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Author's profile photo Ramesh Babu Nagarajan

Should MDG shed its Master?

Recently got exposed to SAP Master Data Governance tool, which is unlike MDM can be part of an existing SAP ECC box itself, just like any other SAP ECC modules. While my exposure and knowledge on SAP MDM is rather sketchy, but the feedback on MDM from customers I have been interacting with were not quite encouraging to put it mildly. So I was pleasantly surprised by the features of SAP MDG where-in SAP has meshed the web based approval architecture with ECC quite well. Also by master data the focus has always been Material, Customer and vendor, so the inclusion of G/L accounts is a good one indeed. So all in all SAP MDG is a good package and I am sure will find favour with many customers.

So you might be thinking, what is in it that I have opined in my heading that MDG (Master Data Governance) should shed its “Master” tag 😉 . By this I actually meant MDG should become DG (Data Governance) tool where-in this tool is made capable of setting up governance and control process to much broader area than just core master data. For example enabling this data governance based control on procurement prices or sales prices would be real value addition to customers who really want to see the status quo on possible functionalities in ECC unshackled.

In ECC if you want to develop an approval process on any object be it on basic master data or derived master data (like prices), would need a complicated enhancement development. Also these kind of approval process designs do change with time due to business changes like re-organization, M&As etc., there by making the enhancement design to be flexible. This inherent contradiction between short-term and long-term goals makes these enhancement a costly ones to maintain. My experience with a customer on purchase price approvals which started of as a simple Release strategy on purchase order to a complex price component based approval requirement at a commodity level bears testimony to my earlier assertion.

Additionally on the governance requirements like pricing I pointed out earlier, customers like to have web based approval process and they don’t want their top level executives being forced to log-on to SAP for such approvals. This capability is inherent in MDG, which makes it a more suitable product for such data governance process.

So what do you guys think, should MDG shed its “Master” tag?

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