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That Forrester Master Data Management (MDM) Wave was just a slice of the market

Yesterday, Forrester Research delivered a webinar on the most recent MDM wave for multi-platform vendors, (The Forrester Wave™: Master Data Management Solutions, Q1 2014).

It’s worth noting that Michele Goetz, Forrester’s lead MDM analyst, opened the webinar stating, again, that this wave covers only a slice of the MDM market, specifically, what Forrester calling the “multi-platform” vendors, or MDM suites (multiple products for MDM).

This wave is just the beginning, in Forrester’s very aggressive research agenda for MDM there are plans to ‘wave’ the other three MDM segments. We’re look forward to those additional insights into the marketplace.

But why have an entire wave on just those “multi-platform/suite” vendors?

It turns out that Forrester segmented the MDM vendors by how the vendors address MDM challenges (such as multidomain). And as it was pointed out on the webinar, multi-platform/suite vendors approach multi-domain and multiple domain requirements in a different way from the other MDM vendors.

Forrester noted that with multiple technologies and platforms in their suites (usually one software solution per domain), these vendors require a heavy investment in data integration (ETL, SOA, ESB, etc) to support multiple domain or multidomain use cases. For example, to connect customers to products, multi-platform MDM vendors use data integration tools, or ETL, to synchronize references between the two MDM silos.

In light of this approach, it’s hard to fault Forrester’s decision to break out the multi-platform vendors. Especially when you realize that many other MDM solutions support multiple domain and multidomain use cases without that ongoing data integration expense. (Don’t forget, every time your underlying MDM models change those integrations will need to be modified, validated and deployed).  Also, it could help explain why we see the ETL companies–IBM, Informatica, Talend–show up in this MDM market segment, vendors which have built their MDM product portfolio on acquiring CDI (Customer Data Integration) and PIM (Product Information Management) software solutions.