As we head into our Spring MDM-CDI Summit at the San Francisco Marriott next week, we figured it was time for a pulse check on the industry as well as the conference itself. While both user and vendor interest is on par with recent shows, there have been shifts in both landscapes that are food for thought whether you're planning to attend or not. Conference Chair Aaron Zornes of the MDM-CDI Institute has been immersed in his topic of choice as usual, and a recent conversation with Aaron underlined some of the issues to look for.Let's start with the vendors, where continued investment and an early shakeout continue. (For a reference point, have a look at Zornes' MDM Milestones column of a year ago.) Among the smaller vendors, a couple have come and gone already, bowing out due to internal development costs not ready to be supported in a nascent market. In some cases, these players returned to their roots; one or two others have lowered their sights to a supporting MDM service role in areas such as address cleansing. Still others are cozying up in roles complementary to ubiquitous products such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM.

This is not to say the smaller vendors are pulling out of the ring. Companies including Purisma, Siperian and Initiate are well invested in the MDM market. The takeaway is, if you talked with these vendors before, talk to them again and get an update of their roadmap and product plans.

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