Total Posts: 23
You will want to refer to this information, there are different connector types. Point-to-Point is a direct application to application connector, ETL/ESB are middleware between disparate applications.
MDM/PIM is a central repository for company wide data with ease of data entry, it is qualitative not quantitative. All these tools form the back-office functions normally found in enterprise companies using SAP, Oracle, Hybris, IBM, etc.
For smaller companies needing to become international (multi-currency/multi-language), deal with large volumes of products, requiring rapid growth, vendor management, multi-application connectivity such as POS/ERP/CRM/Accounting, they will require these solutions. Without ETL and MDM supporting the eCommerce and POS (physical retail) it is impossible for a business to grow as the number of staff and development team required to manage the connections and data management would make the business unprofitable.
We come from enterprise software (SAP, Broadvision) architecting and implementing solutions for some of the largest companies, for ourselves connecting solutions together is very easy, we find best-in-class products (commercial and open source) and simply remove the parts we do not need based on years of enterprise experience tuned to a small to mid-market environment, a top-down approach. We avoid code changes where possible and use a combined business-technical approach allowing the customer to run the systems with limited consulting support. All other providers will take a -technical- bottom-up approach coming from PHP, C, VB and trying to understand the concepts of how to link all the applications together, this is a long and very painful road for them and their customers who are then bound to the consulting partner for technical changes.
To answer your question, growing businesses will use point-to-point until they hit a brick wall, as MDM, ETL, ESB, etc. are all enterprise level software. These businesses will not want to invest in an implementation therefore the only solution left is time and incremental growth over years, not months. There are SaaS solutions (which are normally bettter than point-to-point) however are at best medium term and often only short-term fixes as they are inflexible, if a business requires rapid growth, onsite is the only solution which costs more upfront but provides the flexibility in growth no other solution can achieve, this is why enterprise companies use them. There are open source versions of all software, but without ‘business’ experience of these tools and processes (not just technical), any implementation will fail sooner rather than later.
The reason why we provide all this information, we know that if a company requires rapid growth and uses a bottom-up approach (which over 95% will), they will run out of funds faster then they can bring all the pieces together as the detail and choices will overwhelm both the consulting partner and also the company, growth will stop and turn negative. We specialise in architecting/implementing top-down solutions for growth and rapid resolution for companies using bottom-up approaches that failed or are failing.