Oracle announced its acquisition of Silver Creek Systems, a small private software company focusing on product data quality, which Oracle plans to add to its Oracle Data Integration offering. In our recent research, “It’s Time To Revisit Product Information Management”, we discussed how Forrester believes Silver Creek holds a virtual monopoly in delivering advanced product data quality capabilities, unmatched by other customer data-centric data quality vendors in the market. Due to this, many MDM, PIM and data quality software vendors, including Oracle, had relied on Silver Creek as a strategic partner to add credibility in product data quality. And as we accurately predicted in that research, Silver Creek has now been acquired which will introduce a significant challenge to these partners.

So what makes Silver Creek so unique in the data quality world? While customer data quality is certainly not an easy task, that software market and competency is fairly mature with many vendors offering preconfigured rules engines, reference libraries and out of the box workflows to support the cleansing, standardization, enrichment, matching and merging of name, address, phone number and other personally identifiable information. Customer data quality, for the most part, targets a fairly small number of conventional attributes when compared to the near infinite number of varying, often specialized attributes that can be used to describe the physical sizes, dimensions, shapes, weights, colors, features, functionalities, and other parameters that are used to define a product, material or even a service. Silver Creek is the only data quality vendor at this point that we feel has sufficiently addressed the unique and complex challenges associated with product data quality.

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