Missing the Boat
Surely then data quality vendors should have seized on MDM like a drowning man would at a life-raft? Data quality issues are a significant element of master data management, and while having software that can match up disparate name and address files is a long way from having a true MDM offering, remember that this is the tinseltown world of high-tech marketing, where a product can morph into another field with just a wave of a Powerpoint wand. Data quality vendors certainly ought to have grasped that matching up disparate definitions of things like "product" and "customer" was at least related to what their existing offerings did, and could have launched new MDM-flavored offerings to pick up on the coat-tails of the nascent but burgeoning MDM bandwagon. Instead there hasn't been a peep, and vendors have resigned themselves to being picked off by in some cases somewhat odd acquirers (Pitney Bowes, for example, is a direct mail firm; does it really grasp what it takes to be an enterprise software vendor?). Having avoided the clutches of Pitney Bowes, First Logic is now making progress in talking about MDM, but it is not perceived by the market as an MDM vendor. Elsewhere in the data quality industry, the silence around MDM is deafening.
As the data quality market essentially disappears into the portfolios of integration companies like Ascential (now IBM) and Informatica (which at least make logical sense as buyers), and assorted others, the executives of some of these companies surely must be wondering whether they missed a trick.