SAP Master Data Governance Review

Good workflows and record standardization but needs to be more flexible

How has it helped my organization?

What was valuable in that it forced people in our organization to standardize records. Previously, the records were not standardized so if you had a record of something, an object or whatever, there was no agreement. The technology forced us to look at our business. When you're trying to implement a technology, you need to look at your business and standardize your business if you want such a tool to work. It forced us to do that.

What is most valuable?

The workflows have been a valuable aspect of the solution. 

The solution is great at standardizing all of our records.

It's a pretty simple application and it's meant to be simple. It's not meant to do a lot of things. Instead, it's meant to do one thing and one thing only. Right now, what they have is good. 

What needs improvement?

The workflow works well, however, there's not a lot of options in defining roles. There are roles that are very specific within the MDG and we had to adapt our process to the roles that are in the workflow. I'm talking about the workflow in the roles, not access rights or things of that nature (such as access or identity management). I'm talking about how the flow works in the different types of roles. It's not very flexible.

Overall, they just a little bit more flexibility in terms of assigning roles or adding new roles. We have a longer approval process, so we need to break it down into more roles than what is typically available and we need to hard-code it.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. However, it depends. Just straight technology-wise, it's stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's not very scalable. 

We ran into all kinds of issues in trying to capture items. It ties into SAP. MDG is based on the fields and the data points or attributes that are collected. It's not the application that is not scalable. Rather, it's the data model of the application. MDG is based on the SAP application data model. However, due to the fact that the SAP application data model is not very scalable, MDG is not scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never personally dealt with technical support. It's the IT team that usually handles any problems. The CVO office is not doing any type of IT support maintenance. We're more about the policy and directions on the data management overall. Therefore, I wouldn't be able to comment on the technical support of the solution.

That said, my understanding is that the relationship we have with technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

The application itself is not very complex to implement. It's rather straightforward. However, that said, to make the application work, you need to look at your business. You need to look at whatever data assets you want to govern and make sure they are standardized. Then you need to have agreements. It's all about data governance. If you don't have a strong data governance framework set up already around your data assets, the implementation of the application can get very complicated. It's not a technology issue. It's a business problem. 

If you don't know who makes the decision on what and who approves what, you will run into problems. To give you an example, if you have a material of some sort, such as a pencil, you need to ask: what are the data points or the data attributes associated with that pencil that makes it a standard record, and what would you want to govern, and which data attributes are you governing? Are you governing everything about it, or just a few attributes? All those decisions need to be made beforehand. If you don't have good data governance that tells you who has the authority to make that decision, that's where you get into negotiation and it becomes very long to implement that application.

It's not about the tool itself. Configuring an application is easy. It's rather about how do you integrate that application into your business and operations. That's where it gets tricky. Most of the time, people are not ready for that. That's the whole point of having any type of project led by IT rather than business. IT just focuses on the application and they don't focus on the business processes. That's why, sometimes, applications fail, because it was too focused on the technology and not enough on how that technology relates to the business.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't have any details in regards to the licensing costs related to the solution. IT tends to take care of licensing and procurement.

What other advice do I have?

We're clients. We don't have a business relationship with eh client.

We've been implementing the solution for a number of years, as it's a National Defense project. The entire project is ongoing.

Due to the nature of the project, we don't have anything on the cloud.

Overall, I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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