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Master Data Management, Business Process Management and Service Oriented Architecture
Ryan Boyles 100000UX41 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  master-data customer use-case mdm management bpm amywohl websphere services data soa process
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A service oriented architecture (SOA) helps drive business agility by allowing developers to infuse business process management (BPM) with timely, trusted data from master data management (MDM), leading to more intelligent business processes. (This is, of course, only one of the many uses of SOA to increase business agility.) The idea is to take trusted data and allow it to lead to intelligent decision making, by the use of integration patterns (we’ll get to that part, using Cardinal Health as an example).
Timely use of information from MDM is key. MDM data delivery needs to be integrated with the business process. The data needs to be governed and managed by providing validation, avoiding duplicates, and so forth. These steps for data stewardship need to be repeatable forming a business process. Therefore, not only does MDM deliver trusted data in a SOA and BPM based solution, but also SOA and BPM together is a key enabler for managing MDM.
Some of these activities should be embedded, but others should be separated, (such as data stewardship), which must be kept agile and integrated as part of the Line of Business (LOB) process. Updates must occur through a process under the control of the data stewards (people, policies, rules). MDM comes with a process to manage data stewardship. Data stewardship processes are modified only by the data stewards to address new issues with data quality – for example, needing to check valid values for a key data field, validating against an external trusted source, etc.
MDM, SOA and BPM can address challenges in two areas. They can enable more accurate and timely decision making to enhance business performance, by using BPM to optimize process with human tasks, automated tasks, and improved visibility. MDM can provide trusted and timely data to business processes. Enterprise process agility with BPM and trusted timely data from MDM may be combined. SOA-based solution development delivers reuse and productivity gains leading to greater business agility.
Master Data can be a trusted asset to the organization’s business processes. BPM helps implement and enforce policies and coordinates multi-step/multi-role workflow for data.
SOA enables MDM because it provides a number of SOA services to the MDM process.
While every company needs to match MDM, BPs and SOA to its own needs, a good example of how this works is Cardinal Health.
Cardinal Health is a Fortune 19 healthcare services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of healthcare by providing products and services to the healthcare supply chain worldwide. They have more than 40,000 customers, 30,000 employees in 10 countries and more than $103 billion dollars in estimated 2011 revenues. Cardinal distributes about 1/3 of all prescriptions in the U.S., manages hospital pharmacies, and provides products to surgeries and hospitals. It does this through supporting the distribution of a broad portfolio of healthcare market leaders’ products and services to hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
Cardinal turned to IBM and SOA for reuse and agility, planning to get there through a series of incremental steps. They created a roadmap that would allow them to present services of higher value over a period of time, while they increased efficiency, agility, visibility (of the services), and business agility. Cardinal started its Innovation Engagement with IBM by applying IBM’s MDM Master Data Management and BPM technologies; Cardinal provided the MDM objectives and the requirements for skills to implement them while IBM provided the expertise to capture optimized process models and help to deploy them on IBM’s BPM offering.
They used a Proof of Concept approach and then developed the architecture and deployed SOA-based solutions. This has allowed them to accelerate business value with a faster time to market, use business-focused MDM implementations, insure process optimization, and build a set of integration patterns to leverage their investments in SOA, BPM, and MDM.
For more information about this customer case study, download this presentation on Business Agility with SOA, BPM and MDM from the recent IBM IOD conference.