an update on Informatica MDM Release 9.5
Hub Designs Magazine last covered Informatica’s MDM offering shortly after Informatica acquired Siperian (April 2010 and December 2010). To update the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank on the evolution of the Information MDM solution since the acquisition, Ravi Shankar, VP of Product Marketing, recently presented a high level overview of the new capabilities that are part of the new 9.5 release of Informatica MDM.
Informatica MDM draws on the extensive functionality available in the overall Informatica Platform for data quality, data integration, connectivity, B2B data exchanges (financial services data, third party data feeds), and data governance. Informatica also offers support for multidomain MDM and identity resolution.
Ravi interspersed presentation slides with live looks at the software – a very effective way to illustrate how different MDM capabilities are actually handled. This approach kept the briefing fresh and fast-paced.
Business Applications for MDM
Rapid customer deployments and the proliferation of over 75 business solutions and partner-built solutions are also aspects of the Informatica MDM go-to-market strategy. MDM applications include: reference data management, counter-party risk management, physician spend management, healthcare analytics, and pharma R&D. Informatica MDM currently has hundreds of customers across 30 industries.
Informatica and its partners have been providing business applications built on MDM capabilities as a way to connect with business users in the enterprise to show the value of MDM and data governance.
Partner solutions based on MDM have addressed: ICD-10 (Internal Classification of Diseases), Legal Entity Identifier, Customer 3-D, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), and Securities Master.
Four Major Focal Points
More than buzzwords or hype, the focal points of the 9.5 release are significant business technologies:
Cloud – Social – Mobile – Big Data
In this briefing, Ravi detailed the MDM capabilities that map to these focal points.
Informatica continues to see an increase in inquiries for overall data management capabilities for data in the cloud, as well as for MDM functionality as cloud services.
Informatica connectivity and management for data in the cloud has had an ongoing evolution:
- Cloud-based sources and targets such as Salesforce.com and NetSuite
- Cloud integration to-and-from on-premises systems
- Public, private cloud
- Cloud consumption – marketplace apps built on Informatica Platform
- MDM application: Cloud MDM for Salesforce.com
- Soon: MDM-as-a-Service (utilizing purpose-built apps, partner ecosystem)
As an example of support for SaaS partnerships, Informatica has developed specific functionality for Salesforce.com, such as a widget that pulls in data from the MDM instance to populate fields in Salesforce records, reducing errors and speeding up data entry. Updates between Salesforce and MDM are bi-directional, and data quality capabilities improve the usability of the data. Hierarchy data from the MDM instance can be used to reconcile entries in Salesforce.com org charts and contact relationship charts.
Informatica recently announced Informatica Cloud MDM that is based on the Data Scout acquisition in September 2012 and encompasses several aspects of using MDM to manage data in Salesforce.com. The solution is a native Force.com solution fully integrated with Salesforce.com, is deployed in the Cloud, and doesn’t require additional hardware or software. MDM capabilities help cleanse and enrich customer data, de-duplicate and reconcile data, and integrate Salesforce.com data with data from enterprise systems.
Social Media MDM
Particularly valuable to B2C organizations, customer activity on social media sites is generating large volumes of data. Enterprises want to capture, reconcile and use this data for improved customer interactions and marketing initiatives. Most individuals have a proliferating presence in social sites – MDM plays an important part in reconciling social data with corporate data (enterprise systems), data from cloud applications, and third party data services (Reuters, D&B). Informatica’s Identity Resolution capability has an important function here as well.
Ravi ran through an example of how a retailer might utilize Informatica MDM in a Social eCommerce app where the retailer is selling products on Facebook. The retailer promotes a “VIP Club” that provides additional perks to members (specials, personal shopper, recommendations from friends). Customers on Facebook can opt in and agree to allow the retailer to use their Facebook information solely for the purpose of VIP Club services. The corporate profile is then enriched with social data.
The retailer can also walk the customer’s Facebook social graph to identify other customers in the network with an eye to influence and decision-making.
Informatica has extended the MDM platform to iPads and iPhones. Capabilities include proximity and simple searches, integrated cleansing, and hierarchy views.
Ravi brought his iPad into the demo and presented the example of an app that could be built on Informatica MDM for mobile to support the sales team in the field. From a mobile device, sales reps can locate customers that are in the rep’s current geographic area. The sales rep can display all transactions, CRM data and social content to build out current knowledge of the customer before a meeting or call. The sales rep is able to create and update MDM data. Once the app has been created it can be made available in the Apple Store.
MDM for Big Data
The Informatica Platform now has Hadoop integration that provides users with a single platform for leveraging Hadoop to access, integrate and manage large volume datasets, as well as multi-structured data from social media sites. The Hadoop framework processes large relational and/or non-relational datasets using cheap commodity hardware, greatly reducing the costs of big data mining and analytics.
Informatica PowerExchange for Hadoop provides native connectivity to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), and enhances performance when connecting to data being processed in the Hadoop framework. Informatica also supports connectivity to multiple Hadoop distributions including Apache, MapR and EMC Greenplum.
Informatica MDM can now be used in conjunction with Hadoop processing environments to provide master data entity resolution and de-duplication of today’s super-sized datasets:
- Resolve entities such as customer identities in big data, more quickly and at reduced cost
- Enable large batch data de-duplication when dataset partitioning is not possible
- Handle social media analysis at lower cost to correlate fragments of entities into complete entities to render data usable for analysis
Effective Date Versioning Capability
Ravi demonstrated a new core capability for Effective Date Versioning as part of the Informatica MDM offering. The concept is: when and what did we know about a certain event before it occurred – clearly useful for risk management, auditing and compliance needs. Users can view and manage versions at selected points in time, and can view changes made over time. The capability provides flexibility for dates: create future dates before the dates physically occur, as well as past and present.
Informatica MDM Today
From the briefing that we viewed, it looks like Informatica has robustly integrated the Siperian acquisition into the Informatica Platform.
Informatica’s interest in developing MDM business applications, especially through partners, seems to be an on-target approach to bringing MDM into line-of-business real-world needs and shows the understanding that business users are important partners for the successful use of MDM in the enterprise.
About the Author
Julie Hunt is the Editor of Hub Designs Magazine. She is an accomplished software industry analyst, providing strategic market and competitive insights. Her 25+ years as a software professional range from the very technical side to customer-centric work in solutions consulting, sales and marketing. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitive and on Twitter: @juliebhunt. For more information, please visit Julie Hunt Consulting – Strategies for B2B Software Solutions: Working from the Customer Perspective.