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Software // Information Management

IBM Unveils New Master Data Management Software

Release handles product master data for retail and manufacturing.

Ventana QuickTake™

The newest version of IBM's WebSphere Product Center provides master data management (MDM) capabilities for managing product information in the retail, consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics and manufacturing industries. Designed to improve performance, flexibility and scalability, it offers new service-oriented architecture (SOA) features to help organizations collect, author, rationalize and publish product information across multiple internal systems, as well as externally with trading partners. This should help accelerate time to market and generate new business and revenue opportunities. WebSphere Product Center also supports SQL-like queries to help organizations find and retrieve precise product-related information.

With the introduction of Product Center, IBM joins the ranks of vendors offering product information management (PIM) software; among its competitors are i2, Oracle, SAP and Tibco (Velosel). UDEX offers products that interoperate with Product Data Quality (PDQ) capabilities that can complement tools from most PIM providers, including IBM. The close integration with WebSphere's SOA-based integration technology will make Product Center an attractive option for customers already using the WebSphere platform that seek to reconcile and integrate product information across their business. However, this product-focused announcement begs the question of how IBM will treat other master data objects, such as customer, organization or vendors. While we welcome another option for PIM, this new offering would have greater impact and value delivered in the context of a comprehensive, integrated MDM solution based on WebSphere. Ventana Research recommends that existing WebSphere customers that have a strong need to manage product data consider this approach. Organizations that seek a more comprehensive approach to master data management should look at the wider market before making a final decision.

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