How We Tamed Master Data Management Problems With Dell-Boomi MDM solution

We recently brought a new Boomi Master Data Management installation live for one of our customers. Here are some impressions on the MDM product, and its fit in the enterprise landscape.

First the setting for this project. The customer is a fast growing biotech company, and is implementing cloud-based best of breed applications.

They have committed to Boomi as the middleware to glue this architecture together. Kitepipe has been working with them for about a year now in both a development and support role, and we have dozen or so point to point integrations in place.

As the architecture gets more complicated, a fair portion of the integration load is devoted to keeping master data in synch across the eight or nine application platforms. It became clear that the Master Data Management solution from Dell-Boomi would simplify the architecture. Simpler architecture means reduced development and maintenance, and a single place to manage the master data. The cost savings for the customer was primarily in platform admin savings and speed around maintaining master data (users, products, vendors, etc) in the multiple cloud applications.

The sponsor of the project was the IT head of infrastructure and support, who had a significant pain point around User provisioning across the many cloud platforms. We targeted this pain point as the initial master data set - user properties, permissions and provisioning. We had several point to point Boomi integrations in place, so we knew many of the data details. The Kitepipe team analyzed the application endpoints, and designed a master data user provisioning “Golden Record” for the MDM platform.

The main difference between MDM and Boomi Atomsphere is that MDM provides a secure cloud-based repository for the master data, that is easily accessible from Boomi integration processes, or directly from application platforms with some api scripting.

This MDM repository:

  • manages Golden Record contents, can be anything from users to customers to orders
  • applies rules to new inputs for quality and error detection,
  • quarantines and notifies in the event of discrepancies
  • provides a UI to manage and resolve conflicts, and
  • becomes the new source for master data for Boomi integrations and applications

Implementation was straightforward, with the usual caveats: Do expect to spend time working on data cleanup - to align all sources and endpoints Do expect to manage the transition to client data stewardship - we drove much of the initial data cleanup, but needed to hand off that task to customer data stewards as part of the project.

Project has been a success - delivering operational streamlining, and managing quality for critical and sensitive user provisioning data. This particular use case solves a vexing problem for many organizations moving to the cloud - how to insure that the right set of users has the approved level of access to the correct set of applications. In near real time, handling hires, contractor conversions and terminations.

User Provisioning is the dark side of single sign-on. Single sign on solutions are slick at managing the access to a host of applications, but don’t talk about how users get provisioned and de-provisioned in the applications. And who is going to do that. Solutions I' ve heard include “you will do some custom API programming using Active directory as the source to add new users.” The Dell=Boomi Atomsphere and MDM combination solves the “last mile” problem, using simple Boomi process. These access MDM user master data to update user provisioning in a host of cloud applications. In our next phase, we will update the SAP mini-master, as well.

Our experience with the MDM product is very positive. Dell-Boomi MDM differentiators include:

  • Easy to set up - provisioned in the Dell-Boomi cloud, no VMs to spin up
  • Supports rich and complex models - Our initial model holds user data, demographics, employment dates, and roles and permissions to five cloud application platforms, plus Active Directory
  • Provides rule-based validation and quarantine, by data source
  • Supports notification for updates in the source system (preferred) or direct master data update in the platform
  • Uses the rich connectivity and data transformation features of Atomsphere. Boomi processes act on application endpoints based on changes to master data - delivering the user provisioning to the application

If you are a Boomi shop that can benefit from streamlining operations with better master data management, contact us!

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