Thursday, 17 June 2010

IBM MDM Portfolio

IBM has multiple products currently which form the basis of its MDM Platform and Solutions portfolio. The IBM MDM platform it its current form have been a result of IBM’s acquisitions of other companies over course of time. The products which form the basis of this platform are currently are:-

• Initiate

MDMPIM, which was earlier called TPC, became a part of IBM when IBM acquired Trigo. IBM added another strong contender of MDM Solutions in the form of InforSphere MDM Server earlier called CDI when it acquired DWL. The latest addition to the same platform has been Initiate Systems which has made strong mark in health care and public systems.

Each of these products provides different flavors of master data management solution and caters to different styles of MDM implementation. They also differ in terms of various MDM Server domain supports that they provide. MDMPIM provides very strong Product domain capabilities for managing Product Category, hierarchies, packaging and other product related features. A banking company would prefer a Customer centric MDM solution like InfoSphere MDM Server which has multi-domain support and helps to create links between customer, accounts and products using the same product. It is also a more strategic product because of its multi-domain capabilities to manage party, product, account and also in terms of a very strong data model and business services to support these domains. Initiate Systems on the other hand has a strong hold on Health Care Solutions because of it high data integrity and matching process. Initiate's technology enables users (e.g., analysts, doctors, sales reps) to gain a unified perspective of a customer, patient, or entity across multiple fragmented data sources, in real time.

Thus by having such a strong MDM portfolio, IBM has ensured that it has a strong MDM presence and solutions catering to all the different market verticals and implementation. The acquired products also benefit because of their synergies with other IBM Information Management products related to Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Performance tools, Entity Matching and Industry Models. With all these acquisitions and Integrations in place the future of Master Data Management looks well for IBM.

Comments invited. !!!!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Shweta

    Although Initiate has a strong health care presence, a large number of Initiate customers sit outside of this space in Financial Services, Retail and Government sectors as well as others. Initiate offers an all in one solution, it is quick to implement as it does not require other solutions to be integrated in order to provide a true probabilistic Master Data Management solution.

    Initiate Master Data Service is positioned in the registry sector of Master Data Management, but is not limited to this area.

    Initiate takes a secondary copy of all the contributing systems key data and resolves the identity of the object (entity). Initiate uses a true probabilistic embedded matching process to ascertain the identity of the entity. This is able to take into account questionable data quality and offer the customer the ability match and retrieve records using fuzzy logic.
    Initiate stores this data logically independent, linked to the source from which it came. The flexible data model is metadata based and easily extendable using the easy to use User Interface. Initiate creates a virtual link between matched records and offers a consuming solution a view of the resolved Entity based upon rules set out by the business. These rules determine how the Composite View should be constructed, in real-time, for which ever application or person is requesting the data.

    There are a number of key differentiators between MDM Server and Initiate Master Data Service. One of which is the way the Single View is constructed and maintained.
    MDM Server works on survivorship rules to create a single persisted view of the entity. Initiate, as mentioned earlier, creates a virtual link between the source system records and generates the Composite View dependant on the ruleset.

    Initiate does not limit the organisation to one ruleset and instead allows an organisation to create a number of views of this object. Initiate is even able to offer a historical view of the entity as well as the mastered relationships which it maintains.

    Whilst Initiate has been positioned as a Healthcare and Government sector solution, I feel that this is incorrectly putting it in a restrictive box.

    When recommending a solution for a customer, a Solutions Architect or Sales Consultant, should not be forced to choose the product identified for that market space. One should look at the key strengths of the product and match up these strengths to the customer's requirements. This will provide the customer with the best possible solution to meet the needs, rather than the first one on the list.

    Initiate is a very flexible, extensible and highly scalable solution. By offering quick implementation times, customers are able to experience quick ROI and Time to Value.

    With successful case studies across 10 vertical markets and over 240 live customers, Initiate should not be disregarded as just a Healthcare only solution.

  3. Thanks Mike for the comment.

    I completely agree that Initiate cannot just be positioned on vertical like Health Care Systems but that has been the vertical where it has found the maximum success.

    My Initiate knowledge is growing with time as that is the most recent aquisition into IBM as a part of the MDM portfolio. Your comments were quite helpful to give me some knowledge on Initiate.