Las Vegas for Informatica World 2015

Informatica World 2015: Trip Report

By Dan Power

A few weeks ago, I attended Informatica World 2015 in Las Vegas. There were a lot of tracks at this event:

  • Informatica Platform & Architecture
  • Data Integration
  • Cloud
  • Information Quality & Governance
  • Data Security & Privacy
  • MDM Day
  • Big Data

Naturally, I focused on the master data management (MDM), data governance and big data aspects.

I arrived fairly late on the first day, so all I had time for was dinner with Prash Chandramohan. Prash has written a couple of great articles for Hub Designs Magazine:

So it was great to see him, and to learn more about his role at Informatica as Senior Product Marketing Manager, MDM.

The next day, Informatica’s CEO, Sohaib Abbasi, gave a great keynote. He talked about how we’re going from the age of productivity to the age of engagement – from when SQL ruled the world, to where enterprises interact directly with their customers.

The world of data has changed from ‘transactions ‘to ‘interactions’. Sohaib also discussed Informatica’s transition from a publicly held company to private ownership, reassuring the audience that the company remains committed to investing in innovation and its customers’ success.

He outlined Informatica’s roadmap for the world of data:

Informatica's 'World of Data' - Informatica World 2015

We’ve gone beyond the days when our challenge was to integrate silos of ‘on premise’ data. Now that cloud computing and social media have been widely adopted, the challenge is much bigger. Data is now fragmented across multiple silos in the cloud and on premise.

Sohaib discussed Project Atlantic for cloud integration, which automatically infers the structure and semantics of machine interaction and structured transaction data. Project Sonoma will make it possible for developers to find, ingest, prepare, provision, secure and govern data that is managed in Hadoop data lakes.

I particularly liked Sohaib’s theme of unification, where he laid out how Informatica’s various tools can work together across the whole information management lifecycle:

Unification to Master All Things Data - Informatica World 2015

Noteworthy Sessions

Then I attended the MDM Day keynote on “Mastering Digital Transformation” by Suresh Menon, Informatica’s VP Product Management & General Manager for Information Quality Solutions.

This was followed by a customer panel discussion with Devon Energy, Dun & Bradstreet and Noah Consulting. Devon Energy talked about its transition to big data.

Why Big Data at Devon - Informatica World 2015

They also highlighted the lessons learned along the way.

Lessons Learned - Informatica World 2015

Next on the agenda was an ‘Industry Analyst Lunch & Executive Q&A’, where the analysts had a chance to ask Sohaib Abbasi, Chairman & CEO (and his direct reports) some tough questions. Mine had to do with what Informatica was doing to make it easier to implement its products – especially MDM – given the skills shortages that continue to plague most organizations trying to implement MDM in the real world. His answer was to point out the increasing degree of integration between Informatica’s various products, and to let us know that ease of implementation (and ease of use) were receiving new attention at Informatica.

The next session was “Symantec & EMC – MDM + DQ to Deliver Trusted Customer Views”, which was interesting. I’ve followed the high tech industry and what it’s done about master data management for several years, and it seems like Symantec and EMC have made real progress in creating and managing an authoritative source of customer data.

I also really liked the session on “Data Driven Healthcare Realities with UPMC and Cambia” by Terri Mikol, Director of Data Governance at University of Pittsburg Medical Center and Max Templeton, Enterprise Architect at Cambia Health.

Terri spoke with a lot of passion about the role of data governance in analytics:

Role of Data Governance in Analytics - Informatica World 2015

She also shared some great ‘lessons learned’ from UPMC’s experience over the past four years:

UPMC's Lessons Learned - Informatica World 2015

Informatica’s People 

One of the reasons I enjoy attending conferences like this is to catch up with people that I don’t see very often, or meet people that I’ve interacted with for years but never met face to face. 

There was plenty of that at Informatica World, particularly Rob Karel (VP Product Strategy and Marketing, MDM), Carter Lusher (Analyst Relations, MDM, PIM and Retail), Dawn Wellhausen (Principal Field Marketing Manager), and Manouj Tahiliani (Senior Director, Industry Solutions and Cloud MDM).

In any fast growing enterprise software market, people are going to move around as new opportunities present themselves. But I continue to be very impressed with the caliber of people Informatica has been able to attract, and they’ve lured a lot of good MDM talent away from their competitors in the last one to two years.

Overall Impressions

I came away feeling that Informatica is doing well in the information management market. It was probably a good idea to “go private” – it insulates the company somewhat from the short term thinking that, unfortunately, is so common at public companies, and may make it harder for a competitor to execute a hostile takeover. The company seems to have much more focus on its information platform than its ‘mega vendor’ competitors, but has achieved the scale and critical mass to which some of its smaller competitors still aspire.

Hub Designs has been an Informatica partner – albeit a small one – since back in the Siperian days, and I enjoy working with the company, its people and its products. We partner with practically everyone and are beholden to no one, so we can be objective when working with clients on software selection projects. But I think Informatica is setting a pretty high bar in the areas of master data management, data quality, data integration, big data and data governance.

About The Author

Dan Power is the Founder & President of Hub Designs, a global consulting firm focused on strategy development, solution delivery and thought leadership for master data management (MDM) and information governance. He’s the publisher of Hub Designs Magazine, one of the first online publications for the information governance industry, with over 3,000 regular readers. Dan has written more than 35 white papers and articles, and is a frequent speaker at industry events, conferences, and webinars. To contact him, please visit http://hubdesigns.com/contact.

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