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SnapLogic 2013 Predictions: Salesforce.com will enter Master Data Management (MDM) space

VMblog Predictions

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Zeb Mahmood, product management and product strategy at SnapLogic Inc.

Salesforce.com (SFDC) will enter Master Data Management (MDM) space

What is Master Data Management (MDM)?

MDM came out of two unrelated enterprise applications. The first was Customer Data Integration (CDI), which dealt with data for a customer/vendor/party/account. An example of this would be a central enterprise repository for all the data about a customer that is common across the enterprise such as name, address, and account ID, relationships to other customers and loyalty card status. The second was Product Information Management (PIM), which dealt with the product - products sold by retailers and products manufactured by CPG companies holding information such as name, description, SKU, packaging instructions, image, weight, and dimensions. To date, most MDM offerings either excel as CDI or as a PIM. Very few can excel at both (contrary to vendors' claims).

Both the CDI and PIM style of MDM are over 10 years old but very few enterprises adopted it early on. Now almost every enterprise has either an MDM initiative or is planning one. MDM is a huge undertaking and does not make sense for SMBs, therefore only large enterprises have moved forward.

There are very few vendors that offer cloud MDM as a service. The Software-as-a-Service model that SFDC made popular has some key attractive ingredients that are missing from these vendors. SFDC offers pre-built data model that works for most of the organizations i.e.  users can pretty much start using SFDC as soon as they sign up. However, the MDM-as-a-Service solutions available in the market today do not offer that, but instead are merely hosted MDM offerings that require months of work building out the data model before any end user can wet their feet.

The Prediction

Either by way of acquisition or as an organic offering, SFDC will begin providing a MDM-as-a-Service offering in 2013.

SFDC will start with a CDI style MDM offering. It might even step into the PIM style MDM space at a later stage. However, if SFDC claims to have a single offering that can do both CDI and PIM, approach it with caution, it may be too good to be true.

This offering will likely provide a prebuilt data model that will get most organizations going as soon as they sign up. It will also provide prebuilt integration and sync capabilities with SFDC's flagship CRM offering. It might also provide prebuilt integrations between MDM-aaS and more traditional on-premise CRM applications like Siebel. (The objective will be to get data into SFDC's MDM-aaS, no matter where it originated from). If MDM-aaS is built over force.com platform, that would be the icing on the cake!

Why does it make sense for SFDC (the company) to have an MDM offering?

An MDM offering appeals to the enterprise not SMBs. SFDC's CRM product is now an enterprise grade CRM solution and having an MDM offering will complement it. MDM's objective is to provide the most accurate and current data to the enterprise. CRM systems typically get frequent updates. So CRMs are great source of data for MDM systems. Since SFDC CRM is a relatively new enterprise application with new data, it would be ideal for an MDM offering to use SFDC CRM as the seed data.

IT has been repurposing CRMs for CDI style MDM and ERPs for PIM style MDM for a long time. MDM-aaS from a CRM vendor (SFDC) will be familiar territory for them. However, MDM does take a long time to implement, so a prebuilt MDM data model approach from SFDC could get the enterprise up and running faster. MDM requires line-of-business buy-in from across the enterprise, but it starts with a small footprint, gradually gaining adoption, so SFDC's popular subscription model would fit nicely.

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About the Author

Zeb Mahmood is responsible for product management and product strategy at SnapLogic Inc., which offers the market leading cloud integration product for the enterprise, and counts some of the leading companies in the Global 2000 as customers. Zeb has over 13 years of experience in the enterprise IT space, including product management and professional services positions with IBM, KPMG Consulting and several start-ups. He has authored white papers on topics like master data management, eCommerce, and cloud integration, and has delivered talks at several industry events, including IBM conferences, Gartner's MDM conference, GS1 Connect, and the NRF Retail conference. Zeb holds a Master's degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor's degree in computer systems engineering from the GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology.
Published Friday, December 14, 2012 6:20 AM by David Marshall
Comments
32 Big Data Trends and Predictions Lists for 2013 | Bill Chamberlin's HorizonWatching - (Author's Link) - January 10, 2013 7:42 AM
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 15, 2013 7:00 AM

First, I'd like to personally thank everyone for being a valued member and reader of VMblog! Once again, with the help of each of you, VMblog has been able to remain one of the oldest and most successful virtualization and cloud news sites on the Web

SnapLogic 2013 Predictions: Salesforce.com will... - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2014 7:17 AM
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