Data Integration Remains a Major IT Headache
Study shows that data integration is still costly and requires a lot of manual coding.
Informatica began rolling out a pre-release of its cloud solution this week, with all customers expected to be updated by Jan. 14. One of the big changes with this release is a new contact validation service.
"We've been very focused on delivering data integration as a service, but if you look at Informatica as a company, we have data integration business and a data quality business. So our strategy is to bring more and more of our assets to the cloud and this is the first data quality as a service offering from Informatica," Darren Cunningham, vice president of marketing for Informatica Cloud, told me after a recent interview that focused on hybrid cloud computing.
In 2009, Informatica acquired AddressDoctor, a company that uses postal directories from 240 countries and territories to validate contact information. With this new release, Informatica brings that data to the cloud, making this the first "data quality as a service" offering from Informatica, he said. The new service will also check emails and do-not-call registries, he added.
"With this, we've opened up what's possible with the platform. What our partners have been building has been more templates," Cunningham said. "Now they can actually build full-blown connectors."
Up until now, Informatica - like most cloud providers - has focused its attention on the edge of the enterprise: business analysts, application owners. Informatica Cloud Winter 2012 will introduce more support for enterprise-class integration, he explained. In some ways, the cloud can even offer better support to enterprise clients than on-premise software, Cunningham pointed out.
"We're working on delivering some of the more enterprise-oriented features, as I think cloud integration is definitely moving into broader implementations," he said. "We've incorporated live chat into our service, specifically for customers who have purchased our 24/7 support so as you're building jobs and running things through Informatica cloud, there's the ability to actually chat directly with a support person right within the app. Those are the kinds of things that cloud lends itself to that we could never do with enterprise software.
"We continue to be excited about what's possible, thanks to the multi-tenant service. We know what customers are doing, we know what kinds of jobs they're running, the frequency - it just changes the whole relationship with customers."
The company will also be focusing more on developing ISV/OEM relationships, which would mean providing integration as part of other solutions, rather than as a stand-alone offering.
Existing users will also see a more la carte pricing with this release, Cunningham said. You'll be able to pay as you go based on the number of transactions you validate and cleanse with Express Data Sync.
The new version will also include support for Android in the Mobile Admin App.
If you'd like to learn more, Informatica is offering a webinar to highlight the new features and changes.