Dun & Bradstreet Buys Purisma
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."
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