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InformaticaWorld 2016

Update on the recent InformaticaWorld 2016 conference

Informatica's Manouj Tahiliani, Ben Rund

Informatica did it again, providing an engaging and satisfying experience at last week’s InformaticaWorld 2016 conference in San Francisco.

I attended an Informatica Industry Analyst Conference in February 2013. I missed InformaticaWorld in 2014 due to client commitments, but I really enjoyed it last year. I admit to being glad this year’s conference was in San Francisco, as I’m not a big fan of last year’s venue, Las Vegas.

I missed the industry analyst segment on Day 1 though, due to not feeling well after arriving from Boston.

This year’s messaging was close to my heart – “Data Powers Business” and other variations on that theme.

Data Powers Business

Meetings

I had a number of one-on-one meetings with Informatica people, starting with breakfast on Tuesday with Prash Chandramohan, Principal Product Marketing Manager for Informatica’s MDM products.

I’ve known Prash for about 6 years. He has been an occasional guest author on Hub Designs Magazine, with articles on Connecting Social Media And MDM and Five Key Factors in Architecting a Master Data Solution. Prash blogs at http://www.mdmgeek.com, and is active on Twitter as well. It was great catching up with Prash, and hearing about what’s new with Informatica’s MDM platform.

I also had a great lunch with Justin Glatz, one of Informatica’s architects, who spends a fair amount of his time with Informatica customers. We had a great discussion of the role of MDM and data governance in today’s enterprise architectures, and recent trends towards knitting together master data management and governance efforts with data integration, big data and advanced analytics initiatives.

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed watching over the past few years is Informatica’s ability to attract and retain some of the top talent in the information management industry, including people like Rob Karel, Christopher Dwight, Ben Rund, Ian Stahl, Carter Lusher and Peggy O’Neill – and most recently, Jim Davis from SAS and Lou Attanasio from IBM.

Sessions

On Tuesday, I attended the “MDM 360 Summit”, which featured great sessions on master data management and data governance.

Suresh Menon, the SVP & General Manager of Informatica’s Information Quality Solutions gave a strong keynote on “Mastering Digital Transformation in the Age of Data Revolution”. Then I attended an interesting case study on “Rich Product Content Drives Customer Experiences That Sell” by Laura Nailor, an E-commerce Manager at Unilever.

Manouj Tahiliani and Ben Rund did a great session on “What’s New in Information Quality Solutions” on Tuesday afternoon. Ben comes from the product information management (PIM) world via Informatica’s acquisition of Heiler, and having been involved in many PIM initiatives, it’s always great to see and listen to someone who speaks that language.

The next session I attended was “More than a Dream Factory – Customer Experience at Disney” by Ashwani Sethi, Disney’s Senior Manager of MDM and Customer Insight. It was fascinating to hear about what Disney is up to in the MDM and customer experience arenas.

Last up for the day was a “MDM 360 Summit Customer Reception” at Chronicle Books, across the street from the Moscone convention center. It was like a great cocktail party filled with old friends that I don’t see that often anymore, so it went by quickly. I ended the day by going out to dinner with Bill Pinkstaff, an enterprise data architect from Red Hat, whom I’ve known for 12 years.

The Wednesday sessions were also great.

Lesley Hanly, Senior Director of Product Management covered “MDM – What’s new and Innovations”. She talked about Informatica MDM Multidomain Edition 10.1, which came out in October 2015, which has new user interfaces for task and data management, extended Business Entity Services APIs, and performance enhancements, particularly in Informatica Data Director. She also covered other products, including Big Data Relationship Management and Informatica Identity Resolution. Release 10.2 of MDM is planned for September 2016, and will feature the ability to search D&B (Dun & Bradstreet) and other information providers directly from Data Director, as well as further user experience improvements.

Then Manouj Tahiliani discussed “What’s New and Innovations” for MDM-fueled apps, accelerators & solutions. He pointed out that data is changing – in its supply, its persistence and its consumption. He talked about Informatica REV as “Excel on steroids, with the power of Informatica Data Quality under the hood.” He characterized Informatica MDM as the “best of breed multidomain MDM platform, needed to construct a consistent digital presence”, going on to say the “semantic understanding of the outside world needs to be connected to your inside world, so you can make sense of it.”

Informatica provides purpose-built solutions like Product 360, Supplier 360, and Customer 360 for Salesforce. It will be introducing Customer 360 in the late summer, as well as Project Cirrus, which is a cloud-based version of Informatica Data Quality. There are also a large number of accelerators for industries such as insurance, life sciences, retail, banking & capital markets, oil & gas and healthcare.

I had to drive out to Silicon Valley to meet with a potential client, so I missed the last part of the proceedings on Wednesday.

Summary

It’s good to be able to report that all is well in Informatica-land, especially since it went private a year ago in a $5.3 billion leveraged buyout led by Permira Advisers and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Informatica seems to have the “pedal to the metal” in terms of investing in its products, people and customers. This event was well presented and coordinated, and the Informatica customers that I talked to were engaged, interested and looking forward to doing more with the company.

I like what I’m seeing from Informatica in terms of its breadth of vision and its ability to execute, from further enhancing its core data integration, data quality and data mastering products, to pushing into new areas like big data, information security and machine learning, and in listening to its customers who are asking for new deployment methods, new pricing models, and new synergies between products.

About The Author

Dan Power 2016Dan 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 4,000 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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