Making sense of it all 1

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When we published our most recent Market Update on MDM, just last
August, there were half-a-dozen pure play vendors in the
transactional MDM market. Now there are half that number. I need
hardly ask the question “what’s going on?”, because it’s obvious
that the market is consolidating. Nevertheless, it is worthy of
comment since the acquisitions of Amalto by Talend, Siperian by
Informatica and Initiate by IBM do not all represent the same
approach. In particular, the first two are strategic while the
third is tactical.

Talend acquired Amalto last year and the company recently
launched the combined offering. This is a stack play by Talend
that now offers data integration, data quality and MDM in a
combined offering, albeit that registry-based MDM is not offered
in this release. While the companies were not partners
particularly before the acquisition they were both open source
vendors and they were both French so this all made sense.

Informatica is already a stack vendor and it felt that now was
the right time to extend its stack. Especially as the company
(now with revenues over $500m) is starting to be thought of as a
gorilla. In this case the company has been a long-time partner of
Siperian’s. Siperian embeds Identity Systems (owned by
Informatica) in its technology and also the majority of Siperian
customers use Address Doctor (also part of Informatica) for
cleansing purposes, while the two also had many joint customers.
Again, this makes sense from a strategic viewpoint.

IBM’s acquisition of Initiate is another kettle of fish. The two
have not historically been partnersindeed Initiate was a partner
of Datanomic for data quality purposes and, in any case, IBM
already has its own MDM solutions. So this is a tactical purchase
to gain market share and to acquire a (stronger) foothold within
the healthcare market, where Initiate has traditionally been
particularly successful (along with government). The problem, of
course, is precisely that IBM now has three MDM solutions and it
hasn’t completed the process of integrating the first two yet,
which raises all sorts of questions. As one tweet put it: IBM
will need an MDM solution to manage its MDM solutions.

Of course, the same also applies to Oracle with its own rash of
MDM solutions plus, now, Sun’s.

Apart from the bad news for Datanomic, these purchases raise
questions for the remaining vendors in the space: can they
survive without a stack? If they need an exit strategy (Stibo
probably doesn’t because it’s part of a larger, but non-IT,
group) is there one actually available? Unless HP decides to dip
its toes into these waters (which it would most likely do simply
by buying Informatica) there doesn’t look to be anyone out there
to acquire you unless they want to buy market share, which is
going to be increasingly difficult to gain with all the big
players in the market. Niche markets here we come!