In which Jill reflects on what hit home.
So I'm sitting in the back row of one of those nondescript hotel meeting rooms listening to Informatica's Dave Reed demo his company's latest data stewardship capabilities to an audience of over 140 eager Canadians when I hear the guy in front of me lean over to his buddy and say, "You're right. Our data warehouse can't do this" to which the other guy replies, "You owe me 5 bucks."
This was how it was in Toronto at the MDM Forum. And in Chicago and Columbus and the Twin Cities and Atlanta and New York and Boston and Dallas. The MDM Forum, a roadshow sponsored by Informatica and Initiate Systems, was changing paradigms. And, as the designated "industry analyst," I got a front-row seat. Unless I was sitting in the back row eavesdropping on attendee conversations. Which I was.
Paradigm changing in the sense that MDM and data governance are solving business problems out of the gate. Informatica executives David Lyle, Vice President of Product Strategy, Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Boorman, and V.P. of Product Marketing Lennard Fischer all delivered dynamic keynote presentations highlighting the escalating adoption of data integration tools, a bellwether signal of data as a strategic business enabler, with MDM smack-dab at of the data integration trend. Michael Destein, Informatica's Solutions Marketing Director for MDM--and an MDM veteran in his own right--presented Informatica's definition of MDM, laying out the advantages of what he called a "flexible foundation for MDM. Mike highlighted a range of Informatica customers across industries that have used the products as the foundation for their MDM programs - it makes one consider that we need to rethink the MDM stack.
That Informatica has acquired technologies, like identity resolution vendor Identity Systems, to round out its MDM stack attests to the data integration company's evolving commitment to MDM. That it now partners with Initiate is a testimonial to its understanding of the various MDM styles and how they work together.
Both Sean Cassidy and Ian Stahl from Initiate colored in the company's product suite. Initiate's pioneering role in delivering enterprise master index in health care and person-of-interest recognition in the public sector is now being transcended with an increasing number of commercial successes. Stahl colored in Initiate's definition of success as customer success, citing one customer with an MDM payback of $47 million. "I can assure you that our solution didn't cost anywhere close to that," Stahl quipped to the Dallas audience. "Stories like this help you see MDM's business payback." In demoing the company's Inspector data stewardship tool, Stahl discussed the concept of "delegated data stewardship," showing how the tool enabled distributed users to support dynamic matching and manage organizational hierarchies.
As those of us in the data warehousing and BI space have learned--frequently the hard way--identity matching and hierarchy management aren't SQL's strong suit. Indeed, if there was a theme to the MDM Forum events, it wasn't a debate about incumbent BI functionality, it was about positioning MDM with the business people who would ultimately reap the rewards of operational data integration.
On that and other fronts, the MDM Forum was a big hit. While over 750 Informatica customers made up the lion's share of audiences in all eight cities, I'd bet that most of them are more conversant on PowerCenter than they are on the MDM stack. Many are looking to expand their horizons beyond data warehousing. And if I'm right, you owe me 5 bucks.
Posted May 19, 2009 8:44 PM
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