Teradata marries data warehousing with MDM

Looking to leverage its expertise and presence in the enterprise data warehousing market, Dayton, Ohio-based Teradata has released a product to help companies manage their master data and find that elusive “single truth.”

The goal of master data management (MDM) is to define and classify key types of data, such as the product, supplier and customer variety, that is shared across multiple systems within the enterprise. Teradata Master Data Management ensures the master data is consistent, complete and accurate.

Satish Krishnaswamy, vice-president, MDM solutions marketing for Teradata, said a move into the MDM space was a logical extension of the company’s work in enterprise data warehousing, and was a good fit for its current customer base.

“[They’ve] already committed to a big platform from us. Plugging in MDM as an incremental add-on is a high-value, low total-cost-of-ownership addition,” said Krishnaswamy.

Krishnaswamy said Teradata will also be targeting new customers with its MDM tool, pitching it as a first step in moving toward a full enterprise data warehousing system.

“Every large company that has several divisions or different operating entities, and different products and customers, has a need for MDM,” said Krishnaswamy.

While there are incumbent players in the MDM space, Krishnaswamy characterizes it as a still-evolving market, adding that some of the players have different takes on the concept, something that will evolve over time. What sets Teradata apart, he said, is that while most vendors are looking at MDM purely as an operational system, Teradata views it as a bridge between the operational area and the analytical area.

“As part of a data warehousing strategy we think we can uniquely marry that bridge,” said Krishnaswamy, adding that the data managed by an MDM tool will be required by both operational and analytical systems, meaning that marrying MDM to your data warehousing strategy helps fill that gap better.

Teradata’s core MDM suite is a horizontal play across a wide variety of industries, but Krishnaswamy said the company also envisions a number of vertical plays to target specific business problems. The first of these is a Product Information Management offering, and planned future releases include a customer data integration tool and a reference repository for risk management.

“We have a solid MDM platform and it has a set of core services that are reusable,” said Krishnaswamy. “On top of this core platform…the focus will be on building out applied MDM solutions.”

George Goodall, a senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group, said MDM has traditionally been a relatively niche market, with the need most felt in specific industry settings that have a requirement to integrate multiple disparate data systems.

However, with a proliferation in the number of data sources that companies of all sizes are running, due to the increasing popularity of enterprise resource planning and business intelligence systems, Goodall said MDM is moving from niche product into the enterprise mainstream.

“We’re talking about context management. In each case, companies are increasingly running multiple databases, multiple repositories,” said Goodall. “They’re essentially struggling with the problem of multiple versions of the truth.”

SAP is a player in the MDM space, along with companies such as Silver Creek Systems and I2 Technologies. Goodall said Teradata’s entry into the space makes a lot of sense.

“It’s interesting that Teradata is stepping into this space because, of course, given their background in data warehousing, that’s exactly what their bailiwick is, this need to integrate these multiple sources,” said Goodall.

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