What’s the Best Way to Manage Corporate Data? Businessesrun on information. Data is everywhere, and it exists on customers, products, suppliers, employees, you name it. Becausedata is the lifeblood of an enterprise, companies are looking at new ways to manage information and in the processimprove how they run their businesses. Companies like Avon Products Inc. have done a good job at it. That company improved how it managesits product portfolio by standardizing master data for products, locations and suppliers throughout the enterprise. Avon Products went from roughly 10 product categorization schemesto only one—much more efficient and easier to manage. So what is the best way to manage corporate data? A robust MDM solution can help pump purified data downstream to vital applications and databaseswhile simultaneously accepting inaccurate and old data for cleansing and enrichment. Companies are struggling to determine whether they should embrace specialist MDM solutions dedicated to supporting one subject area, or make one strategic acquisition and implement truly-multi domain software that addressesmultiple subject areas. Early on, organizations believed solutions should be dedicated to one subject area—for example, either to manage customer data integration (CDI) or product information management (PIM) related data. Solutions supporting either application were, and continue to be, defined and evaluated by the comprehensivenessof their customer or product data model and the type of system functionality required to import, consolidate, enrich, create and distribute this data throughout the enterprise landscape. However, today, multi-domain solutions can support Master Data Management for customer and product data all within the same solution or instance. Moreover, multidomain Master Data Management provides the same functionality and paradigm as above, but extends support to substantively incorporate additional subject areas including supplier, account, employee, organization and complex hierarchies. So why shouldn’t multi- domain be the solution of choice? Psychologically speaking, CDI and PIM solutions benefit from their track record and familiarity in the marketplace. PIM products began to emerge in the early 2000s.Only in the last few years have multi-domain solutions emerged as a viable alternative to single-domain software, with the mega-vendors being slow in the development, marketing and acquisition of multi-domain products.
Keep in mind that the decision of multi-domain versus single domain is only one scoring factor in selecting the right strategy, and it may not even be a decisive one. Individual vendor solutions have their own strength and weaknesses.Still, it makes senseto step back and actually evaluate which of the system qualifications in the CDI configuration is exclusive to the management of customer data, and which functionality is shared by both single and multi-domain approaches. About the Author Software AG(http://www.softwareag.com) helps companies optimize and modernize existing technology to achieve businessresults faster. We are the world’s 7th fastestgrowing technology company, according to Bloomberg Businessweek and analysts rank Software AGa “Leader” in eight key categories, including SOA,BPM, and Integration to name a few. Two out of every three of the world’s largest corporations rely on a Software AGproduct to run their business.