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June 10, 2007

Stratature and the Microsoft platform

It has been some time since I last blogged. Just too much work, with some major conferences thrown in, and not enough time to compose some thoughts. Nevertheless, I cannot let last week’s news pass – that Microsoft has acquired Stratature, a remarkably agile vendor in the MDM space.

I have had many mails and calls from folks wanting to know what it all means. I can understand that – we spend a lot of time in our industry poring over headlines and quotes like the cold-war Kremlin watchers. Is comrade X, standing next to general Y - maybe the tension between their departments is over – and is commissar Z missing from the parade? Similarly, I know many people will be poring over the details of this announcement looking for hints about some grand strategy.

It is really much simpler than that. Like many readers of the b-eye network, a telling number of our customers are asking about MDM, CDI and PIM solutions. In the past, as Jill Dyche points out in her blog, we have demonstrated some appealing capabilities using existing components of the very comprehensive Microsoft stack. Yet we have not had a product directly and solely aimed at customers looking for MDM. As I often say we do not have a product with “MDM” stamped on the label.

This acquisition, then, does mark a new step. We will, in the future, have a product focused specifically on the MDM market: not just rolling various pieces of platform technology but introducing new and unique capabilities for MDM. Stratature is an awesome acquisition for that goal.

On the other hand, the new story is not so very different from our consistent approach to operational and analytic data. We are continuing to build a comprehensive BI and operational platform, now including MDM, built with the Office Business platform and the SQL Server data platform. (We have more platforms than the Jackson Five, and a good thing too.) In this continuing evolution, Stratature is an outstanding acquisition as the technology already dovetails neatly into this framework.

So, as we progress, expect to see some exceptionally usable and effective capabilities emerge from the Stratature acquisition within the Office Business platform – look for the fastest time to the best value in the industry. In parallel, look for the SQL Server platform to grow as the best data platform for operational, analytic and, increasingly, master data.

It’s going to be a stimulating time for Microsoft, our customers, and everyone else with an interest in the MDM space.

One last note. These acquisition announcements rarely capture the full story of how the deal was done. I’m not going to spill any beans, but I really must congratulate my friend and colleague Kirk Haselden on the tenacity, commitment and dexterity he has shown in this acquisition. Kirk and I had many discussions on this topic: at times tense, (oops, was that a bean?) but ultimately friendly, fully supportive and, as ever, totally focussed on the customer value. On a purely personal note, it’s great to see him shepherd this exciting technology into the Microsoft fold. Great work, Kirk. It’s going to be a pleasure seeing the ripples this will cause!

Posted by Donald Farmer at June 10, 2007 7:22 PM

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