Siperian, one of the last best-of-breed providers of master data management (MDM) technology, is being acquired by Informatica.
The two firms were already working together closely, having an alliance and OEM relationship through Informatica’s acquisitions in 2008 of Identity Systems (for entity resolution and matching) and in 2009 of Address Doctor (for customer address cleansing).
This will strengthen the Siperian product further by bringing Informatica’s technology even more tightly into the Siperian MDM Hub.
At the same time, it eliminates the “company viability” question mark that sometimes gets raised in large IT shops’ minds when evaluating enterprise software vendors. When a Fortune 500 company is evaluating a smaller company, they sometimes wonder how long a company like Siperian can last against companies like IBM, Oracle and SAP. I’ve never been a big fan of that argument, since some of the best software gets created at small and medium-sized companies, but there’s no doubt it’s a obstacle to be overcome with the larger enterprises. Now, it shouldn’t be an issue.
As a Siperian partner, Hub Designs is excited about this acquisition. Based on the information we’ve got at this point, it seems like a good thing for Siperian’s customers, products, shareholders, partners and people. In today’s economic climate, dreams of a big IPO (for any venture-backed technology company) are unlikely, so an acquisition by a well-run larger company is a good outcome.
I know a lot of the people at Siperian personally, and have worked closely with them over the last few years. I hope the people at Informatica realize what a strong team they are getting in this acquisition, and do everything they can to hang onto them all.
I do suggest they stop using the term “MDM Infrastructure” though (which appeared 5 times in Informatica’s press release announcing the acquisition). First, it’s not accurate – MDM projects typically need to be drive by the business to be successful, so they can’t and shouldn’t be thought of as “IT Infrastructure” projects. Secondly, from a marketing perspective, “infrastructure” is about as exciting as mud – it’s hard to get senior management excited about spending money on something with the word “infrastructure” in the name.
As for the acquisition’s impact on the rest of the MDM market, it’s still growing pretty quickly, but the number of players is shrinking. So I think we’ll see it become even more competitive, and with Informatica now becoming a strong player in the MDM hub market, that’s got to cool its relationship with Oracle, who selected Informatica as an OEM component of its Oracle Fusion MDM hub.
IBM is rumored to be acquiring Initiate Systems, which is an interesting play in its own right, especially given the expected growth in spending in the e-healthcare space over the next few years.
And SAP continues to improve its products slowly but steadily, while D&B/Purisma is doing some interesting things with web services access to the D&B central database of information on businesses.
As for the remaining independent MDM vendors, like Orchestra Networks and Kalido, or Product Information Management (PIM) solutions like Stibo and Riversand, they should see this as further validation of the strength of the MDM market. Kalido feels that it’s the only independent MDM provider who can manage every master data domain. That may be true. I plan on learning more about Kalido over the next few months.
So like the Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times”, the beginning of 2010 promises to be interesting for all of us in the MDM business!
If you’d like to continue the discussion on the “Impact of Informatica’s Acquisition of Siperian”, click http://ning.it/aJ1Xj5.