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Dun & Bradstreet Buys Purisma
The union of two data providers represents "a monumental acquisition," says one analyst -- though more deals are likely.
Posted Nov 8, 2007
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Dun & Bradstreet's recent $48 million acquisition of Purisma, a provider of customer data integration (CDI) software solutions, is one of the first of what could be several acquisitions, mergers, and tighter partnerships in the data information arena, says R. "Ray" Wang, principal analyst for Forrester Research. The deal between the two companies -- which had shared a long-term partnership -- closed at the end of October, but was first made public during D&B's quarterly earnings call earlier this week. "This is a monumental acquisition," Wang says. "You have a trusted source of company information [Dun & Bradstreet] combining with a company [Purisma] that offers the company-matching portion. We had been expecting something of this kind to happen in the market." Wang describes four basic types of companies offering related services:
  • Trusted data sources (such as D&B);
  • companies offering the business intelligence action framework (such as Purisma and Hyperion Solutions, which was acquired by Oracle in March 2007;
  • information quality infrastructure vendors (such as Harte-Hanks' Trillium Software and SAS Institute); and
  • application vendors (including Oracle and Initiate).
While D&B and similar companies have provided customers with data for several years, that information has been in a structured format that may have limited use, according to Wang. The Purisma application enables the user to look at the D&B information in a number of different ways. D&B would provide corporate information on a parent company and maybe some breakout of its subsidiaries. While that might be fine for a D&B customer looking for aggregate financial information, the Purisma application enables the customer to look at the corporate subsidiary by sales territory, region, or other category that may be more meaningful to the marketing department, according to Wang. "This brings the richness of the data into play." D&B customers will also benefit from advancements in Purisma technology, Wang says. Last week, Purisma announced the second version of its Purisma Data Hub, a master data management (MDM) platform that enables companies to implement MDM and CDI. According to Purisma, the hub gathers data from across the enterprise, creates a superset of identity recognition information, retains and links all data from all source systems, and continues to learn from reference authorities, such as D&B and from data stewardship activities.
"For decades, large enterprises have been plagued by inconsistent data arising out of multiple source systems, but today's business challenges, including ensuring regulatory compliance, increasing operational efficiency, and creating competitive differentiation, are compelling more and more Fortune 1000 organizations to deploy MDM solutions," said John Radcliffe, research vice president at Gartner, when the launch of the Purisma Data Hub's second version was announced. "Organizations that implement MDM can eliminate the endless debates about whose data is right, and instead make better business decisions based on a single version of the truth."

Related articles: Purisma Points to MDM The vendor unveils the first of a series of point solutions designed to provide organizations with a point of entry into MDM initiatives. MDM for Companies on the Go Purisma's new Data Hub product focuses on improving data accuracy while reducing implementation times, which one analyst says increases these types of solutions' value. IBM Tops Gartner CDI Hub Quadrant Seven vendors, including Purisma, were identified as niche players. A New Company With a New Tool Purisma's CIM launch is the next evolution of BI, according to analysts, helping to manage relationship hierarchies within an organization. Customer Hubs Get Hot Forrester report lists Purisma and Dun & Bradstreet among "potentially good choices." Reality Check: A Little Help From Your Friends A new crop of services firms -- including Purisma -- helps solve data-related frustrations. Feature: Dirty Little Data Secrets CRM's real truth requires enterprises to clean up -- reorganize -- customer information with data integration solutions, Web-services technology that integrates data applications. CDI Comes in All Shapes and Sizes At the Gartner MDM Summit, one analyst explains how CDI differs by industry and type of customer, and how the CDI market continues to evolve. The MDM Effect: Who Stands to Gain? A study finds businesses are turning to master data management solutions to improve their business intelligence results; data governance best practices are still key. Companies Still Grapple with Effective CDM Crafting a well-defined customer data management initiative is essential to supplying a holistic view of the customer. Master Data Management Studies and service offerings point to the need for better information herding. Viewpoint: The Next Generation of CDI CDI must evolve to deliver customer information wherever and whenever it is needed.
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