Three steps to a “What You Model is What You Get” agile data management strategy

Being someone entrusted with our enterprise customers’ most critical data assets sets Systemation apart from our competitors. It is by no means something that happened overnight. Instead, it took Systemation years of having a good track record and participation in numerous successful public tenders, consultative projects, and enterprise RFPs for data management excellence.

As TIBCO’s Elite Partner, more organizations reached out to explore how tapping on our expertise in TIBCO’s solutions can solve their data dilemmas where their current providers could not.

What stuck out the most when reviewing the requirements is that they are mostly basic data management requirements. While it isn’t rocket science, it definitely takes strong data management fundamentals to propel organizations forward in innovation.

Why is the bar set so low?

We’ve spoken with prospects who are often delighted to learn that performing a new update or release can be at a push of a button and that everything works afterward. Adjusting the data model, a workflow, or a business rule doesn’t need to take tens or hundreds of complex iterations, but going to production is simply a matter of test and release. And the best part? They usually work flawlessly.

So why are our customers’ expectations so low? That the de-facto expectation is, “Do less. Otherwise, it will be a mess.”

We now know where that comes from. There are two key observations – firstly, the technical architecture of many solutions is outdated, or the solution is not adaptive enough. Secondly, it is also unclear how will the required changes impact the behaviour of the solution. The latter scenario often happens in platform solutions built up from acquisitions of earlier partial products by the supplier.

While what we do at Systemation and TIBCO isn’t rocket science, we’ve only set the bar extremely high because we believe in Customer Excellence – well above what we’ve observed as the norm. And there is no “special sauce” about what we do, only the principle we believe in for the model-driven nature of the solutions we offer. We start from the principle of “What You Model is What You Get.”

  1. Listen to your customer. 

“I hear you.” Three words that take years of really listening to business goals, customer challenges, and lay of the land; only then will you find a through-path from the data issue to a corresponding data model.

  1. Go for the best

Being in our position, we take on both a partnering view and a consultative role with our customers. As a TIBCO partner, we connect with the best solution-makers in the industry. We are updated in the latest improvements and trained to strategize and implement with speed and skill. As a consultant to our customers, the answer is straightforward – TIBCO EBX was named a leader for the fourth year running by Gartner. It is a single pioneering solution to manage, govern, and consume shared master data assets across the broadest set of industries and domains.

  1. Be agile and straightforward.

From simple data models to larger structures with complex hierarchies with inheritance, we can model it with TIBCO EBX, so that it meets the exact specifications of our customers (read: step 1). We can then push a button to initiate the data management application, including basic validation rules for lifecycle and hierarchies, a user interface to manage data sharing, and a full integration layer with APIs. Finally, we layer on and layer up, adding business rules, workflows, governance, adaptation, and authorization.

Finally, we integrated the fully configured solution into our customers’ existing application landscape. This model-driven working method of the solution hence requires a well-thought-out and cleverly designed product architecture.

Perfection in Action

An example of one of our larger customers who use TIBCO EBX is PostNL, the Dutch deliverer of mail and parcels. PostNL delivers 900,000 parcels and 6.8 million postal items every day, translating into vast amounts of data. PostNL is transforming into a logistic tech company in which software and data are key assets for the company. High quality data management is an indispensable foundation for the organization.

To become more agile, respond to changing business needs with a short time to market, and support data stewards in an optimal manner, PostNL turned to Systemation. PostNL and their data engineers’ team then worked with Systemation for a demo and Proof of Concept to migrate the data management software to TIBCO EBX’s master data management solution.

The first applications are now migrated and brought to production. The data management applications not only comply 100% with the requirements and can change almost immediately on-the-fly with PostNL’s customers’ evolving needs and business requirements. With PostNL, we’ve demonstrated how a model-driven solution can bring value in a heterogeneous and business-critical application landscape, without compromising our “above-the-bar” standards.