Informatica Seeds Data Integration Cloud, Sees Pay Off
November 11, 2008 Alex Woodie
Informatica is having success selling data integration tools and services to customers and providers of software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing services. Last week the Silicon Valley outfit revealed that more than 10 percent of its OEM partners are cloud computing providers. The company also unveiled its latest cloud-based offering for Salesforce.com customers, and launched a new training and certification program around the data quality discipline.
Informatica is one of the leading providers of what used to be known as extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools. ETL tools have gradually morphed into a new class of data integration with quality capabilities that can be used to access and move data, whether it’s stored on-site or off-premises.
In recent years, the company has focused much of its effort on allowing customers to integrate their in-house data (including DB2/400 databases) with data stored by their SaaS and cloud-computing hosts. Eventually, Informatica even launched its own SaaS offering, enabling customers to use a Web browser to access Informatica data integration capabilities and move and synchronize data among traditional and SaaS applications.
Last week, the publicly traded company launched its latest SaaS offering: Informatica On Demand Data Synchronization Service for salesforce.com. According to Informatica, the new service automates the steps required to ensure on-premise data is kept consistent and current with data in Salesforce.com CRM implementations, and starts at $1,000 per month.
Informatica says its SaaS and cloud computing business is growing well, especially among companies that embed Informatica’s solutions into their own SaaS and cloud-based offerings. SaaS providers utilizing Informatica tools under an OEM agreement include: Responsys, a provider of marketing services; Revionics, a pricing optimization service provider; data analytics provider Zyme Solutions; another price optimization provider called SignalDemand; and iPartners, a provider of SaaS computing solutions to the property and casualty insurance industry.
Harry Gould, Informaica’s senior vice president of worldwide alliances, says his company is meeting the need for data integration, whether for SaaS or traditional applications. “We have an extensive track record of having our technology successfully embedded in traditional applications, and also of working alongside SaaS vendors ‘in the cloud,'” he says in a statement. “In either case, OEMs turn to us as the only neutral provider with near-universal data integration capabilities right out of the box.”
The company also launched the Informatica Data Quality Certification program, a new branch of its existing certification program that is aimed at helping partners and customers build technical expertise in the use of Informatica’s data quality tools. Previously, Informatica only offered certification for PowerCenter, its flagship ETL tool.
There are three levels to the new data quality certification, including Informatica Data Quality Specialist and an Informatica Data Explorer Specialist. Individuals who have passed both of these exams can go for the title of Certified Data Quality Professional.
Ivan Chong, the company’s senior vice president and general manager of data quality, says the new certifications will be well received by a market for data quality tools, which is growing at a double-digit pace. “The Informatica Data Quality Certification program will broaden the Informatica partner ecosystem by arming professionals with the ability to certify their skills and differentiate themselves in the data quality arena,” he says.