I was having a conversation with a social media contact the other day,  and, with them knowing about my current MDM initiative and what we have achieved,  they asked if I was going to deploy CDI or PIM as well. My response to them may have been a bit short, I was tired!  But it went along the lines of:

“What do you mean?  Are CDI and PIM not part of MDM?”

But after wards I started thinking about it.  Are CDI or PIM part of MDM?

Seeing as it is the festive season,  I thought I would answer that question with a little festive story.

Santa does MDM!Beach_Santa

As we all know Santa is a very busy man at this time of the year.  However for him to be able to run his operation with such military precision,  he works all year round,  with the help of his trusty team of Elves, Reindeer and dear old long suffering Mother Christmas.

One day in early January Santa was sitting on a beach in the Bahamas, enjoying a well earned break,  when he received a call on his iPhone (yes even Santa has an iPhone!)

“Hello is that Sir Nick?’ asked the caller

“No, it is Saint Nick!  who may I ask is calling?” replied Santa

“Sorry Saint Nick,  I was a bit nervous there,  my name is Jim MacDeal,  I work with MDM Solutions Inc,  you may have heard of us?”  said the caller rather hopefully.

“No, I’m afraid I haven’t, and I will let you know that I am on vacation,  so I am not in the mood for any kind of sale pitch” replied Santa, rather sternly

“I understand Saint Nick …” started Jim

“You may call me Santa!” interrupted Santa

“Ok,  Santa,  if I may just take a moment of your time,  I think I can help you in your well documented quest for becoming more efficient in your Christmas gift delivery processes” explained Jim

“Go on” said Santa, rather sceptically

“Well,  our MDM solution can deliver efficiencies across all your core operational processes, through the delivery of accurate, clean, current information, on your customer base, production line and many other key entities in your business.  Imagine reducing the time it takes to compile your “Naughty and Nice” list by more than half? or ensuring that the dimensions of all the presents are accurately defined during manufacture so that your capacity planning when loading the sleigh reduces space wastage by a third? – We can do that for you!” said Jim,  rather excitedly

“Really?  and what do your call this stuff?” asked Santa,  now sounding a bit more interested

“Well,  it all falls under the umbrella of MDM,  but it includes CDI and PIM” said Jim

“Um, err,  what?  are you speaking Swahili?” asked Santa,  rather confused

“Oops, sorry Santa,  those are three letter acronyms or TLA’s we love them in our business,  let me explain ….

CDI stands for Customer Data Integration – which is the process of consolidating and managing customer information into a central database system of record, from all available sources, including contact details and other key data from customer contact points.

PIM stands for Product Information Management – which is the processes of reconciling product master data, create and manage a central database system of record, enable the delivery of a single product view of data.

MDM stands for Master Data Management – which is a comprehensive approach to linking all an enterprise’s data elements. The goal of MDM is to streamline data sharing and provide everyone in the enterprise with a single, consistent view of critical data by using both technology and data governance techniques.

I may have gone a bit technical there Santa, but I wanted to get the true definitions of each across”  said Jim, felling quite impressed that as a salesman he could define each area off the top of his head.

“No,  that was fine Jim,  you may be surprised to know that I am quite up with all the latest business twaddle that you folk spurt out,  I need to be to understand what to give you geeks as your Christmas presents” laughed Santa

“Now,  let me get this straight, CDI, PIM and MDM will provide me with a single version of the truth, driving efficiencies across my enterprise.  Kind of like treating my data as a enterprise asset?”  asked Santa

“Good grief Santa,  I have to say you are 100% correct!” exclaimed Jim, who was getting even more excited

“Now,  in today’s tough economy, yes even I have been impacted, do I need to buy all this stuff?  Will a good MDM solution not provide me with the capability to deploy CDI and PIM?” asked Santa.

“Well, to be honest Santa,  you got me there,  with our software you can build CDI and PIM  capabilities,  it’s called a multi entity hub,  and we are the leading vendor in that arena” responded Jim

“So,  CDI and PIM are all attributes of Master Data Management.  However I would think that if I were to embark on an MDM program I would start with CDI,  I need to sort out the creation of my Naughty and Nice list,  last year I gave a present to Tiger Woods,  not sure he is going to be on my Nice list this year!” joked Santa

“You are definitely a wise man Santa, starting your MDM program with a quick win is the best way to go,  it will help you get buy-in from Mrs Santa” said Jim

“This all sounds very good to me,  let’s talk when I get back from my vacation,  give me a ring in 3 weeks” said Santa cheerfully

“I will do Santa,  enjoy your holiday” said Jim

“Ho ho ho” chortled Santa as he rang off.

“Jim,  Jim,  wake up Jim,  you are drooling on your keyboard” Jim’s colleague Jane was shaking him by the shoulder

As Jim woke up he realized it was all a dream,  he had not spoken to Santa.  And we should have realized early on,  which salesman do you know that can real off the definition of MDM, CDI and PIM like that?

Happy holidays everyone!