Informatica Analyst Briefing

Arvind Parthasarathi, Ken Hoang and Ravi Shankar from Informatica were kind enough recently to give me a detailed briefing on Informatica’s master data management (MDM) strategy after its acquisition of Siperian.

First, there’s no doubt this was a game-changing move, for both Siperian and for Informatica. With over 4,000 Informatica installed base customers to leverage, and 200 Informatica sales reps going through training and certification, Siperian’s sales momentum should increase dramatically. And in fact, several new deals have closed just since the acquisition was announced in late January.

And being acquired by Informatica eliminates the “company viability” question that some Fortune 500 IT shops would have about any software company under a certain size (not just Siperian). Informatica itself might be acquired by one of the mega-vendors at some point, but with annual revenue of $500 million, it’s big enough not to be subject to the financial viability question.

Informatica also provides a large partner ecosystem and a significant marketing budget, so living on under the Informatica banner, Siperian can compete more readily for mind share both with partners and with potential customers.

But what impressed me the most was the strategic nature of the other purchases that Informatica has made over the past couple of years, such as Identity Systems for entity resolution (i.e. matching) and Address Doctor for address cleansing. With the addition of Siperian as a strong player in the multidomain MDM hub space, Informatica has declared itself a real competitor against the likes of Oracle, IBM, Initiate Systems (an IBM company) and SAP.

And in some ways, Informatica is better positioned than most of these, for two reasons. First, it has a complete suite of leading products for data integration, data quality and all of the associated things that make up the “MDM ecosystem”. And second, many of its competitors are dependent on it for those components (Ramon Chen wrote a great article on Informatica’s OEM agreements with various competitors).

Informatica’s product lineup supports all of these MDM requirements:

  • Multiple MDM architectural styles including the ability to support Registry style (competes most directly with Initiate Systems)
  • Multiple data domains, i.e. multidomain MDM (competes most directly with Oracle, IBM and SAP)
  • Data Integration and Data Quality as a foundation for MDM (competes with a wide variety of products)

So in some ways, Informatica wins even if customers buy a competitor’s MDM hub product, because there’s a good chance they’ll still buy Informatica’s data integration and/or data quality solutions, to help them with data integration, data profiling and data quality, or to help build the inevitable data services, once the master data is gathered in a centralized hub and able to deliver timely, trusted and relevant to the rest of the enterprise.

Informatica sees its MDM products used in both Operational MDM (where the master data is actively managed by data stewards, governed and improved and then synchronized back to the operational systems), and in Analytical MDM (where for various reasons, the improved master data does not flow back to the operational systems, but flow instead to data warehousing, analytical and business intelligence applications).

Informatica has such a strong, integrated story, with its PowerCenter data integration, Informatica Data Quality, and Informatica MDM products, that it’s able to accommodate customers’ maturity needs starting with data integration and progressing to data quality and MDM.

And Informatica, by giving customers the ability to solve any MDM-related business problem with a unified architecture, spanning data integration, data profiling, data quality, identity resolution, address validation, and all major styles of master data management, has pulled together a great set of solutions for MDM.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Informatica folks at this week’s Gartner MDM Summit conference in Las Vegas.  If you’re going to be there, stop by and see the Hub Designs team at Booth #7 during the exhibit hall hours.  We’ll be announcing a new product with Equifax, and we’ll be releasing a data governance white paper with Informatica.

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