Informatica's New Suite Promises Fix for $5 Billion Problem

Loraine Lawson

The big integration announcement this week -- if you exclude news of Microsoft's much disputed interoperability pronouncement -- was Informatica's unveiling of its Data Migration Suite during TDWI's World Conference this week.


Business Intelligence Network caught up with Bo Lungulescu, the principal solutions marketing manager for Informatica, at the conference and recorded this podcast about the announcement. He also discusses the related news that Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Limited, will use Informatica's platform for providing data migration services to its customers.


Basically, the suite is designed to help companies with data migration after a merger or acquisition, during outsourcing or consolidation, or during large projects that require massive amounts of data migration, such as moving to a new ERP system.


These sorts of migration projects are major challenges for large companies. According to a Bloor Research study issued last year on data migration projects at Global 2000 companies, 84 percent of these projects are late or over budget. As a result, costs overruns average 30 percent -- a stat you'll see repeated frequently, since Informatica included it in the press release.


Last year, that added up to $5 billion spent on data migration, again, according to Bloor Research.


So, Informatica's offering could be very well received and a smart financial move -- assuming it works well.


The suite is a bundle of existing Informatica technologies -- Informatica PowerExchange, Informatica Data Explorer, Informatica Data Quality and Informatica PowerCenter Advanced Edition -- wrapped with what Informatica calls its Velocity Migration Methodology, which is designed to provide rapid migration with minimal errors.


Informatica's data migration page actually does a good job of explaining -- in plain English -- what each piece of the technology package offers. For instance, Data Explorer gives you the ability to tag and identify data that has quality issues, while Data Quality lets you update and standardize data, removing duplicates.


But for a more critical look at the suite's offering, check out what data migration veteran John Morris has to say about the suite. Morris is the author of Practical Data Migration and spent the last 10 years working exclusively on data migration and system integration projects for companies such as the BBC, the British Telecommunications, Barclays Bank, Price Waterhouse Coopers, CSC and Logica CMG.


Morris notes it's high time the "big boy" vendors starting paying attention to data migration. In general, he's appreciative of Informatica's offering, but he's concerned about whether the Velocity methodology is robust enough for large-scale migrations, particularly those that may be phased over several years.


The Data Migration Suite is available for six-month, 12-month, and 18-month migration projects.


In other integration news:


Updated Tibco ActiveMatrix 2.0 Supports Services in Heterogenous Environments. To be honest, this announcement happened last week, but I missed it. But that's not all bad, since eCommerce Times just published this excellent analysis of ActiveMatrix 2.0. The latest release adds Business Works -- also available as a standalone -- and Service Bus, which is, of course, an enterprise service bus.


Neil Ward-Dutton of analyst firm Macehiter Ward-Dutton nicely sums up why this new release is significant:

"The vast majority of the pitches in SOA governance are Java-based, which is fine if you're in Java-land but if you want to embrace the Microsoft world and legacy, you have a much larger challenge, and this is where Tibco is doing some really good stuff."

All ActiveMatrix 2.0 products can be purchased separately or as part of three packages -- the Tibco SOA Starter Bundle, the Tibco Integration Bundle or the Tibco Composite Application Bundle.


Dana Gardner of ZDNet also wrote in detail about this new offering.


Group 1 Software Updates Sagent Data Flow. Sagent Data Flow is an extract, transform and load (ETL) integration suite for programmers and business analysts. It's used with all major databases and file types, i5/OS and mainframe systems, and major ERP systems. For version 6.5, Group 1 overhauled the suite's graphical interface, adding 35 new features. You can read more about the update on IT Jungle.

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