Should Your Master Data Be Separated from Your ERP Systems?

Loraine Lawson

Should your master data management (MDM) system be separate from your enterprise resource planning (ERP ) system?


I can honestly say I'd never really thought about it. But if you're inclined to do so, you might want to attend a free webinar Thursday on "Top Five Reasons Not to Master Your Data in SAP ERP." It's sponsored by MDM vendor Siperian and will feature Dan Power of Hub Solution Designs, as well as Siperian's senior director of product marketing, Ravi Shankar, whom I interviewed about MDM implementations in December.


The event promises to address questions such as why SAP's ERP is not the right place to master data, why you should have a separate, but co-existing system and best practices for implementing MDM.


Obviously, an MDM vendor has a vested interest in convincing you to separate MDM from ERP. For a more balanced, view, you should check out this post by Gartner's Andrew White. White also got a promotional e-mail for the webinar and thought it raised several good questions, which he briefly addresses. As you might expect, his assessment is a bit more flexible:

"ERP might be a good place to master data. As always, it depends on a number of things. ... The real question for the user is this: Where is the right source of master data for you? For some it could be ERP, for others it could be MDM, for yet more, it could be a hybrid approach including multiple systems."


The Siperian webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. ET. I recommend reading White's post first as fodder for thought.

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