• Christophe Barriolade

Multidomain MDM gains recognition as Orchestra Networks enters Gartner Magic Quadrant

This year, for the first time since we founded Orchestra Networks, we are entering a Gartner Magic Quadrant covering Master Data Management solutions for Product Data. While this demonstrates our success on the MDM market and more importantly the high satisfaction of our customers, I would like to share my point of view.

Since 2000, Orchestra Networks has been a true Multidomain MDM vendor, providing a model-driven solution to model and manage any type of reference and master data. Rather than specializing in product information management or customer data integration, the Orchestra Networks' EBX.Platform provides capabilities for an enterprise-wide data governance.

While this is making a significant difference in the field with prospects and clients, we have always struggled to get the right recognition by the analyst community. Gartner, as the leading analyst on the MDM area, has proposed for many year a segmentation of the MDM market in two separate Magic Quadrants: product data and customer data. This reflects the current state of the market with major players relying on PIM or CDI acquisitions such as IBM, Tibco or Oracle. For us, being Multidomain didn't really fit with this segmentation.

The fact that Orchestra Networks is now included in the Magic Quadrant on MDM for Products demonstrates that we are the only pure-play MDM solution to be able to compete head to head against PIM vendors and to offer much more in other data domains.

Actually, we have done extensive analysis on our current customer base and while 56% are using our EBX.Platform for managing product data, 44% are managing parties (partners, suppliers, customers), 28% assets (real estate, stores, systems), 48% finance & HR (GL accounts, organization charts, employees), 50% codifications and various reference data, and 10% technical and R&D data. We note that deployments in finance, HR, asset data domains is growing at an impressive pace.

In this context, we understand that Gartner cannot write a Magic Quadrant for each domain, and that currently each one isn't big enough as a market. However, we do find it interesting that Gartner does recognize in its most current research that true, Multidomain MDM continues to grow in importance and places an emphasis on support for Multidomain MDM in its assessment the innovation of Product MDM vendors.

Our customers are already using EBX.Platform as a real Multidomain MDM platform. Being able to manage multiple domains not only provides better TCO and efficiency, but also opens the door for enterprise-wide data governance: Your master data are all linked together and you need to avoid recreating data silos on top of your existing data silos. Also, business users interact day to day with a lot of master data in multiple domains and need to be deeply involved in change management and approval. Do you think they are ready to switch form their existing spreadsheets and complex ERPs to a new solution based on many technologies and a UI specific to a single data domain?

Most of large software vendors such as IBM, Informatica, Oracle or Tibco today claim to be Multidomain. While this demonstrates they understand where the market is heading, the reality is not quite the same:

  • Ex-PIM solutions (such as IBM and Tibco) still rely on old, proprietary solutions (Trigo, Velosel) designed to manage product catalogs mainly for retail. Trying to use them as a Multidomain MDM is not easy as they are limited to a hierarchical data modeling approach and catalog management UI.

  • Ex-CDI solutions (such as Informatica and IBM - yes IBM has many MDMs) have been designed as transactional hubs for data integration and matching. While this can be very useful in a pure "people data" scenario, they lack a lot of features in flexible data modeling (they rely on relational-only physical models) and have a limited data governance UI for authoring and workflow (usually restricted to simple stewardship)

To conclude, I think that Gartner Magic Quadrants for Master Data Management are great tools for evaluating solutions, in particular because of the time spent in rigorously reviewing customer case studies (this was a key inclusion criteria for us). However, companies looking for a multi-purpose MDM software should also evaluate the core capabilities on different data domains and business users. I recommend that you supplement your evaluation of Gartner's research by reading Dan Power's whitepaper "A Real Multidomain MDM Solution or a Wannabe?" to learn more on the key capabilities of a true Multidomain MDM with proactive data governance capabilities.

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