Open source makes master data management affordable

Despite the crisis, there are still market segments with double-digit growth rates in IT. Master Data Management is one such segment. The more data companies move and thus manage, the greater the need for structured handling of the same. Master data is valuable to businesses, especially when available for enterprise-wide business processes and analytics.

However, implementing a master data management project is a huge challenge: architecturally complex, time-consuming and above all expensive. Accordingly, software solutions in this area are in demand. For example, Gartner predicts that sales of MDM software will reach approximately $ 2.8 billion by 2012.

Another indication was recently provided by the market with a takeover wave: after several small mergers and takeovers, Informatica acquired the provider Siperian and IBM the specialist Initiate Systems for each in the hundreds of millions. However, the gold-rush mood among the large providers could soon be dampened, because recently there is a functional and cost-effective alternative from the open source camp: Talend acquired a commercial MDM technology last summer and virtually “open-sourcified” it “. Potential customers will finally have access to a competitive, royalty-free and therefore affordable MDM solution.

New terrain for the open source data management industry

The problem with master data starts where different solutions treat it separately. A customer can be the holder of a checking account or manager of a fund in a bank – but both functions require different information, and in addition, the total number of customers quickly becomes a measure without any meaningfulness.

The growing compliance requirements in the organization can not be managed if the data underlying the reports is inconsistent. This not only applies to customer data Management , but also to products, partners, suppliers or inventories. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to create a single, unified view of the organization.

The first open source MDM vendor in 2008 was Sun with the “Mural” project. This was a legacy of SeeBeyond Technology Corporation, acquired in the summer of 2005. Sun has developed the SeeBeyond software and made it the core of its Java Composite Application Suite (CAPS). Part of this is the commercial Sun MDM Suite, which builds on the free Mural software and contributions from the Mural community. In addition to MDM, the Mural community also covers topics such as data integration, data quality, or data migration, giving organizations a rich platform.

However, mural is not a preassembled application. The implementation and use requires some experience and integration work, so higher costs for the implementation have to be taken into account.

Add to that Oracle’s acquisition, which raises yet another problem: Oracle itself. The software giant has a number of competing classic MDM solutions in its portfolio after several acquisitions, including Siebel Systems, JD Edwards, Bea Systems, and Hyperion. Which of these remains is unclear. For potential customers a risk: Who wants to rely on the wrong horse in a mission-critical application.

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