Today's headlines featured two impressive developments in the cloud integration space. I think they're both worth pointing out, and show why this market is worth watching.
The first, and the one with the broadest impact, is that Informatica announced a new pay-as-you-go integration plan for Salesforce CRM and Force.com, which will launch in January. It's called Informatica Cloud Express, and it's designed for those who want to test the cloud without spending a ton of cash and/or for those who don't want too much obligation.
The starting price point reflects that, too: IDG News reports the cost will start at $99 per month, which would allow up to 250 integration jobs per day. There are eight price options, though, with the most expensive being a $2,000 fee that lets you move 50 million records per month.
Now is certainly the time for cheaper solutions, as pointed out recently in Gartner's recent Magic Quadrant for Data Integration. The report states that "Customers are seeking low-cost, 'good enough' data integration capabilities."
As the article notes, Informatica also has two other cloud options, including fixed-pricing models and a free data loading service for simple tasks.
The press release and other news items talked about Informatica Cloud Express in terms of Salesforce.com-so I'm still unclear if it can be used for integration with other solutions. I've asked Informatica for clarification.
Informatica's press release notes that this is the "the first cloud data integration service with usage-based pricing," but there are at least two pay-as-you-go options associated with Amazon EC2. Of course, you'd have to subscribe to Amazon EC2 on top of the data integration fee for those. Fiorano Cloud Platform and IBM InfoSphere DataStage/QualityStage both offer pay-as-you-go options on Amazon EC2.
Meanwhile, I was intrigued to see that Informatica's former CEO, Gaurav Dhillon, secured a $10 million funding round for cloud data integration company SnapLogic, where he is now the CEO. The funding round was led by Andreessen-Horowitz, a high-profile investment company. Venture Beat reports that Dhillon had a previous "history when it comes to investment rounds."
The site also reports "investing titan" Ben Horowitz of Andreessen-Horowitz will join SnapLogic's board as part of the deal, which it described as a "pretty strong vote of confidence."
SnapLogic is an open source cloud data integration company, which was founded in 2006 and based in San Mateo, CA. Gartner describes it as "Dataflow supports real-time and federated integration of data with a focus on diverse data sources, including SaaS- and cloud-based sources, and via Web-oriented architectural approaches."
Bloomberg Businessweek recently categorized SnapLogic as similar to other solution-specific cloud integration companies, such as Appirio, Boomi and Cast Iron. You'll notice two of those have been bought out by other companies this year.
Earlier this year, SnapLogic unveiled its SnapStore, which allows developers to upload "Snaps," or pre-built connectors, for cloud solutions such as Salesforce.com and Google Apps. The developers set the fee for the Snaps, with SnapLogic retaining 30 percent of the revenue. Deals & More reports there are currently around 60 cloud connectors available through the store, which it says "means SnapLogic can manage about 1,800 (60^2) total connections."