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.
There is also a three-fold transformation happening at Informatica, covering new products, new business models, and the new branding. At the center of this is its "intelligent" data platform built around delivery of micro-services, APIs, and modular capabilities. Machine learning and artificial intelligence have also been invoked, because it's obligatory in 2017 marketing. Snark aside, what Informatica has built in CLAIRE is a good fit for my "Assisted Analytics" concept, helping to guide and increase productivity of both analysts and data stewards. This is the direction I believe more software will go. The current complexity around big data and analytics isn't going to go away, but smart vendors can hide the difficult bits from users. Extending this capability into governance and compliance is a natural direction, and Informatica has already taken that step, using learned information about data and metadata to automatically build and apply appropriate control policies. Neat.
The main takeaway from this event has been just how far Informatica has come in re-inventing itself for the modern world of analytics and data management. I wrote recently about the shift to cloud - it's clear that Informatica is investing in the right places to (re-)earn a place in enterprises. Maybe that's not a swan in the new logo, maybe it's a phoenix.