If your company is struggling to have the same master data across companies, then that is bound to impact business processes and important decisions, which will, in turn, affect your bottom line. The only way to streamline your master data and maintain one source of truth is through outlined data processes and a rock-solid strategy that can be steered by a master data management tool.
If you understand the benefits of master data management and are currently looking at digitally transforming your current business processes, you’re probably evaluating a list of master data software solutions. Whether you are looking at a cloud or on-premise MDM solution, the best MDM solution for your company might not be the right fit for another.
Keeping that in mind, in this blog, we have reviewed our own master data management solution – MDM Studio to help our prospects better understand not just the advantages but also the limitations of our MDM solution. We understand that our solution might not be the best fit for every prospect and hence we have covered the kind of organizations MDM Studio has been a good fit for so far.
What is MDM Studio?
Master Data Management Studio by To-Increase is a Master Data distribution solution built inside Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365 F&O). The solution enables data stewards to manage master data between companies and applications. Using MDM Studio you can manage the creation, validation, and distribution of master data among D365 F&O companies and across external systems from within D365 F&O.
MDM Studio is a bundled business integration offering with Connectivity Studio which is an advanced data mapping, integration, and data migration platform.
What are the features of MDM Studio?
Let’s dive into the features of To-Increase’s master data management solution.
Configuration based integration
MDM Studio uses Connectivity Studio for the distribution of data. Connectivity Studio is a configuration-based integration platform so there is no need for any development to select which tables and fields you would like to use to synchronize the master data to the different companies or systems within your organization.
Central inbox for data management
All sent master data is received in a local inbox per company that can be easily accessed by data stewards. This inbox will show data stewards what has been received and the date and time the data came in. When needed, data stewards can start a data change request from the inbox.
The staging journal can be used optionally while connected to the inbox. With a staging area to validate data, there are lesser chances of human errors which is the most common data quality challenge. In the staging journal, validations can be created to check the incoming master data before it is received in the local company.
Supports centralized and de-centralized scenarios
Since the solution supports both scenarios, you can have master data domains for multiple entities. You can either manage data centrally with just one owner of the master data. You could also consider a de-central scenario, wherein the data will be owned by different legal entities or companies.
Change request management
Using MDM Studio, you can implement processes to ensure that master data change requests pass through the appropriate approval channels before any data is changed.
Data stewards can model the master data that can be shared with specific groups such as customer information with the sales, marketing, and delivery teams.
What are the advantages of MDM Studio?
Below are some advantages of our solution:
Embedded within Dynamics 365 ERP
Since Connectivity Studio and MDM Studio are both embedded solutions, Connectivity Studio can easily sync and pull data in and out of the ERP system. The solution empowers data stewards to manage the creation, validation, and distribution of Master Data from the ERP across external systems from within Dynamics 365 FO.
Improve operational productivity
With the ability to implement processes such as change request management, segregate data domains managed by a local inbox and data specialists, you can ensure integrated data governance with a role-based structure. This will improve overall operational productivity and also enhance master data quality across companies, and application landscapes.
Central and decentral data management
With MDM Studio you can centralize the master data for the specialists to manage and oversee. However, the business users will still have access to data that is compliant, accurate, and validated by the data stewards. And when there are different legal entities or companies involved, then the decentral master data management scenario can be applied.
As MDM Studio is integrated into your ERP using Connectivity Studio, it is easy to synchronize the central master data with different systems, companies, and applications. Data synchronization is automated between MDM Studio, your business systems, and your ERP, because of our integration platform – Connectivity Studio. And that also saves you time and effort that you’d spend updating the data everywhere.
Business users that have limited technical knowledge can easily manage data and collaborate with the IT team for specific data sets. MDM Studio is a user-friendly tool that enables data stewards to control and manage master data while maintaining data integrity and sharing that data with the relevant teams.
What are the limitations of MDM Studio?
Here are some limitations of our solution:
Track critical data quality issues
MDM Studio currently does not offer data stewards a holistic view of all data to easily track data quality issues and model the master data. However, as part of our Data Governance Suite, To-Increase offers Data Quality Studio and MDM Studio solutions. Data Quality Studio can provide a holistic view of all data and eliminate both manual and automated data replication.
Currently, our MDM solution doesn’t use Business Intelligence (BI) to present analytics and business insights. But we do offer an advanced Data Analytics and BI solution that can help with this function.
Workflow for change requests
MDM Studio doesn’t have a workflow for the change request process as the solution allows data stewards to reject and complete changes. Our solution currently focuses on data distribution and management, but we are currently working on a new Data Entry Workflow solution (stay tuned for more information on this in the coming months). We do not offer change tracking or retrieval of changes yet in the change request management feature.
What is the cost of MDM Studio?
We follow a waterfall pricing model for our Business Integration solutions. The cost varies based on the number of companies inside Dynamics 365 F&O that use the solution. For one company, the annual licensing fees is €1235* for both the solutions per month, per company, and €1500 (EDI Studio, Connectivity Studio, MDM Studio) for the BIS Suite per month, per company.
The price per company decreases, the more companies you add. To explain this, let’s look at the price for the second to fifth company, the price per month, for the first company would remain the same as mentioned above. And for the second company (up to 5 companies), the price for the licensing would be an additional €270* for MDM Studio and Connectivity Studio per company, per month. This would work out to a total of €1505* for 2 companies for both EDI Studio and Connectivity Studio, per month.
*Please note: Prices are subject to change from January 1st, 2023.
Who is MDM Studio a good fit for?
Since MDM Studio is built within Dynamics 365, we would be a great fit for anyone using the ERP. However, if you do not use Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 ERP, MDM Studio will not be a good fit for you.
But to get more specific, MDM Studio is a great fit for organizations that have multi-company data exchange or then exchange highly sensitive data such as in healthcare, research, or legal organizations.
In the case of a multi-company implementation, a centrally managed scenario would work best. This way the data specialists can control and manage master data distribution and ensure the same master data is available across companies. For legal entities, it might be best to have a decentral scenario so that critical data is available to specific teams and data owners only.
Exploring MDM Studio for your business
If you still want to explore our solution, you could browse our product page for more information. And if you haven’t read our MDM Studio and Data Governance factsheets, we recommend reading those prior to speaking to our BIS experts.
Jot down the questions you have around MDM and schedule some time with our BIS experts to discuss how our solution fits in with your data governance strategy. Fill out the attached form, by clicking on the link below and one of our experts will reach out to you soon. Alternatively, if you prefer a demo, you could also schedule a demo with our specialists.