Microsoft today announced the acquisition of Stratature — a small software company focused on the analytical side of master data management (MDM).This is a positive development for siloed Microsoft platform customers, but is an underwhelming announcement for information and knowledge management professionals looking for Microsoft to step up and recognize their need to support heterogeneous enterprise information environments where Microsoft only represents one piece of a larger puzzle.
Stratature’s +EDM product is data domain-agnostic, meaning it does not specialize on any specific data domain like Customer or Product, but what +EDM covers in breadth of data domains it lacks in depth of capabilities. +EDM focuses on the analytical side of MDM, providing business views of information primarily through version-controlled hierarchy management and dimensional modeling capabilities. Although Microsoft has not disclosed when the acquired technology will be available, they have stated that they expect it to support its Business Intelligence, SharePoint, PerformancePoint, and Microsoft Dynamics’ ERP and CRM customers.+EDM is built on a Microsoft technology platform so integration shouldn’t be overly complex.
Information-as-a-service (IaaS) — the ability to deliver critical business information services in real-time, and in context of an existing business process — is piquing the interest of many enterprise architects and information and knowledge managers.Enabling this capability could close in on those big hairy audacious goals that SOA infrastructure, Web service technologies, and other middleware offerings have promised.(For more info on IaaS, check out the latest piece from Mike Gilpin and Noel Yuhanna “Information-As-A-Service: What’s Behind This Hot New Trend?”
I’m fortunate enough to be tracking two exciting, but vague and ill-defined markets that are becoming increasingly critical to large enterprises around the globe: master data management (MDM) and metadata management. Ask ten information management professionals what MDM and metadata means to them and you’ll likely receive 20 distinct answers. MDM usually involves some business-focused statement about achieving a single trusted view of a customer, product, or some other critical data, while IT typically looks at metadata to reduce complexity, and increase productivity, reuse, and collaboration, by having a single version of truth about their company’s “data about data.” To me, it seems there should be more synergies and collaboration between these currently siloed and disparate enterprise initiatives.
I believe in a close alignment for a number of reasons: