MDM key to IT recovery, acquisitions suggest

Last month, Information Age’s Effective IT Report found that MDM – which helps users assert a single definition of data across their organisations – was the IT strategy that the greatest number of respondents plan to deploy in 2010. It seems that businesses are turning their attention to the mass of data contained within their IT infrastructures, in which resides all manner of insight and information – if only they can assert some order and reliability.

Clearly, the industry agrees: January 2010 saw the acquisition of three MDM companies in quick succession. The first to go was Silvercreek Systems, bought by software and systems giant Oracle for an undisclosed sum. The acquired company’s product, DataLens, helps businesses rationalise data relating to their products.

Next up was Siperian, a US-based MDM vendor, which was acquired by data integration specialist Informatica for $130 million. According to Tommy Drummond, a marketing VP at Informatica, the combination of MDM and data integration is “100% complementary”. MDM is impossible without the right integration platform beneath it, he says, while companies can use MDM to make the most of the integration investments.

Together, the combined offering might be enough to convince those companies still wrestling with their datasets manually to buy into Informatica’s toolkit. “Our main competitor is companies trying to do this by themselves,” says Drummond.

Shortly after, for an undisclosed sum, IBM acquired Initiate Systems, an MDM vendor that specialises in the healthcare market, where the problem of achieving a ‘single view of the patient’ across systems and institutions is particularly acute. Analyst company Ovum noted that the acquisition was “an excellent strategic move – and timely”, given the US government’s recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which allocated $36 billion of public money to promoting electronic health records.

Kalido, now one of the few remaining independent MDM suppliers of any size, could not resist the opportunity to capitalise on the attention suddenly thrust upon its sector. “What neither Informatica nor IBM really understand despite these acquisitions is that customers are looking for solutions that deliver not only high quality data but the processes to maintain it – in short, data governance,” said Kalido CEO Bill Hewitt in a statement for the press.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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