Selecting the right solutions for your SAP master data problems

By Kristian Kalsing on February 20, 2013

In recent years, Winshuttle has had great success with providing solutions for active governance of SAP master data. It is not unusual to hear customer testimonials praising how they “cannot live without Winshuttle” or that they “love it!” If you want to hear it for yourself, join us at our User Group Conference in San Diego later this year. With quite a few options in the market when it comes to software tools for master data, what exactly is it that makes Winshuttle so popular? pm small

The master data management market is dominated by three major players: IBM, Oracle and SAP. They all offer a comprehensive portfolio for data management with all the cost and complexity that comes with a “tier-1” enterprise solution. Large companies can certainly realize a lot of value from these solutions when implemented effectively and for the right reasons, but companies investing in these tier-1 solutions are still finding Winshuttle an invaluable must-have platform. Let me explain why.

Often it is easier to explain concepts with an analogy – imagine you are a city planner tasked with rolling out public transportation services. You are faced with the problem of having thousands, if not millions, of people that need to be shifted between places frequently and reliably. You are considering solving this problem with either a railway network or a bus network and you are weighing up the pros and cons of trains versus buses.

Trains can take more passengers than buses and can offer more advanced services such as extra luggage space and coffee kiosks. But trains also require a much bigger investment in infrastructure. Laying tracks for trains is expensive, time-consuming and requires a broad range of specialized skills. Another significant disadvantage of a railway network is the time and cost associated with rerouting or adding new lines as the city evolves and the demand changes.

Buses on the other hand are much more affordable. And because they can use existing infrastructure, you could start moving passengers almost immediately. They might not be ideal for an extraordinary high volume of passengers between two main hubs, but they are much more flexible and can provide a granular network, serving every part of your city. When demand changes over time, rerouting buses is easy. If you want to serve a new part of town, you can add a new route instantly. You can also easily offer special services to certain groups of people, e.g. elderly, school kids, or sports fans.

The right long term strategy may well be a combination of both trains and buses. It makes sense to have a train line between major hubs where especially high volumes make it a viable option. But to reach outside of the main hubs, you will need a network of buses. It is worth noting that even very railway-centric cities such as London or Tokyo still have an even more granular network of buses.

This is how Winshuttle (the bus network) complements the tier-1 solutions (the railway network). In the short term, Winshuttle allows you to start solving your problem today with a highly adaptable solution and reduced time-to-value. In the long term, Winshuttle still fills the gaps left by the more complex tools and technologies. Finally, training people that can drive your buses is much easier than finding qualified train drivers.


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About the author

Based in Seattle, Kristian is part of the product management team at Winshuttle where he is responsible for solutions that help companies to perform better by improving their management and governance of master data. Kristian has 15 years of experience with enterprise solutions in a broad range of industries across Europe, Australia and North America. When not at work, Kristian spends most of his time climbing in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.


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