Kalido Hones Its MDM Chops

Kalido last week showcased an updated version of its popular application suite, complete with improved MDM capabilities

When industry watchers close the books on 2005, they’ll almost certainly spin it as a year in which data integration took center stage.

By the looks of it, however, they might have another trend to celebrate, too—that of master data management (MDM). Thanks to several key acquisitions and product launches, MDM has all the makings of a hot emerging trend.

MDM made news again last week when enterprise data warehousing specialist (and MDM pioneer) Kalido showcased an updated version of its popular application suite, complete with improved MDM capabilities. KALIDO 8 R2 builds upon the first-generation MDM capabilities the company announced last June, when it delivered R1 of its version 8 suite.

The timing, company officials argue, couldn’t be better. “Companies need to better manage master data to help them get a clear view of corporate performance. This means putting in place a way to harmonize information from across operational systems,” said Michael Waclawiczek, VP of marketing and product management with Kalido, in a statement.

MDM proposes to do just that by reconciling the disparate, product-specific metadata that proliferates in some enterprise environments. Consider an organization that uses PeopleSoft’s Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Objects’ BI tools, and a reporting tool from the former Brio Software. Each of these products has its own metadata schema, yet there’s no portability, much less interoperability, between and among these metadata schemas. MDM solutions aim to solve these and other issues.

MDM has grabbed more than a few headlines over the last few months. Earlier this year, for example, OLAP and Business performance management (BPM) vendor Hyperion Solutions Corp. acquired Razaa, a provider of master data management technology. Hyperion has since touted its MDM capabilities as a competitive differentiator vis-à-vis its BPM competitors.

Furthermore, just last week, high-end data warehousing stalwart Teradata (a division of NCR Corp.) allied with supply-chain-management specialist i2 to promote master data management. Teradata, like Kalido, plans to leverage its respected data warehouse platform as a repository for MDM information.

Kalido’s Approach

KALIDO 8 introduced a workflow-driven, Web-based repository for managing master data. In this respect, officials say, it was able to provide a consistent and accurate information repository for BPM, regulatory compliance, and similar efforts. KALIDO 8 R2 ups the ante, enabling two-way integration between applications for both master data management and enterprise data warehousing. As a result, officials say, changes to master data definitions are also simultaneously replicated in the data warehouse. This has the effect of making BPM analysis and regulatory reporting more timely and accurate.

Mike Schiff, a senior analyst with consultancy Current Analysis Inc., says Kalido has staked out a reputation as a MDM visionary. “Kalido was one of the first data warehousing vendors to recognize the benefits and advantages of managing and distributing reference or master data through a data warehouse,” he writes. “The enhancements in KALIDO 8 Release 2, including the ability to synchronize reference data whether the change is initiated from an operational system or from within the data warehouse, will allow a deploying organization to collaboratively manage its master data even more effectively. At the same time, he says, the company isn’t alone. Hyperion and Teradata have gotten hip to the promise of MDM, for starters, and other big name competitors—like Oracle Corp. and SAP AG—are also getting wise to the technology.

“With its ability not only to manage and distribute current reference file values and reconcile differences among organizational business units, but also to retain historical values and their effective dates, Kalido offers many attractive and [innovative] features,” he says. “Although Kalido faces competition from vendors several times, if not several orders of magnitude, its size, it is not limiting is focus to customer data as some others have done.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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