Informatica chairman and CEO Sohaib Abbasi said the data integration company had made significant progress over the last year in terms of product development and user adoption and cheekily brushed off any speculation that the company was about to be acquired.
With around 60% of IT budgets being spent on data integration, Informatica’s software business is booming Abbasi said in his keynote speech at Informatica’s annual user conference yesterday in Orlando, Florida.
PowerCenter 8 and PowerExchange 8 are our most innovative releases to date and are now being used in 65% of [data integration] projects that we know of.
Abbasi pointed to regulatory compliance and post-merger integration as the key business imperatives driving data integration and data quality projects today.
PowerCenter 8, Informatica’s core data integration platform generally released in April 2006, broadened the platforms footprint beyond traditional data warehousing and incorporates a wealth of new features including: support for unstructured data integration; data federation; better price-performance scalability; and automated mapping templates to boost developer productivity.
Abbasi singled out support for unstructured and semi-structured data integration, courtesy of its $55m acquisition of Itemfield last November, as the most groundbreaking development.
Traditional data integration projects have up to now ignored 90% of enterprise data that is typically held in unstructured and semi-structured formats. PowerExchange 8 now lets you integrate ten times more data, including semi-structured XML-based SWIFT, HIPAA and HL7, for complex data exchange, even across enterprise boundaries.
Abbasi also trumpeted the growth of Informatica’s data quality business, which was jump-started in 2006 after it acquired Ireland-based Similarity Systems at the beginning of that year.
Informatica has since re-branded Similarity’s products as Data Quality 3.1 and Explorer 5.0.
Abbasi said that Informatica has made good progress selling data quality into its core PowerCenter 8 user base, pointing to a fivefold increase in adoption in the past 12 months.
A year ago only 2% of active projects used data quality. That has grown to 12.5% in one year alone.
Marquee customers that have now standardized on Informatica data quality now include Dresdner Bank, P&G, Bank of America, and Cadbury Schweppes.
We have ambitious plans to deliver more capabilities in data quality. We’re not just looking to help companies to correct data but also to prevent errors from occurring in the first place, Abbasi said.
Looking to the future, Abbasi spoke of the next wave cross-enterprise data integration driven by an on-demand (or software-as-a-service) software delivery model.
The rise of business process outsourcing and SaaS means that data integration is becoming fragmented across enterprise boundaries.
Data is now fragmented within corporate silos and also beyond the enterprise making it more challenging to integrate, reconcile and certify the quality of business information.
To address this need Informatica last year unveiled an ambitious roadmap for enabling cross-enterprise data integration.
The first deliverable, introduced in the third-quarter last year, was a series of off-premises data connectors that are offered as an option for PowerCenter 8.
Then in the first-quarter of this year Informatica announced a series of partnerships with leading BPO providers like to embed Informatica’s core data integration products into their service offerings to access and integrate off-premise data that they manage.
And in March this year Redwood City, California-based Informatica released what Abbasi boasts as the industry’s first multi-tenant data integration software-as-a-service with its On Demand Replicator offering that allows off-premise Salesforce.com application data to be replicated across corporate firewalls.
We want to make data integration as simple as using a consumer website like Amazon.com and eBay, Abbasi said.
We’re planning to offer number of purpose-built data integration services using a browser to replicate, cleanse and, migrate on-premise data to SaaS environments, and synchronize on- and off-premise data.
Overall Abbasi was pleased with the rate and timeliness of Informatica’s product development efforts over the past year.
We’ve delivered new functionality every quarter, for nine consecutive quarters.
Plus we’ve delivered on our roadmap on time. Enterprise software on time. Wow, what a novel concept!
Abbasi also responded somewhat tongue-in-cheek to merger and acquisition speculation around the company that surfaced last year.
I assured [our user group] that there was no truth in the rumor that we’re about to acquire IBM or Oracle, he quipped during his keynote.