Teradata Joins the Race for Control of Master Data

The announcement by Teradata (a division of NCR) that it is entering the Master Data Management marketplace will set heads turning in a fast-moving market that already has a number of vendors competing for business. Vendors already in this increasingly crowded market include:

– FullTilt Perfect Product Suite
– Hyperion MDM
– Kalido 8M
– Initiate Identity Hub
– I2 PIM
– IBM WebSphere Product Center and Customer Center
– ObjectRiver MDM
– Oracle Customer and PIM data hubs
– Purisma
– SAP NetWeaver MDM
– Siperian Hub, Master Reference Manager, Hierarchy Manager and Activity Manager
– Stratature Enterprise Dimension Manager
– Sunopsis AIP

In addition to these vendors, data integration vendors (e.g., Business Objects, DataMirror, IBM, Informatica, Microsoft, SAS) and data quality vendors (e.g., DataFlux, Trillium, Zoomix) are all jumping in to offer additional software.

Teradata’s first MDM offering is Teradata Product Information Management (PIM) solution. No doubt Customer Information Management will follow. The Teradata PIM solution is being rolled out after Teradata announced an agreement with I2 to roll its PIM solution onto the Teradata platform. There are obvious reasons why this makes sense for Teradata. Firstly their message has always been about building Enterprise Data Warehouses on the Teradata platform and single version of the truth. Adding a master data management solution to this platform allows a core dimensional data source to be on the same platform as a data warehouse making it less costly to manage (no separate server needed, existing administration skills for Teradata shops, etc.) and easy to supply data to analytical systems. In addition, Teradata has added event-driven support over the last several years via integration with popular messaging systems. While this was originally implemented to introduce real-time event driven data capture into a data warehouse, there is nothing to stop Teradata exploiting it as a two-way mechanism so that data changes to master data can be set out of the Teradata MDM platform to other operational applications to keep them synchronised.

An obvious question is transaction processing and MDM on a platform optimised for analysis and business intelligence. Even there, it seems that this should not be a problem for Teradata since they have long had workload management and the ability to fence off hardware to dedicate to specific tasks. Furthermore, Teradata could instantly analyse changes to master data on their platform even before moving that data into a data warehouse to reveal early behavioural shifts. Not only that, but with master data and the data warehouse on the same platform it would make it relatively easy to introduce versions of dimensions into an analytic data warehouse environment and quickly compare business metrics across different hierarchies over time.

All in all, the arrival of Teradata in the MDM market makes a lot of sense for them. The question is whether this MDM solution is implemented as a system of record only (i.e., changes to product data come though other operational applications which remain systems of entry) or whether Teradata can convince prospects and existing customers to make it both a system of record and a system of entry. Doing the latter would take Teradata into new territory — that of operational transaction processing. In a world whereby many companies are looking to simplify and consolidate data, this move may well trigger significant growth for a company with a long track record in data.


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