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Andy Hayler

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Andy Hayler is one of the world’s foremost experts on master data management. Andy started his career with Esso as a database administrator and, among other things, invented a “decompiler” for ADF, enabling a dramatic improvement in support efforts in this area.  He became the youngest ever IT manager for Esso Exploration before moving to Shell. As Technology Planning Manager of Shell UK he conducted strategy studies that resulted in significant savings for the company.  Andy then became Principal Technology Consultant for Shell international, engaging in significant software evaluation and procurement projects at the enterprise level.  He then set up a global information management consultancy business which he grew from scratch to 300 staff. Andy was architect of a global master data and data warehouse project for Shell downstream which attained USD 140M of annual business benefits. 

Andy founded Kalido, which under his leadership was the fastest growing business intelligence vendor in the world in 2001.  Andy was the only European named in Red Herring’s “Top 10 Innovators of 2002”.  Kalido was a pioneer in modern data warehousing and master data management.

He is now founder and CEO of The Information Difference, a boutique analyst and market research firm, advising corporations, venture capital firms and software companies.   He is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences on master data management, data governance and data quality. He is also a respected restaurant critic and author (  Andy has an award-winning blog  He can be contacted at


IBM as just announced version 10 of its MDM offering, now called “Infosphere Master Data Management”. IBM has been on a long-term path to merging the MDM technologies it acquired in the product domain (from Trigo) and the customer domain (DWL). This was a path further complicated by its more recent purchase of Initiate. This announcement brings these product lines together, at least under a common marketing banner and price structure. The idea is that the new product is available is four “editions”. The “collaborative” edition is essentially the old MDM Server for PIM (exTrigo). The “standard” edition is essentially the old Initiate product. The “Advanced” edition bundles these two technologies together. The “enterprise edition” adds in the old MDM Server for Customer (ex DWL) product.

There is a unified pricing model behind these editions, though this apparent step forward is rather handicapped by the pricing model being distinctly opaque. It is based on no less than four parameters: edition, industry, data domains being managed and how many records are being mastered. When something becomes this complex it gives the sales force considerable flexibility (presumably the intention) but is potentially confusing for the customers, and possibly IBM’s own staff.

Fortunately, as well as this partial step forward on the marketing side, there is some actual code in the release. The Initiate matching engine, which was well regarded, is now used across the product line for probabilistic matching (the old Quality Stage approach is still available fro deterministic matching). The workflow engine BPM Express is bundled in with the enterprise edition, meaning that very complex sets of workflow and permissions can now be handled, if need be in a real-time manner. There is a much-needed overhaul of the old PIM user interlace in the new Collaborative Edition. Other enhancements are present, such as integration with the Guardium Data Activity Monitor.

All this amounts to a significant release that at least starts IBM on a path to unifying its MDM technologies. This will be a long path, as there are still three underlying, different, server technologies here. However at least customers now have a sense of the MDM direction in which IBM is heading now even if they need to realise that it will be a long and winding road before they get there.

Posted October 14, 2011 10:04 PM
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