Reference Data Management for SAP Master Data Governance


Itego Reference Data Management (RDM) for SAP MDG addresses pain points and issues caused by non-harmonized, overlapping, or unused Reference Data.

With Reference Data Harmonization and Governance Itego helps customers to get away from a mode in which quick fixes plus some reporting avoids major breakdowns.

I started my SAP career almost 25 years ago and soon realized that master data quality drives business process quality. And even back in these years I realized that underneath master data there is another layer which SAP calls Configuration Data or “Customizing”. You can also call it Reference Data.

Reference Data so far did not really “make it to the press”, even though some companies and analysts claim that there is a market which established itself in the last 5 years. This market currently is full of toolbox-based or consulting solutions that claim to be a reference data management solution. They usually don’t deliver any business or technical depth and next to no integration into SAP.

SAP decided already in 2018 not to step into this market themselves and together with Itego announced a Reference Data Management Solution which has been built on top of SAP Master Data Governance. 4 years later and adopted by large corporations, it is time “to bring it to the press”.

SAP customers trace back their challenges with Reference Data on complex organizations and system landscapes which especially create Data Replication and Interface Complexity. These customers confirm that Itego RDM delivers an out-of-the-box solution which provides:

  • Reference Data Harmonization and Governance
  • Generic Data Replication using flexible technology
  • Powerful Reference Data Model and UI Extensibility

What is it in detail, that these customers appreciate?

First let us have a look at “Reference Data Harmonization and Governance”. For Itego a consistent solution approach to Reference Data Management starts with harmonizing your reference data. For this you first consolidate and later you synchronize.


Step 1: Consolidation

In this step you consolidate Reference Data from several systems to get it into a single source of truth. Itego RDM supports this by a Consolidation Cockpit which offers Comparison, Activation and Logging.

Step 2: Synchronization


In this step you are able to synchronize Reference Data within the group of systems which have been consolidated. At the same time more data from more systems can be consolidated step by step. Itego supports this by a Synchronization Cockpit which offers Configuration, Sending and Monitoring.

 

Step 3: Governance

In this step Itego RDM supports with pre-delivered Workflows for the Reference Data Maintenance and a generic and controlled data replication to SAP and non-SAP systems.  

 

For all objects audit information (who created or changed what when), meta data (additional attachments or links), language dependent descriptions (if applicable) and the highlighting of changes are available.


With regards to the second value “Generic Data Replication using flexible technology”, please consider that RDM delivers SAP based technology (ALE) and non-SAP based technology (Web Services).

For SAP based receivers two replication modes are available:

Mode 1: Full IT Governance Alternative (Reference Data as “Customizing”)

The receiving system utilizes a Local Staging Area to control the propagation of reference data from development to test and finally to production systems. This is handled by using “SAP Transports” which are created by the Local Staging Area (LSA), delivered by Itego RDM.

Mode 2: Business Controlled Governance Alternative (Reference Data as “Master Data”)

Reference Data is sent in a “master data like approach” mainly to the production system. If necessary, the data is also sent to test and development systems. This is handled by direct table updates.

On the SAP receiver systems users are supported by a “Local Staging Area Cockpit” which delivers functionalities for a controlled data replication by the ability to inspect and compare the reference data before activation. The user can also create snapshots (backups of your local reference data) and a detailed logging is available.

With regards to the third value “Powerful Reference Data Model and UI Extensibility”, please be informed that Reference Data Harmonization is available for all SAP objects and Reference Data Governance currently for these:

All of these objects are available out-of-the-box and ready to be used. If needed, they can easily be adjusted using the Itego Master Data Framework (MDF). MDF delivers a generic data replication technology and a rule-based validation framework which will keep implementation efforts at a minimum.

For sure RDM can also handle dependent objects (easy example: addresses of a storage location), supports Key- and Value-Mapping, and supports processes that other RDM vendors do not offer at all like a full-fledged scenario for the handling of exchange rates.

Facts in a nutshell, summary and links to additional resources:

Itego RDM has been announced by SAP and Itego for the very first time in 2018. It is officially on the market since 2020, has been certified by SAP many times and it is supported as any other standard software. It is created with the idea to cover harmonization and central maintenance of reference data and covers all features that a SAP MDG customer would expect. 

Consider to check additional information which is available here: Itego RDM. Please make sure that – besides watching the nice marketing video – you scroll to the button of the page to see detailed information in recorded demos and the Itego RDM documentation.

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