Master Data comes to London – day 2

The CDI/MDM Institute conference has just wrapped up in Kensington, and I felt it was very successful. Organisers IRM ran an efficient conference, and attendance on day 2 held up pretty well. There was a fine keynote speech given by a certain dashing ex-Kalido founder, and the rest of the day was in a series of tracks with customer case studies and some vendor and consultant presentations. The second day felt a bit light on customer case studies compared to day one, but overall this conference did well at getting a reasonable number of real customers talking about projects, rather than just being a string of subtle or not-so-subtle sales pitches from vendors.

Aaron Zornes gave a reasonably balanced overview of the main thirteen MDM vendors (D&B, Dataflux, Data Foundations, Hyperion, I2, IBM, Initiate, Kalido, Oracle Purisma, SAP, Siperian, Teradata, Visionware) with a recurring theme that few have really got to grips with providing support for the data governance/collaboration element of MDM. Certainly the workflow around how master data is a key part to most MDM projects, but it looks as if most of the projects out there at present today are doing this via home-grown efforts, e.g. one UK company I spoke to had done this, using Biztalk as a framework. As more and more MDM projects go beyond pilots into production then the aspect of maintenance of master data will become more pressing, so I would expect to see customers increasingly demanding this. Indeed they should really be insisting that workflow support for MDM processes are one of the key evaluation criteria for software selection.

Overall, it seems that MDM is moving into the mainstream in the UK.