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Connecting to business users is more than software usability

About a week ago, Julie Hunt published her notes from our briefing with the Hub Designs team in an article called: Orchestra Networks – Connecting Business Users to Master Data.   While I recommend reading the entire piece, this paragraph caught my eye:

“Orchestra Networks … understand[s] how important it is to identify and capture relationships in and between master data domains. In many enterprises, data-related processes need to align with the real world intricacies that companies face, especially in terms of complex relationships and hierarchies with respect to customers and their extended networks.”

While our technology team is brilliant, the reality is we’ve learned all about relationships from our customers. They taught us that there’s a wide range of intra-, inter- and multi- domain relationship types that need to be managed as part of an effective master data management program. Some examples:

  • Supporting complex customer (or counterparty) hierarchies,

  • Creating and maintaining standard and alternative product hierarchies by segment, distribution channel, etc, and

  • Governing the multiple interlocking relationships that exist in customer/product projects. Or cases where the customer is the product and the product is the customer.

The support for relationships that Julie and the Hub Designs team saw in our demo is based on knowledge accumulated from over a decade of customer interactions in pre-sales, proofs of concept, implementations, and after action reviews.  It’s hard work, but worthwhile. in fact, at Pernod-RichardSabre, and Acolyance multidomain relationship management was as important as governance, usability and data quality.

Julie’s final comments from her overview are a fitting close:

“Most software companies gain greater success by attending to current and future customer needs, rather than obsessing on other vendors. As Christophe pointed out, Orchestra Networks is different, not necessarily better, than other MDM vendors. If that “difference” enables better business use of master data for improving processes and business outcomes, then vive la difference.”

Vive la difference indeed!

By Conrad Chuang