Informatica Origami

Choosing an orange origami swan as your logo is an interesting signal, ripe with metaphors. Was Informatica unfairly labeled as an ugly duckling before? Is the company now folding in on itself? Does it take a lot of skill and dexterity to create something beautiful from a blank square of paper? Is this latest re-invention a swan song? Let's hope not, as there is actually quite a bit to like about the new directions.

Anil Chakravarthy, Informatica's CEO, has outlined the three iterations of the company. First, focused on ETL and ingestion. Second, expansion into MDM, archiving, and data quality. And today, re-launching as an "enterprise cloud data management" platform-as-a-service (PaaS) vendor, which is again functional, if not sexy.

Topics: Informatica Data Management platform-as-a-service

Informatica and Big Data Management

While big data is not a new concept, it’s gaining more significance as IT embraces new ways to generate and leverage big data. Mobility, cloud, social, analytics, and IoT are all important initiatives that are driving the production and consumption of big data. Therefore, IT needs to take big data management seriously. The challenge is to find a way to manage big data that does not create a big problem. Big data involves ingesting vast quantities of data and then leveraging this data to drive competitive advantage. The volume and velocity of big data render manual efforts to manage this data obsolete. However, it is possible to logically simplify big data into the following activities:

Topics: Informatica

Informatica Grows Up and Gets Organized

What could possibly entice me to return to Las Vegas for the third time in three weeks? Informatica World 2015. Frankly, I was curious to see just what was a-goin' on with the company. We know this is a group with serious chops in the data management space, but it's also a bit of an anomaly generation-wise. Founded in 1993, Informatica doesn't have so many decades of seniority as IBM, HP, or Oracle, but it's far too old to be a precocious startup any longer. Informatica was born prior to the Dot Com boom, yet is still trying to define itself, actually a lot like most 22-year-olds I know. Last year the company graduated with a Master's Degree in Data Management, and now it's hitting the workforce with new energy. I'm not sure how the whole "going private" move fits this metaphor, but Informatica isn't talking about that yet either until the deal closes.

Topics: Informatica Data Management

Informatica and the Challenge of Data Unification

Informatica is clearly a leader in data integration. In fact, a case could be made for Informatica being the leader in data integration. Since superlatives are not typically part of my lexicon, this represents something of an accomplishment on Informatica’s part. Informatica has been around for just over 20 years and is now driving over $1 billion in revenue. Informatica is unique because it’s the only large leading vendor in the data integration space that is a pure-play in integration. This means that Informatica’s future is inexorably tied to how enterprises leverage data. This is a good thing.

When you look at IT, you find that everything is data driven. Solutions and tools differ only by what data they align with and how they put this data to use. The reason we can say this with confidence is that every event is the result of one or more changes in state. As a result, whether we chose to formally recognize these changes in state from a data standpoint, they are responsible for initiating IT activities. For a comprehensive discussion of this topic, see ESG’s market summary report on Decision Analytics: Building the Foundation for Predictive Intelligence and Beyond.

Topics: Cloud Computing Internet of Things Informatica Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software Data Management

Informatica Wants You to be Data-centric

Not everyone in IT, much less the broader business community, appreciates the importance of shepherding their data. The more common attitude, propagated by many infrastructure and application vendors, is that the data is just a raw material to be stored, moved, analyzed, and displayed. The need for organizing, supplementing, cleaning, safeguarding, and providing appropriate access is much less well understood.

Topics: Big Data Informatica Enterprise Software Data Management

The True Chasm Yet to be Crossed for Big Data

Every vendor, customer, and channel player has a common problem with the big data market today. They don’t know how to build a complete solution. There are literally hundreds of companies with products and services being positioned as “big data platforms.” I know this is true, I have a list of each.

At the top level, an elevator pitch of value, the sales and marketing stories all sound the same. Exactly the same promises are made: transform your business, be data-driven, understand your customer more deeply, run operations better, faster, and cheaper than ever before. “All well and good,” you say, “admirable and desirable goals, but how do I do this?”

Topics: Big Data Informatica HP Enterprise Software Data Management Intel

Matters of Integration in the Data Economy

At the Informatica analyst conference in Menlo Park, CA during the waning days of February, James Markarian, Informatica’s CTO, reignited a line of thinking for me around the concept of “The Data Economy” – my term, not his. You might legitimately ask, “How is the data economy any different than the information technology market?” My notion of data economy overlaps with what most would consider the IT market, which I will discuss below. But first here are a few of the viewpoints I accrued from Mr. Markarian’s talk, supplemented by some of my own viewpoints, which spawned my thinking about The Data Economy, and Informatica’s role therein:

  • Few organizations actually know precisely the data they possess – where, what, or why; e.g., there are massive quantities of data generated by organizations that are never or seldom used.
  • Typically, organizations seriously over-provision storage and related infrastructure for data – better safe than sorry, particularly if you don’t have a really good handle on your data.
  • The term “data science” is overstated, in that scientific principles are not part of a data scientist's practices – we might be better off using the term “data artist.” On one hand this is nitpicking over job titles, but it highlights how far we still have to go in terms of managing and applying our data.
  • The currently hot approach to big data analytics, Hadoop, (and some are now opining that Google’s open source Dremel may soon start out-Hadooping Hadoop) involves dumping all kinds of data into a solution designed to deal with over-provisioning and to compensate for lack of data understanding: Create three haystacks of data, and start looking for a needle. If you stripped the “Hadoop” off of the label, and told somebody that is how you were going to architect a solution for analytics, they might think you were crazy.

The summarized message goes something like this: Organizations would do well to invest in understanding their data to ensure that the right information arrives at the right time for the right people in the right context of consumption, and the practices to make this happen simultaneously decreased business risk and IT costs. The more far-reaching factor is that those organizations who get their arms around their data can better participate in the data economy. Here are some bread crumbs about the data economy:

Topics: Informatica Enterprise Software Data Management

Cloud Developers and QA Have a Secure Spring in Their Steps

Close on the heels of its winter cloud release, Informatica announced near immediate availability of Informatica Cloud Spring 2013 released (“Spring release”) on February 20th. Customers will be upgraded this Saturday, February 23rd. As I observed in a previous informatica-thaws-its-integration-cold-snap/index.html" target="_blank">blog on Informatica Cloud posted not even four weeks ago, Informatica continues to expand its portfolio of connectors and enhance the features of its templates, and this holds true for the Spring release as well.

Of particular interest in the Spring release are connectors covering Microsoft Dynamics, Amazon Redshift, Oracle CRM On-Demand, and Intuit QuickBooks. There is no obvious correlation between these new app connectors, but that is exactly the point—the breadth of Informatica Cloud’s integration portfolio is unmatched in the industry. It also exemplifies how quickly Informatica is moving to keep Informatica Cloud up-to-date; Amazon Redshift data warehouse service went generally available today and Informatica already offers a pre-release connector.

Topics: Cloud Computing cloud Data Protection Private Cloud Infrastructure Informatica Information and Risk Management Enterprise Software Data Management Security and Privacy Security Public Cloud Service

Informatica Thaws its Integration Cold Snap

Cloud, whether public or private or SaaS or PaaS, and big data, both point to more robust integration demand, from both IT and line of business. Informatica clearly grasps that market vision, and so given effective execution, there is no vendor better positioned to take advantage of such demand. In part responding to that demand, Informatica’s Q4 results suggest that they have emerged from an execution cold snap experienced during mid-2012. Q4 revenues and profits both nicely beat street estimates and INFA share prices jumped, reflecting rediscovered confidence.

What really caught ESG’s eye, however, can be found in the supplemental metrics, including (1) the pick-up in international deals and a (2) shift to more direct deals; whatever Informatica CEO Sohaib Abbasi did to remedy the weak European and sales execution issues of 2012, including bringing in John McGee as EVP of Worldwide Field Operations, seems to have worked. However, a more finely honed sales force is only as good as Informatica’s offerings, and while ESG appreciates how big data drives integration interest, cloud accounts for even more short and long-term integration demand.

Topics: Cloud Computing Big Data cloud Informatica Enterprise Software Data Management

Informatica Making Big Data Manageable

As an analyst covering data management, a single day does not go by without a healthy discussion or debate on the meaning or impact of big data. It is quite comical in one sense, and quite inspiring in another. We are all intrigued by this concept of having access to information so that when we get THE question, we will find THE answer. And hopefully the answer is more than "42!" (that was for my son who is currently reading "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams - I couldn't be more proud).

Topics: Big Data Hadoop Informatica Information and Risk Management Data Management