Monday, November 5, 2007

News Analysis: Dun and Bradstreet Acquires Purisma

On November 5th, Short Hills, NJ-based Dun and Bradstreet revealed its $48M acquisition of Purisma, Inc, a, Redwood City, CA provider of customer hub solutions. Until now, the majority of DandB’s expertise had been applied to the company’s flagship hosted services and data products, not its on-site Integration Manager or customer hub solution. The acquisition and integration of Purisma will bring a solutions focused approach to the on-site customer hub solution and could augment strong B2B capabilities, improve internationalization, deliver hierarchy management, and support data stewardship processes.

DandB’s acquisition of Purisma represents a significant step in the trusted data provider’s transformation into a customer hub and potential master data management (MDM) solution provider. As a premier B2B data and hosted services vendor, DandB can now deliver on a hybrid customer hub offering with on-site data augmented by sophisticated hosted services. DandB also provides B2C capabilities through a recent partnership to OEM Acxiom’s Abilitec solutions. The acquisition of Purisma is strategic because this:
  • Provides DandB customers with advanced customer hub tools. DandB’s on-site customer hub solution, Integration Manager, comes with implementation services and automatic monthly refreshes of DandB data made possible through DandB’s DUNSRight Quality Assurance Process. Customer’s light on IT resources benefit by matching their own B2B data against DandB’s gold standard. Today, DandB’s offering suits companies that wanted to compare their data to DandB data rather than create or manage new “best source of truth” information. However, the acquisition and integration of Purisma’s rapid deployment solutions change the game, allowing the ability to add vertical industry versions, support data model extensibility, administer data stewardship, and leverage hierarchies to create new “best source of truth” information.
  • Validates Purisma’s innovative technology while removing viability concerns. As a core technology within a $1.4B leading provider of business insight, Purisma now has the visibility and funds to expand on key innovations such as team based data governance, multi-dimensional data hierarchies, what-if analyses, and simplified DandB data integration from Purisma Data Hub Version 3.0 and high availability and enhanced DandB corporate family tree management in Version 3.5. Purisma can also augment previous deficiencies with DandB’s strengths in data cleansing, integration and synchronization, and security and privacy.
  • Opens the door to bring other master data solutions into the DandB universe. Innovations from Purisma allows DandB to solve multi-entity data management and enter the software appliance market. Customers and prospects should expect future developments to include expansion into other data entities such as product, suppliers, locations, and financial accounts. Purisma’s head start in software appliances such as myData for DandB appliance builds preconfigured software applications which are purpose specific, configure to order, auto updating, require no installation, and deliver a managed service through subscription based pricing.
The bottom line for users

Customers and prospects stand to benefit from this complementary acquisition once DandB fully integrates the Purisma capabilities.
  • Existing DandB customers should consider the Purisma solution. Those with heterogeneous data requirements and hierarchy management needs benefit most from Purisma’s solution focused approach. Customers should discuss with DandB post merger integration plans, product roadmap milestones, and future partnerships. Explore how the solution may evolve into an MDM offering.
  • Existing Purisma customers should discuss enterprise contracts with DandB. Purisma’s pricing model differs from DandB’s approach. With almost a 70% overlap in customer bases, most Purisma customers have a relationship with DandB and should explore options to continue with Purisma’s user based pricing approach or identify a fair conversion credit to DandB’s pricing models. There may be some bundled opportunties.
  • Prospects now have a strong alternative for CDI. Customers with DandB data now have the option to sole source a CDI solution. Over time expect DandB to address other data entities such as product, location, employee, or financial accounts. However, those looking for immediate solutions should consider other vendors such as IBM, Initiate, Oracle, and Siperian for now.
The bottom line for vendors

Companies increasingly rank MDM as a high priority technology initiative for 2008. CDI technologies represent a key subset of MDM. As MDM technologies continue to be consolidated into middleware stacks or complimentary solutions, the market can expect:
  • Trusted data providers to partner or acquire MDM capabilities. DandB has made a serious commitment here that the other trusted data sources have not made. Anticipate that vendors such as Harte Hanks, InfoUSA, Experian, and other trusted data sources will create partnerships with pure play vendors such as Siperian, Initiate, and VisonWare. Expect a rush to explore those partnership opportunities which may lead to MandA discussions.
  • Large vendors to hasten consolidation among “MDM” components. While trusted data source vendors will remain nervous, other well funded players will certainly enter the market. Consolidation is occurring now between the corners of competitors building master hub solutions. These include the trusted data sources, BI/Action Frameworks, Enterprise Apps, and data management players. From an information supply chain perspective, vendors will want to know where to partner, acquire, or build for the end game.
  • MDM vendors to enter more scenarios of coopetition. Don't expect any material impact on the market right away, but its reasonable to expect DandB to target the install base for Purisma solutions over time. Yet, despite this, expect partnerships with DandB to continue among the main MDM players IBM, Initiate, Oracle, SAP, Siperian, and VisionWare. Can vendors afford not to partner with DandB and go with a company like Austin Tetra? Probably not.
(The personal contents in this blog do not reflect the opinions, ideas, thoughts, points of view, and any other potential attribution of my current, past, or future employers.)
Copyrighted 2007 by R Wang. All rights reserved

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