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What is the MDM market like right now?

I have seven years of IT experience and 4 years in SAP Portal (java, WebDynpro, iviews). Now I would like to update my skill set with another SAP module. I was thinking of MDM. What is the current MDM market like right now, and what will it be in the coming years? If MDM is not the right choice for me then am I able to learn SAP CRM?

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I like the future of MDM, though I would point out that MDM is not really a module. I think of MDM as a NetWeaver product extension. Since it costs money (and takes a decent amount of work) to "turn the lights on" with MDM, we haven't seen enormous demand for MDM yet. But, we are starting to see a gradual increase in MDM. The good news for MDM is that starting with the SAPPHIRE '07 conference, we began to see proven case studies from SAP customers who have saved money using MDM. The true value of MDM? With some effort, MDM can allow you to clean up master data throughout your SAP install. This can help enormously, for example, in cleaning up duplicate customer records, allowing for a much more accurate analysis of who your best customers really are. The other great thing about MDM is that it plays very nicely with BW/BI, which is perhaps the hottest area in SAP right now.

So, I expect the MDM market to grow gradually. It could be a good area for you to add, though you may want to stay open to adding BI skills also, where there is a more immediate level of demand. As for CRM, CRM is certainly a growth area in SAP, though the CRM product area has never been as hot as we expected, and now on-demand solutions like salesforce.com are forcing the big CRM vendors, which includes SAP, to tighten their value proposition. One area connected to SAP CRM that I like a lot is NetWeaver Mobile, simply because there is such an emphasis on porting SAP to all kinds of mobile devices. Based on your Portals skills, there are a number of areas you can extend your SAP skills into. I like the way you are thinking, but keep your mind open to other possibilities that your project might present to you.

This was first published in February 2008

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