MDM on a Budget: Dell Boomi Says Cloud Tool Cheaper, Easier for Mid-size Companies

Loraine Lawson

Earlier this month, Dell Boomi announced its new master data management solution — a cloud offering that actually moves your data into the cloud and manages it there.

This raised a lot of questions for me, but first and foremost, I wanted to know: What did the company mean when it said “MDM”?

That may seem like a weird question, but cloud MDM services aren’t always what you’d consider a full MDM tool. In fact, the IT research firm Gartner has been very critical of the field, repeatedly calling cloud MDM “immature,” as Gartner analyst Andrew White explained in November.

So, after Dell Director of Product Marketing Chris McNabb finished the product briefing, I mentioned Gartner’s position and asked what kind of data the service can master. The answer: Dell Boomi’s cloud MDM isn’t limited in the data types it can master.

“Through our early adopters, we have been able to handle all customer data, product data, and basically vendor data or commercial company data,” McNabb said. “We do believe we could add other domains to that as well.”

It’s an interesting offering, because it also includes connectors so you can add data quality services — your own or someone else’s— to it, which makes it more customizable for different industries.

It’s also cheaper than traditional, on-premise MDM, according to McNabb, because the vendor handles all of the infrastructure, versioning and security issues. By setting it up so all of the upgrades and patches can be handled in one monthly release, costs are kept down for Boomi, too.

That makes it a good option for those mid-level businesses that might not otherwise be able to invest in MDM, he said, though he did acknowledge cloud MDM might not be for everybody.

“We’ve evidence that the people who are ready to accept their MDM data in the cloud is growing dramatically. It’s basically doubled from 2011 to 2012,” he said. “While I would not call it a mass market, it’s certainly trending in that way.”

To learn more about Dell Boomi’s offering, including what happens if you need to move your data off its cloud MDM platform, check out my full Q&A with McNabb.

So far, I haven’t found any commentary about this new solution from the analyst community. The Group 451 wrote a blog post assessing the offering, but it’s only available to subscribers.

If you’d like to read more about how this solution might fit into the overall MDM market, check out this IT-TNA article.

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