I went to the CDI-MDM Spring 2007 Summit in San Francisco last week. I learned a lot and became more optimistic about the future of MDM. I didn’t go to the original summit last spring but from what I heard, this one was about twice as big and include many more real CDI-MDM users as attendees. As I understand it, last year was primarily product vendors scoping each other out but this year there were a significant number of users in attendance and many of the talks included real user experiences. Even the vendor presentations were less “this is what out tools can do” and more “this is what our customers are doing with our tools”. While the market is still pretty new, a few vendors are starting to establish themselves as mature solution providers in the space.
Even though this was billed as a CDI-MDM conference, there were a few PIM (Product Information Management) sessions which was good to see because I think eventually PIM will be as big if not bigger than CDI. It seems to be easier to quantify the financial impact of poor quality product information than poor quality customer information. Just in the area of incorrect invoices caused by inconsistent product specs and pricing information, some companies are saving millions of dollars by implementing PIM solutions.
Several Microsoft people gave talks but they were all given by Microsoft IT people who are implementing CDI solutions for the Microsoft internal systems. No Microsoft as an MDM platform talks – maybe next year.
On the way back while standing in line at security I got an idea for a great new product. About half the people in line were staring off into space while talking on their Bluetooth headsets. What the world really needs is a fake Bluetooth headset. Not only can you get out of any boring or awkward conversations by pretending to answer and incoming call but for those of us who tend to talk to ourselves in public, we can now do it to our hearts content without attracting scorn and ridicule. Sure, you can use a real Bluetooth headset but you can get all the real benefits from a fake one at a fraction of the cost.