring up to support each one? That way madness lies.
If we are to sort out master data properly then we need to isolate it in a master data repository, separate from a data warehouse and from ERP, which can manage and maintain all master data for the enterprise. This hub needs to be able to handle all data types and keep track of where versions of master data are, even if it is not the only place the master data physically resides. It at least needs to know where the copies of master data live, or else we are back in master data anarchy. I have been amazed at how few vendors (and customers) seem to have picked up on this obvious point. In their latest press release Siperian demonstrates that it, at least, has figured it out. The release itself contains the amusing claim that Siperian is the only MDM product that can do this: “the only operational hub capable of managing hundreds of different types of master data entities” which will come as news to, for example, BP Lubes, who are using Kalido MDM to manage 350 different types of master data and have been for three years. However, despite the over-egging on the marketing, at least Siperian seems to understand the problem, which is more than can be said for a lot of its competitors.