At its annual conference, Informatica made a series of announcements focused on the challenges posed by outsourcing initiatives and the massive decentralization of business data across the world. The need for on-demand data integration is becoming clear as businesses seek to integrate views of information, satisfy regulatory compliance requirements and begin other data management initiatives. Informatica announced that it will partner with salesforce.com to provide on-demand data integration as part of salesforce's AppExchange online service. The arrangement will serve both parties: salesforce.com had no robust offering or strategy for on-demand data integration at the enterprise level, while Informatica gains a foothold in the expanding market for on-demand software as a service (SaaS).
This intensified interest in on-demand data integration is timely. Many organizations now operate in a distributed fashion, outsourcing IT functions and business processes and using hosted SaaS to store and access employee, product, customer and even financial data across the world. Ventana Research estimates the current market for business process outsourcing (BPO) and SaaS at substantially more than $70 billion. Informatica has announced new capabilities available in Informatica PowerCenter 8.1 and plans upcoming releases of on-demand solutions in the fourth quarter of this year and on-demand platform advances in the first quarter of 2007. Informatica also is well underway in developing data integration interfaces with outsourcing partners. Ventana Research sees in these advances benefits for companies whose data is less and less often housed within their corporate walls.
No matter where the data is housed, its completeness, accuracy and consistency are vital to companies today. Addressing data quality issues in organizations, Informatica has integrated its acquisition of Similarity Systems to offer a spectrum of capabilities supporting data governance. The company has built into Informatica PowerCenter measures for completeness, conformity, consistency, accuracy, duplication and integrity of data.
To support the key areas of on-demand data integration and data quality, Informatica also includes in PowerCenter 8.1 new capabilities for integrating unstructured data, optimizing grid deployment, and tools for improving developers' productivity, such as transformations and mapping templates. Informatica's next major release of PowerCenter, scheduled for the first quarter of 2007, will feature additional capabilities to support distributed data integration and advance PowerCenter as an on-demand platform for data integration.
IT organizations now recognize data integration as a key technology category that they need in order to support efficient, cost-effective management and governance of data. Informatica's new product releases and capabilities continue to advance this market. The number of independent suppliers of databases and data integration applications is dwindling, and Informatica's competition at the high end now consists of database-centric providers like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, while others like Pervasive and Sunopsis focus more on the midsize market. Informatica has defined a clear product roadmap; its growth will depend on its ability to expand relationships with CIOs and IT executives who are just beginning to understand the strategic importance of data integration.
Today's organizations are making the management and governance of data a top priority. This effort cannot succeed without data integration that can operate across the business and the data repositories that are part of outsourcing or data hosting arrangements. Informatica is building on its experience in secure data integration and providing new capabilities and a partner development network to support these efforts. Ventana Research advises organizations that want to address data integration and quality issues and manage their disparate data wherever it is housed to examine how Informatica can help.
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