First loading data into and then integrating applications with Salesforce.com has always been a source of annoyance for many IT organizations. The tools that Salesforce.com provides are not as robust as most IT organizations would like, yet the middleware offerings provided by vendors that specialize in this area can be overkill for what customers want to accomplish.
Jittebit today announced it plans to thread the needle when it comes to Salesforce.com integrations. The company launched Jitterbit Data Migration services for Salesforce.com customers based on its open source middleware software. According to Jitterbit CTO Ilan Sehayek, the service leverages Jitterbit's simple-to-use middleware service that is easier for users to master than a rival on-premise offering from Informatica, while also providing a more robust architecture that can handle a lot more than Salesforce's 200-record limit.
Informatica takes some exceptions to Jitterbit's characterizations, especially when it comes to its recently launched Cloud 9 cloud computing service that includes support for Salesforce.com integration. Ron Papas, senior vice president and general manager for Informatica Cloud says the cloud computing implementation has been specifically designed to be easy to use, which accounts for the popularity of Salesforce.com's AppExchange platform for third-party applications. He also notes that unlike Jitterbit, the Informatica assumption is that no consulting services will be required and that the Informatica cloud computing service uses the same delivery model as Salesforce.com.
Papas also dismissed the Jitterbit pricing model, which seeks to charge customers based on the volume of data they are migrating and the length of time it takes them to do that. Jitterbit counters that this approach makes the tool more accessible for one-time use, and that it offers an enterprise license for its software.
If you con't plan to customize Salesforce.com in any way and plan to basically start fresh with it, your organization can be up and running pretty quickly. But any company of any size usually not only wants to customize Salesforce.com, t wants to bi-directionally integrate it with any number of enterprise applications. This is creating demand for Salesforce.com-centric middleware because many companies are finding that their most important information about their customers now resides in a service.
As IT organizations find themselves becoming the integrators of those services, there's going to be a lot more call for middleware tools and services that enable that integration in the way that IT organizations feel most comfortable. Whether that will be relatively new players such as Jitterbit or one of the established kings of middleware remains to be seen. But the need for solutions to the problem is already upon us.