At its 2010 global analyst summit, Informatica reviewed its business and technology strategy, emphasizing data integration and seven supporting technologies. The company has built a $500 million business in 26 countries with over 4,000 customers and has made five acquisitions in recent years. Informatica is bullish on the information economy as I outlined in 2008 (See: “Informatica Bets Big on Information Economy“), and Version 9 of its flagship platform supports it with data integration and data quality (See: “Informatica Brings Business and IT Together for Your Data in Version 9“) for the enterprise. I just finished analyzing Informatica efforts in deepening their efforts in cloud computing (See: “The Sky is Bright for Informatica in Cloud Computing”) which have progressed significantly in 2009. Informatica has also taken on new acquisitions like Siperian with MDM recently to advance their capabilities in providing consistent data across enterprise. I have seen for many years how Informatica does much more than data integration; its challenge is to make clear the broader focus and value they provide in the utilization of data in an enterprise for business and IT.
At the summit Informatica touted its achievements across their business objectives including financial plan targets. It has expanded geographically, with operations in 26 countries, development in 12 countries, support in 10 countries, and services professionals in 19 countries. Informatica continues to be known for its customer satisfaction through global customer support and has grown its partner ecosystem, with 26 percent of revenue sourced by partners and 63 percent of revenue influenced by them. Informatica’s product leadership is reflected in recent release of version 9, and it is furthering the mission of enabling the data-driven enterprise by supporting customers’ needs for globalization, consolidation, growth, risk mitigation and governance that I would agree are critical imperatives driving a range of technology adoption but most importantly need direct support for a range of priorities including improve decisions, modernize business, improve efficiency, M&A, acquire and retain customers, outsource non-core functions, GRC and increase partner network efficiency. Informatica also has been working to get business and IT to collaborate more to improve the availability, quality and integration of data and to provide more timely data through its service-oriented architecture (SOA).
While continuing internal development efforts, Informatica has continued to expand its technology portfolio and its global footprint through acquisitions. Recent acquisitions include AddressDoctor for address validation; Applimation for information life cycle management; Agent Logic for operational intelligence and complex event processing (CEP); Siperian for master data management (MDM) (See: ”Informatica is a New Master in MDM with Siperian Acquisition“); these complement with the previous acquisitions of Similiarity for data quality; Striva for mainframe connectivity; Itemfield for B2B data mapping; and Identity Systems for identity resolution. Informatica Identity Resolution provides prebuilt matching for 60 countries and can be invoked in real time using the Agent Logic software. In addition, the latest release of AddressDoctor supports geocoding, multithreaded engines and improved parsing and validation across 240 areas of the world. On top of all that, Informatica is advancing its data-related services to include multimodal provisioning, transformation and access services with Informatica Data Services.
Nevertheless, the core focus of Informatica remains data quality and data integration; the continuing existence of organizational silos of applications and systems, and the disparate use of applications across cloud computing, make these technologies essential. Informatica urges companies to manage data as an asset, which requires the engagement of business users not just in collaboration or governance but in establishing pride in accountability for quality of the data. To accomplish this goal, Informatica has sharpened usability and self-service in Version 9 to serve specific roles of individuals in streamlining data-related operations. For example, Informatica provides simple methods for business users to apply the data quality technology from within documents they create and use and to embed entity extraction and resolution in tools for these users. It is clear that confidence in data quality is critical to establish a trustworthy and holistic view of data across the enterprise. Informatica is combining Siperian’s Business Data Director and data component library in the service-centric technology approach of Informatica Version 9, which will further support data governance and a new generation of business access and search to data for a range of needs. Informatica’s technology portfolio in the cloud now includes new data archiving and a marketplace to share knowledge and capabilities for buyers and suppliers that I assessed (See: “The Sky is Bright for Informatica in Cloud Computing“).
Informatica recently brought in complex event processing by acquiring Agent Logic (See: “Informatica Acquires Agent Logic and Enters Operational Intelligence Market”) into its core data integration business. The integration of event technology enhances Informatica PowerCenter for change data capture, along with interfacing to mainframe events through Informatica PowerExchange and integration into unstructured content using Informatica’s B2B technology. In addition the utilization of events can improve identity resolution. Informatica also is working to advance scalable processing of events within PowerCenter which will further advance the former Agent Logic CEP as a specialized technology for Operational Intelligence. The blending of event-driven technology for Informatica will continue expand the use and deployment of their products in many business and IT initiatives.
Informatica has been advancing its business to business (B2B( focus through dedicated technology for particular industries and using the core data integration to improve the consistency, quality and timeliness of data across processes. Informatica provides universal data transformation that supports binary document translation based on industry standards and improves data quality in this regard with Informatica B2B Data Transformation. Many organizations use spreadsheets and Adobe Acrobat to share data, and Informatica makes integration of them more flexible through provisioning and interfacing with message interfaces such as Tibco and WebMethods. Informatica is advancing B2B relationships through its business-driven Informatica Data Exchange so that business, not IT, can drive a timely interface of data. In addition its data monitoring helps businesses keep tabs on relevant changes to their partners across the supply chain and distribute data and documents efficiently to them and intermediaries in between. Considering that our benchmark research into product information management (PIM); found that only 19 percent of organizations have complete trust in their B2B product and service data, there is plenty of room for improvement through automation in this area. Informatica now has over 500 B2B customers in a range of industries, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Zyme.
Informatica has helped many organizations in their evolution from being an application-centric enterprise to a data-driven one, harnessing the collaboration of business users by empowering a data-driven community across the enterprise. This transformation to some extent is happening naturally, as organizations reduce their investments in traditional CRM and ERP applications and upgrades (which can be seen in the steady decline of license revenue for Oracle and SAP in their financial results). IBM and Oracle are finding growth in the demand for data-related technologies and have been and looks to continue making acquisitions frequently. IBM has acquired Initiate Systems for MDM in specific industries like Healthcare and Oracle acquired Silver Creek for data discovery just in the last month. I do believe that Informatica and others should present more how they can help organizations with specific line of business data like customer, finance and product that are business driven initiatives that are looking for technology that aligns to their specific needs. My colleague recently wrote about how to apply Informatica to advance customer specific data needs (See: “Informatica Advances “The Single View of the Customer”"). I also had expected to hear more on how they are supporting data governance and even more specifically with PIM, which we identified and found as key area of investments in 2009. Our recent benchmark research on PIM rated data integration, MDM and data quality as top technologies for improvement.
Informatica is well positioned as the technology supplier dedicated to meeting the data needs of enterprises, challenging the need to upgrade databases by showing how to leverage the data more efficiently with its products for direct business needs. The Informatica analyst summit finished up with its CEO, Sohaib Abassi, providing insight into the company’s focus and roadmap to help customers through the recession and into a business revival. Sohaib made it clear that the company will continue to grow through acquisitions, and there are plenty of options available to deepen its data- and information-related technology footprint. There is no doubt that the demand for data integration and related technologies will continue to grow, and Informatica is poised to advance toward its goal of becoming a billion-dollar business.
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Mark Smith – CEO & EVP Research