I’m delighted to join Judith’s blog as a contributing author. My focus is not on clouds, but rather on DBMS, analytic databases (ADBMSs), business analytics, data integration and governance, and the dreaded Big Data. As it happens, all of these are adjacent spaces to cloud watchers, and I’ll do my best to provide content that is relevant to the audience of this blog. Let me start with a quick look at Informatica, and their cloud adventures in data integration.
– Merv Adrian, Principal, IT Market Strategy
Informatica has announced another, long-rumored acquisition: Siperian, thus continuing a steady march toward a comprehensive portfolio play. In 2009, its strong growth path made it the clear independent leader in data integration. With Release 9, its vision of a data integration platform grew to providing a comprehensive approach to everything from data discovery services to data quality. While growth slowed during a tough year for the economy overall, Informatica grew revenue in every quarter, and made key acquisitions in 3 successive quarters (Applimation, AddressDoctor and AgentLogic) and began to make significant moves into the cloud via partnerships with Amazon, Salesforce and others. Agent Logic added event detection and processing to support real-time alerting and response. As 2010 begins, this latest move is synergistic from the outset; Rob Karel points out in his excellent blog post that “Siperian MDM technology…already is deeply integrated with Informatica’s identity resolution and postal address technology. In addition…Siperian MDM customers [are] using Informatica for data integration and data quality, meaning there is a lot of existing experience and know-how on integrating Informatica’s portfolio with Siperian.”
Oracle’s purchase of MDM player Silver Creek systems, widely perceived as a pre-emptive shot across the bow at Informatica, takes on new resonance now. Informatica has hitherto avoided direct competition for certain parts of its portfolio, but one can almost hear the gloves coming off. Oracle licenses Informatica’s data quality technology as part of its own MDM offerings (of which there are several, now compounded by the Sun acquisition). We’ll see how that plays out in the months ahead. IBM, SAP and smaller specialists like Kalido and Initiate Systems play here as well, and one can almost hear the checkbooks opening as the impact of Informatica’s competitive stature is felt. Perhaps Informatica will get a little wiggle room to move while Oracle’s massive projects of Sun and mySQL digestion and the Fusion apps launch play out, but the future looks very active.
Meanwhile, Informatica Cloud has been a source of steady, incremental growth. There are many use cases where Informatica had heard that traditional tools were too expensive, and unnecessarily full-featured. It’s identified different buyers outside of IT in administrative and sales, marketing and support operations roles, and since Q107 when its first cloud-based offering was brought to market, it’s learned how to find them and speak their language. There is a separate sales team, separate marketing group – even a separate web site. Even the internal accounting is different: because of the different nature of subscription pricing and how it changes the flows of funds, to Informatica’s corporate balance sheet the Cloud take is “other revenue.” And of course, the execution is different – a subscription model and a different price point, high volume, inside sales. Self-service would simply not have worked without this flexibility, and the team was given the flexibility to work it all out.
The effort began with the salesforce.com market. It was a natural fit, and adoption has been steady, so much so that integration jobs now that run in Informatica’s cloud already number 20,000 per day. Takeup has been broad; 500 Salesforce.com customers were using the service in December 2009. Informatica Cloud won Salesforce’s “AppExchange product of the year” for the second year in a row. And this is mostly new business: 74% of all deals in 2009 were new logos, the company asserts.
Master Data synchronization was a clear use case. Another is to replicate data out of the system to operate on it locally for compliance, reporting, backup. Informatica’s core engine has been turned into a plugin – its secure agent requires only 80 Mb and is self-updating and self-upgrading. Another 120 Salesforce customers are using Informatica’s PowerExchange connector for on-premise PowerCenter access to Salesforce. Some are using both the Informatica Cloud and the connector. For the Informatica Cloud Services, a simple visual GUI runs in the cloud, showing how local data connects directly to the data within Salesforce and other cloud application environments. There is a scheduler, and for more sophisticated uses, it’s possible to export content into XML files and bring it into a local PowerCenter environment. Data quality assessment is available now– leveraging specific profiling services for Salesforce – enhancing a user’s account contact opportunity or lead, and providing a scoring mechanism.
Overall, Informatica presents a portfolio that continues to grow, increasing experience with alternative delivery and deployment architectures, and steady financial results. As spending rebounds, the attractiveness of its rich and ever more complete portfolio positions Informatica well for another strong performace in 2010.
Disclosure: Informatica is not a client of IT Market Strategy