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IBM Unveils Industry-First SOA Software to Help Companies Centrally Manage Customer, Product, and Account Master Data


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced IBM Master Data Management Server, the first software product to allow companies to manage many types of master data as a strategic business asset in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The IBM Master Data Management Server was designed to centrally manage master data concerning customers, products, and accounts, and help organizations define, access, and use that data in real-time. IBM also announced that it will offer a beta testing program for the new software.

Businesses have historically tackled managing master data by using existing business applications that hold some customer, product, or account-specific data, but are not designed to manage master data as an enterprise-wide asset. Because of this, organizations have found it difficult to design and implement enterprise processes that rely on accurate, complete, and consistent master data.

Today, financial services providers, retailers, manufacturers, telecommunications providers, government agencies, and businesses in other industries are recognizing that they need a single, multi-purpose view of their master data to better compete and capitalize on emerging business opportunities. IBM is addressing this need with multiform master data management, a new approach to handling business information that makes a single version of master data accessible in a form appropriate for usage by multiple applications and users. This approach supports the various ways in which an organization defines, creates, uses, and analyzes its master data.

“Our existing master data management product from IBM has helped us achieve our customer data integration strategy, which was to implement a single system of record to serve all applications in real-time,” said Vivien Fong, senior vice president and chief information officer, The Co-operators Group Limited. “We are excited about the evolution to IBM Master Data Management Server, as it appears to be a good fit with our future direction in managing additional data domains, such as accounts and billing, product, and locations.”

The IBM Master Data Management Server will be the first product to give organizations the ability to manage key data concerning a party (a customer, supplier, citizen, employee, prospect, guest or agent), a product (item, product bundle or part), an account, or an agreement in a service oriented architecture.

“With the IBM Master Data Management Server, we are breaking new ground by allowing businesses to use a single platform to access customer, product, and account information in multiple views and deployment styles, based on the needs of the individual application,” said Jim Welch, vice president, Information Platform & Solutions, IBM. “Together with the IBM Information Server, this software will help clients accelerate the delivery of business value through the innovative use of master information.”

The software will provide all functionality from IBM’s current customer data integration product, WebSphere Customer Center. In addition to providing the ability to manage party, product, and account information, IBM Master Data Management Server will feature powerful new data governance capabilities and increased flexibility in both the deployment of the software and the ease with which it can be used to support business processes. The IBM Master Data Management Server will also include new capabilities to manage customer accounts, product bundles, organizational hierarchies, and compliance data to boost an organization’s ability to know and understand its customers.

Continuing its market leadership in product information management, IBM also announced new services capabilities for WebSphere Product Center based on best practices which IBM has developed in deploying master data management solutions for retailers, distributors and manufacturers. Delivered as part of an implementation project, these assets will help companies use WebSphere Product Center to more effectively deploy master data systems to streamline new product introduction processes and deliver improved content for e-commerce applications.


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