Teradata and i2 Partner to Promote Master Data Management

Meet MDM, the latest hot technology practice

Last week, data warehousing powerhouse Teradata, a division of NCR Corp., and supply chain management (SCM) specialist i2 Technologies Inc. agreed to a new partnership designed to promote master data management.

The two companies announced a hybrid master data management solution based on of i2’s Master Data Management (MDM) and Teradata’s enterprise data warehouse. The idea, officials say, is that Teradata can function as a master data repository for i2’s applications.

“Integrating a leading comprehensive MDM application on the leading enterprise data warehouse will provide synchronized visibility across the business,” said Bob Fair, Teradata’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Companies will benefit because they will be able to strengthen customer service, improve asset utilization, and reduce time-to-market.”

MDM Gains Mindshare

Master data management describes the practice of reconciling the wild profusion of disparate, product-specific metadata that proliferates in some enterprise environments. Think of it as metadata about metadata.

Consider an organization that uses PeopleSoft’s Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Objects’ BI tools, and—just to complicate things—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.

Teradata and i2 aren’t the only vendors hip to the emerging importance of master data management, of course. Earlier this year, Hyperion Solutions Corp. acquired Razaa, a respected provider of master data management technology. Hyperion has since made much of its master data management capabilities as a competitive differentiator among BPM competitors.

“Most companies have master data (dimensions, charts of accounts, organizational structures, customer masters, product masters), but most have that scattered in multiple systems,” said Tobin Gilman, senior director of product marketing with Hyperion, in an interview last month. The problem is particularly acute among many would-be BPM adopters, says Gilman, noting that data sometimes remains siloed because of the wild profusion of metadata schemas.

Under the terms of the partnership, i2’s MDM solution will be certified for Teradata’s data warehouse. Porting and certification will include MDM as well as Performance Manager, i2’s analytic reporting application, and Supply Chain Visibility, i2's supply chain event-management application.

I2 says it developed MDM to provide a platform for its supply-chain customers to exchange real-time data internally and externally with partners. I2 and Teradata say the hybrid offering should be available by the second half of this year.

About the Author

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

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