PROCESSWORLD 2011: The new partnership with a data governance vendor brings data cleansing to the business process discussion. Plus, execs explain the significance of master data management, in-memory, mobile, social and cloud for Software AG and its customers

Software AG continues MDM push with Trillium alliance

ORLANDO—German business process management (BPM) vendor Software AG’s continued push in the master data management (MDM) arena—in the form of a partnership announcement on Tuesday with Trillium Software to offer a data governance service as part of BPM projects—is in recognition that customers are implementing process-based approaches to how data is accessed by knowledge workers, said one executive to ComputerWorld Canada.

“If that data is incorrect or misleading, (people) can make the wrong decision,” said Susan Ganeshan, Software AG’s chief portfolio officer, during an interview at the company’s annual user conference, ProcessWorld 2011, in this city.

The partnership with Trillium Software follows Software AG’s acquisition of MDM technology vendor Data Foundations late in 2010. Of the company’s general push in the MDM space, Ganeshan said that, although it was a natural fit, the acquisition “was a unique way of thinking for us.” More at ProcessWorld 2011: Software AG expands support services for BPM projects

By that, Ganeshan means, traditionally, companies buying MDM vendors have been the likes of ETL companies, such as Informatica Corp. who bought Siperian, and the likes of IBM Corp. who bought Initiate Systems in 2010. But, added Ganeshan, in the world of BPM, process analysis and design must also entail a good data strategy across the enterprise.
 
Specifically from a North American perspective, it’s surprising how many customers have MDM initiatives on the go, said Dean Mericka, president of sales for Software AG’s North American operations, to ComputerWorld Canada. Mericka said MDM projects tend to rank among the top one or two IT projects right now.

Given that Software AG’s presence in MDM is still relatively nascent, its approach to pushing its new MDM capabilities in the North American market will be through direct sales and focusing on an initially small number of large customer projects “because it is new to us,” said Mericka.

MDM wasn’t the only star of the ProcessWorld show this year because, in the past several months, Software AG has made other acquisitions. Just in May, the company announced the purchase of in-memory technology vendor Terracotta. The reasoning there, said Software AG’s chief technology officer Wolfram Jost, is the application scalability and performance that in-memory brings to data access.

Moreover, Software AG’s push toward offering cloud versions of its on-premise platforms means in-memory should make for easier software provisioning in the cloud as well.
 

Amit Pandey, Terracotta’s CEO, said it’s not the first time a would-be buyer has courted the company, which has locations in San Francisco and New Delhi. Being acquired by Software AG, said Pandey, will allow the in-memory vendor to go “much more mainstream” with access to a broad customer base and marketing muscle.

Software AG also bought, in May, Metismo, a U.K.-based maker of a mobile development platform. The purchase ties into the company’s move to the cloud in that mobile devices are how users access data housed in the cloud. It also ties into the company’s move to inject social capability into process management. Ganeshan said, while the market today is flush with cloud announcements, the most successful products in the cloud are those where there is a need for collaboration among users of that product.

In the case of BPM, Ganeshan said IT and business teams must work together to design processes. “It should be very conversational,” said Ganeshan.

In acquiring IDS Scheer two years ago, a German maker of the process design platform ARIS, Software AG has said that integrating ARIS with its WebMethods execution engine closed the loop for IT and business workers who now have more visibility into the entire BPM process from start to finish.
 

ProcessWorld 2011 continues in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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