One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of SAP in the past six months on the SRM front is the forced upgrade to MDM, since SAP has or will -- it's not clear exactly -- end support for Requisite. But SRM 2.0-5.0 customers should not feel compelled to take the MDM plunge if they're not ready -- considering that there's little or no advantage of buying MDM because the rest of their procurement offerings (e.g. the spend visibility xApp) does not even use it yet, and probably won't for years.
What are alternatives? Last week, I caught up with Click Commerce in Chicago -- which owns Requisite -- and they shared with me how a material number of customers are going directly to them for maintenance and support directly for the Requisite catalog in SAP SRM. And others, like Ketera, have competing content and catalog management toolsets which they're happy to sell to SAP SRM customers as well. Both Click and Ketera have a number of reference customers which they'll happily provide you with, although I've not been given permission to use their names in print.
So despite what your SAP rep might position, don't feel compelled to take the MDM bait if you're staying on an older version of SRM. They're other options out there -- many of which might be better and or cheaper than moving to an unproven catalog and content management toolset -- at least within procurement in the near term. Ultimately, when SAP integrates MDM with the rest of their solution and SRM toolset, it will become invaluable (and for SAP SRM 6.0 /2007 customers, it's your only choice today). But until then, if you're running an older SRM version, why be a guinea pig? Push back and let SAP know you have options available. And if you do decide to take the MDM plunge without upgrading your SRM version as well, make it on your terms -- not there's.