Posted by Rebecca O'Toole on Mar 7, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Metadata management: many organizations are only now realising the important role it plays in effective data governance. At Adaptive, however, we have already reached a significant milestone and this year celebrate our 20th anniversary as expert providers of metadata management solutions.


Our CTO Pete Rivett (right) receives a 20 Year Award from the Object Management Group, presented by OMG president Richard Soley (centre). Also pictured is Doug Tolbert of Unisys.

As the role of metadata management becomes increasingly important to organizations striving to take control of their growing data sets to meet regulatory compliance and drive business insights, we have over the last two decades grown to become a leader in the sector with our experience and innovative software. We continue to grow as we provide effective metadata management solutions to a global market from our Dublin-based R&D hub and bases in California and Pune, India.

Our journey started when we began work on our first product suite in 1994, when meta-CASE company VSF Ltd’s staff, based in Bournemouth, UK, were taken in-house by National & Provincial Building Society (N&P), the UK’s 10th largest mutual company, to develop a system, the Organization Design Facility, to manage its re-engineered business architecture. This was quite unique in providing a business-friendly user interface for all levels of the organization, whereas most other vendors at the time were providing purely technical data dictionary products for databases and systems.

Shortly after N&P was taken over by Abbey National, ten of this team negotiated a buyout to create Adaptive Solutions for Business Ltd in January 1997, later to become Adaptive Ltd, developing their technology under the codename “Eugene”. It provided a complete user interface built on the Universal Repository (UREP) from Unisys, and the new company worked closely with Unisys to jointly sell solutions.

The management team consisted of Dick Powell as CEO, Pete Rivett as CTO (to this day), Andrew Walker as Sales and Marketing Director and Alan Byrne as Engineering Director. Among the original team was Geoff Sherwood, who is still with us today.

From there, the company began a continuous development of innovative products such as Adaptive Repository, and to respond to the industry movement for software and component re-use, Adaptive launched Adaptive Component Manager, the first packaged web application on top of that repository.

Another significant area of deployment at this innovative and exciting time in data management was brought about by organizations needing to understand and catalog their IT systems for Y2K remediation. Here, Adaptive partnered with companies specializing in code reverse engineering.

With its focus on enterprise modeling and metamodeling, Adaptive joined the Object Management Group (OMG) in 2000 in order to establish its best practices as industry standards and work with industry leaders to take them forward. This is a relationship that has prospered to this day, with Pete Rivett elected to its Architecture Board and later its main Board.

Towards the end of 2000, further change occurred when Unisys decided to discontinue development of UREP, and Adaptive took the innovative step to acquire the rights to its source code, having previously licensed and maintained it.


From 2001, then-CEO Colin Fox, Pete and Geoff Sherwood

By 2002, Adaptive had merged with a group of business process and US-based business architecture consultants, Business Analysis International (BAI), to form Adaptive, Inc with the facilitation of its main investor, Interregnum PLC. This provided a strong combination of technology and consultancy, as well as the ability to reach the US market, and brought changes to the management team, including the establishment of Roger Burlton as CEO and Jeff Goins as Head of Sales (a year later taking on the CEO position), with Pete Rivett remaining as CTO and Alan Byrne as Head of Engineering.

This reshaping of the company helped expand our scope significantly to include Enterprise Architecture Management, with particular emphasis on Business Process Management with the Process Renewal Group methodology. In 2004, we produced a specific Visio integration, resulting in the Enterprise Architecture Manager, and Business Process Manager products joining IT Portfolio Manager.

In 2005, Adaptive announced a major release of its Enterprise Architecture Repository product to support the building of a more complete picture of an enterprise using the latest concepts for the sector.

We continued to improve our product offerings with Version 2.2 of the Adaptive IT Portfolio Manager (ITPM), and its companion customisation tool, Adaptive Designer, enabling a single IT/Business knowledge repository.

The following year, we introduced the IT Portfolio Manager Quick Start Package, which allows organizations to reduce costs, identify redundancy, optimise resources, build collaborations and enable business continuity, allowing IT managers to quickly and conveniently assume management control of their IT assets in just three months.

Those IT managers could now quickly identify and assess what applications supported an organization unit and where that application was deployed, what business processes it supported and what version was being used, and who was supporting the organization’s applications and servers.

Recognized as a leading provider of solutions to the data management sector, 2006 also saw Adaptive join the Object Management Group’s Regulatory Compliance Alliance as a Charter Member, participate in a €20million European Modelware Project to drive the development of tools, processes and standards for model-driven architecture, and sign a two-year research agreement with the European Commission.

Innovation and expansion continued into 2007 when Adaptive released another major solution, the Product Portfolio Manager, built on the acclaimed Adaptive Foundation. This allowed organizations, for the first time ever, to take complete control of large and complex portfolios of projects, an issue fast becoming a problem as more and more data sources began to emerge.

Further expansion saw us open our first center of excellence in Aliso Viejo, California in 2008, and saw us gain significant growth in demand for our industry-leading products and services.


Pete makes a return to the then offices of Adaptive in Bournemouth, having moved to the US

This position as an industry leader at the cutting edge of innovation and adaptation was further emphasised when we spoke at the Enterprise Data World Conference in Tampa, Florida in 2009, with our new OnDemand product that set the industry standard for the first web-based data governance solution featured in the publication Treasury And Risk.

As we moved into our third decade of innovation, our customer base has grown to include many of the world’s leading organizations, including Bank of America, Deloitte, GE Capital, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, Penn National Insurance and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This client base continues to grow as we do, as the leading provider of effective metadata management solutions.

Our ability to provide these solutions was recognized by Gartner in their Cool Vendors in Data Management and Integration report in 2011, and our product development has continued to expand further since then.

We continue to play a proactive role in the formation and development of industry standards. We are part of the leadership team for the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO), which provides a detailed and rigorous model for the concepts and terminology used in finance, developed by the Enterprise Data Management Council (EDMC) and submitted to the Object Management Group (OMG) for standardization as a number of incremental specifications.


Today, our highly-flexible standards-based solutions such as our Metadata Manager product allow organizations to realize significant improvements in data governance, data quality, regulatory compliance and the management of business and technical metadata. Our investments in our product and key technologies make us stand out as leaders in the metadata management sector, a position again recognized by Gartner in their 2016 Magic Quadrant Report on Metadata Management.

We have seen significant changes to our company in the last year, with major investment allowing us to continue the development of our products and establish an Ireland-led global solution.

Our 20th year has also seen us appoint more leading figures in the business world to our board with Brian Hayes becoming our new group chairman and Brendan Cannon our new group CEO, joining Pete Rivett and Jeff Goins, while Allan Parker Beechinor has become our Chief Information Officer and Unmesh Moghe has become our Head of Professional Services.

This expertise will enable us to continue improving our products for our current and future clients, and will strengthen our position as a leader in metadata management solutions.

With the launch of our new Version 8.0 product featuring significant user-focused enhancements, we look forward to the next 20 years and beyond.

Download our whitepaper to see how Adaptive’s data governance and metadata management platforms position us as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report on Metadata Management, and how we can put your data to work for you.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Whitepaper

Topics: Data Governance, metadata management, Adaptive, Adaptive team, 20 years in metadata management, Adaptive celebrates 20th anniversary

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