The need for a 360° view of customers, products, or any business objects needed in your daily work is not new. Wasn’t it supposed to be addressed with ERP, CRM, Enterprise Data Warehouses, by the way?
But the fact is that there is still a gap between the data expectations from the Lines of Businesses and what IT delivers; now, with the advent of Big Data, the gap is widening at an alarming pace. Does that mean that we should forget about MDM because it is too challenging to achieve? Well, can you give up being customer centric? Can you open your doors to new data-driven competitors from your industry? And could you afford to ignore industry regulations and privacy mandates?
Of course you can’t.
MDM is a must, not an option, so there isn’t a choice but to overcome these challenges. To accomplish this -- together with selected Consulting and System Integration partners with proven track record in MDM consulting -- we designed the Talend Passport for MDM Success.
In a must read blog post titled “MDM: Highly recommended, still misunderstood”, Michele Goetz from Forrester Research provides evidence that MDM is hot topic. But at the same time, she warns that MDM is much more than “loading data into the hub, standardizing the view, and then pushing the data.”, but rather a data strategy. This explains why many surveys have shown that organizations often struggle to design a sound MDM strategy, not to mention a clear ROI.
This contrasts with the most recent success stories that Talend sees for MDM. Those achieving success, appear to do so by closely linking their MDM back-end with business outcomes on the front-end. This then drove them to fully engage their Lines of Businesses, not only to get the necessary funding, but also to collaboratively implement a sustainable support organization as well as best practices for Data Governance. This also allowed them to deliver MDM incrementally, by starting small with a well-defined sweet spot in mind and then expanding fast through a series of initiatives aligned with well-defined business objectives.
The lesson learned is that planning is crucial to Master Data success; however, this also appears to be the most challenging step of the project. As a result, most organizations need guidance to succeed at this phase. At Talend, we believe that our role goes beyond equipping MDM projects with the right toolset: we want to contribute as much as we can to the overall success and this is what guided us to address the issue. We aspire to help our customers back up their MDM initiative with a solid business case and to build a clear project plan and to address the prerequisites before engaging their projects.
This drove us to the design of the Talend Passport for MDM Success. We designed it as a collaborative effort with our partners: we selected MDM Consulting and System Integrators across regions, those who had both a proven track record both in MDM consulting and in delivering Talend MDM projects on expectations, on time and on budgets. Once we gathered the community, we worked on the deliverable of the offer.
The Talend Passport for MDM Success is packaged consulting services that can be delivered in a short period (from four to six weeks depending on the project type and scope). It provides guidance to ensure that the MDM project is on the right track and establishes a solid foundation for an MDM roll-out. Concretely, the goal is to:
- Assess an organization maturity for engaging in an MDM program and set up a plan to meet the prerequisites;
- Define/refine the MDM business case(s) and be ready to promote them to the Lines of Businesses;
- Draw a project roadmap and get ready to start the execution
The feedback from the selected partners with regards to this initiative has outpaced the expectations. The initial objective was to have one partner on board for each of our core regions before the end of first quarter of 2015. As of today, nine companies have joined the alliance, from global providers to deep specialist boutiques. And those names resonate: Bearing Point, Cap Gemini, CGI, CSC, McKnight Consulting Group, IPL, Micropole, Sopra Steria, Virtusa. And they are all ready to deliver.
Take McKnight Consulting Group for example. They are fully focused on strategizing, designing and deploying in the disciplines of Master Data Management, Big Data, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. Their CEO, William McKnight is a well-known thought leader in the area of information management as a strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full-lifecycle implementations worldwide. Here is his feedback on the program: “McKnight Consulting Group is delighted to be a partner in the Passport to Success program. MDM is an imperative today. Master data must be formed and distributed as soon as the data is available. Often the data needs workflow and quality processes to be effective. We have been helping clients realize these benefits for many years and are extremely focused in building solid, workable plans, built contextually to the organization’s current and future desired state. All of our plans have formed the master data strategies for many years. We look forward to continuing to get information under control and to raising the maturity of the important asset of information."
Because we know the power of a community, thanks to our open source DNA, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel by creating a new offer. Rather, we are taking a very pragmatic approach in order to leverage the best practices and approaches that each of our partners have already successfully delivered. So we designed collaboratively with each of those partners a Passport for MDM Success that can be delivered today. It was simply a matter of aligning our objectives and assets. From a more personal perspective, this was a great exercise to connect with the best MDM experts from around the world and come together to create an offer that fully meets our initial objectives.
Now that we launched the offer, the results are very promising. Not only are some of our prospects opting for these services, but they are already running our approach as a way to accelerate and secure their planning efforts and make sure that they have their Lines of Business on board. We also see interest from customers that are already engaged in delivering MDM, so that they can augment the impact of their MDM implementation and expand their projects to other domains and use cases.
Now that we delivered this initiative, the story is not over. First, we welcome other Consulting and System Integrators that have experience in providing MDM guidance as well as delivering Talend MDM projects to join the community. Also, together with our partners we will begin to add deeper industry flavor to this program, so that we bundle specific industry best practices into our standard services.