Blogger Defends Informatica as Gold Standard for Data Integration


Over the past year, IBM, SAP, Oracle and, to some extent, Microsoft made quite a few headlines with their data-integration and BI acquisitions and the resulting new offerings.


In the midst of this, some questioned whether old-school ETL data-integration player, Informatica, could stand up to the competition.


Meanwhile, Informatica kept plugging away, making a few acquisitions, offering a Data Migration Suite that bundled existing products and focusing on its real competition: do-it-yourself integration projects.


That may seem like a surprisingly non-aggressive posture for a company facing big-name competition, but it worked, according to this detailed piece by Vincent McBurney, a manager at Deloitte Consulting in Australia and a blogger for IT Toolbox. Informatica managed to pull off a 20 percent profit and revenue increase last year. And Informatica is already looking good for 2008. License revenue for the first six months was up 17 percent, according to McBurney.


All of which is great for stockholders, but what does all this money-making mean for IT leaders and business executives trying to find the right data-integration solution?


It means, according to McBurney, that Informatica is still a powerhouse and an innovator. And given that it often makes the top quadrant in analyst rankings, you shouldn't write off this veteran just yet, he writes.


The article -- which, by the way, is no quick read at seven printed pages -- also looks at what Informatica's financial success says about the data-integration market in general. Informatica is the most public of the remaining pure-play integration vendors, and Informatica's oldest competitor, IBM, doesn't break out data integration as a separate market in its profit reports. This makes Informatica the best parameter of the market, according to McBurney. If he's right, data-integration vendors are breezing through the economic slowdown:

"Companies that don't yet use data integration tools have data volumes rising, they have compliance requirements rising, they have data quality problems growing deeper and wider, they have legacy applications growing older and less competitive. ... Sooner or later every company has to pay a visit to the data integration vendors."

The article also offers a run-down of the big-vendor data-integration offerings and a look at how the emerging SaaS integration market factors into the overall picture of the data-integration space. It's a useful read, though be warned the message is decidedly pro-Informatica. It's up to you to decide whether McBurney's judgment is justified.