In the never ending collection of data-related technologies through merger and acquisitions, Oracle acquired Silver Creek Systems. Oracle was already in a technology partnership with Silver Creek to help with Oracle product data management needs as I already assessed (See: “Oracle Taps Silver Creek for Improving Product Data”), and now is part of a larger strategy to expand the footprint of data integration capabilities.

Silver Creek is part of what I have commonly called data discovery where information technology helps interrogate and provide recommended matching of data. This set of capabilities is used quite often to help improve data quality or help streamline processes for master data management. Silver Creek had excelled at applying this capability to product data across disparate systems.

This acquisition is not unexpected as Silver Creek Systems had worked for many years to advance their market recognized position and customer deployments as part of a larger toolset required for organizations information management efforts. Silver Creek Systems had a set of products called Governance Studio for data stewards to DataLens for establishing rules and workflow across data to managing the discovery and integration of data. Much of Silver Creek secret sauce is based on the semantic-based recognition technology that dynamically recommends matches of related data from disparate systems. They provide an auto-learning process that helps support data governance processes to ensure incremental matching and alignment of existing and new data elements.

I am quite familiar with Silver Creek from assessing them since their inception and these types of needs in organization’s data governance processes. Our benchmark research on the topic identified data governance challenges that start with understanding data issues which were a priority in 57 percent of organizations. As well our recent benchmark research into product information management found that data discovery was one of the top five technology priorities and improving data quality was the top business issue found in 56 percent of organizations who are driving change in how product data is managed.

Silver Creek addressed many of the needs for data governance and product information management which made it quite attractive for Oracle to acquire. IBM had already acquired Exeros in 2009 (See: "IBM Scores Data Discovery Technology for Information Agenda”) to advance their data discovery efforts, while other independents like Sypherlink are independently operating as is Netrics who has recently licensed their technology to vendors like Kalido and Tibco while Informatica has their own approach called Data Explorer.

All this industry activity validates an automated approach to discovering and matching data asof  part organization's information management processes. Oracle is taking the right step forward with acquiring this silver in ‘Silver Creek’ they will need to further integrate technology into the suite of acquired technologies that are part of a new information management toolset from Oracle. Organizations should have some level of comfort that these two organizations had been interacting with each other in 2009 through a technology partnership that will help accelerate the complete integration of products in 2010.

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