Thoughts From An Alumnus – The 2020 Gartner MDM Magic Quadrant

The long-awaited Gartner Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions finally published earlier this week. After leading or collaborating on many iterations of this report over the past eight years and participating in the market this year from the vendor side after leaving Gartner last June, I was eager to see the results from my esteemed former colleagues. I urge every reader of this document to not simply peruse the diagram or even just the vendor summaries, but to read the entire document. In addition, be careful to remember that the time period covered here is largely calendar year 2018, with some data points reaching to the end of the first quarter of 2019.

I very much enjoyed diving into the content (maybe a bit more than writing it in the past!), and the majority of what I found is not only accurate, but resonates highly with the market vision and strategy here at Profisee (see my blog post from last summer on why I joined Profisee here: profisee.com/blog/mdm-for-the-masses/).

At the market level, there are several spot-on observations, and I have to admit, one or two items that made me raise an eyebrow. Some of the highlights:

  • “The MDM market is showing a significant move from high cost and complexity to license flexibility and implementation agility.” I couldn’t agree more, as we see this every single day at Profisee. Fortunately, Profisee offers several licensing options based on either a perpetual or subscription model, and at one of the lowest price points in the market. In addition, Profisee has an innovative and unique approach to MDM pricing that does not penalize the buyer for adding new data domains, but in fact encourages them to take advantage of our full multi-domain capability.
  • “Interest in the more MDM- or niche-focused vendors is rising and reflected in the 2018 growth rates.” Here again, Profisee’s singular focus on MDM has made us more appealing to those enterprises (both large and mid-sized) that are just beginning digital transformation and/or data management efforts, and find the multiple offerings of our larger competitors confusing or daunting. I particularly appreciate the section of the MQ document within Market Trends that succinctly describes the differences between MDM, ADM (which Profisee also supports), and 360-degree view solutions.
  • “Cloud gains momentum.” Now this is one that gives me pause, as the conclusion is described as drawn from the fact that the proportion of survey references that the vendors submitted that were cloud-based rose from 24% in 2017 to 57% in 2018. It’s possible that this is simply the orientation of the references that the vendors chose to submit. We certainly agree that cloud is gaining momentum, but rarely as a cloud-only solution – customers still prefer complete flexibility to start on-premises with the option to migrate as required. Even in this case, they may leave their development and QA instances on-premises while moving production to the cloud, or vice versa.  Cloud is clearly an increasingly important part of the MDM picture, but it’s rarely a binary decision – it’s about offering more implementation choice and flexibility. Having said all this, I’m proud to say that with our next release at the end of this quarter, Profisee will be cloud-native and fully containerized, which means it can be deployed anywhere, including on-premises or in a hybrid cloud/on-premises configuration.
  • “Only 51% of the 263 reference customers participating in the 2019 survey cited being completely happy with their vendor.” Obviously, this statistic should be troubling for any MDM vendor as it implies that there are either technical or support issues that presumably are translating into missed expectations, and missed expectations from one vendor can taint the perception of the whole category.  Here at Profisee, we have long recognized the hurdles in implementing successful MDM and have put in place a broad range of methods for customer engagement and support from joint ROI studies to an online ‘Ideas’ portal for customers to make and vote on improvement suggestions. I would also like to point out that in a recent MDM Landscape report, The Information Difference reported “In this research cycle, the vendor with the happiest customers was Profisee…”
  • “A major pain point and recurring theme in the 2018 customer feedback was lack of availability of skilled third-party resources.” Profisee heard this loud and clear from the market long before I arrived, and no longer content with simply expanding our partner list, hired Todd Jarvis, our VP of Global Alliances & Channels. Todd started at Profisee on the same day I did last summer, and has partner and channel experience with companies such as Oracle and others. He has already revolutionized our approach to this area, and is absolutely committed to deepening our partner capabilities and engagement. I’ve already had the pleasure of co-presenting on MDM and other digital transformation topics with our partners both in the US and around the world, and I very much look forward to continued active involvement on this front.

While we at Profisee have maintained our position as a Challenger this year, and as always are grateful for the huge effort (and believe me, I know) that Gartner analysts expend in the production of this report, we are not content to rest on our laurels. I’m excited to report that we have just ended the most successful fourth quarter, and the most successful year, in our history. We look forward to continuing this trend into 2020 and beyond.

See you out there!


Bill O’Kane
VP & MDM Strategist @ Profisee
Other Posts
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