Today’s post is brought to you by Andrew White of Gartner from an article intheir 2007 CRM conference brochure:
What’s the single biggest benefit of practicing MDM?
There are multiple drivers that help enterprises decide to embark on an MDM  program. Implementing a CDI-focused  MDM program will help implementations of CRM  achieve a higher return by enabling better cross-marketing and selling.
Implementing PIM  within MDM will help supply chains fulfill orders more timely [sic] and introduce new products more quickly. Embedding MDM in an SOA  environment contributes to business (process) agility through support of more rapidly developed composite applications; and others help cut costs by supporting better procurement practices.
Way to cut though to the heart of the issue, guys. Let’s see if we can decode what they’re saying:
Knowing more about your customers will help you find more products that existing customers want. It will help develop those products too. And let’s not forget your web apps. They’ll be easier to develop and easier for other companies to integrate with if you have your data well organized.
It’s nice to be able to decode this, but semantically, there’s nothing there. This response amounts to "Trust us, it’s great!"
 Master Data Management is another salvo in the eternal battle between centralization and decentralization in organizations. The wheel turns; today it’s MDM, in 5 years it will be called Centralized Metadata Integration.
 Customer Data Integration means centralizing how you track customer-related information
 Customer Relationship Management systems track interactions with your customers
 Product Information Management is CDI for products--see how easy this is getting?
 Service Oriented Architecture is a way of building computer services as little pieces rather than big integrated applications