Everybody Wants to Be Salesforce.com's Integration Buddy


Everybody, it seems, wants a piece of the Salesforce.com pie. I'm always getting announcements from data-integration companies offering new connectors with Salesforce.com.


But you know it's serious when one of the big dogs enters the race, and apparently, Informatica is very serious about Salesforce.


According to this InformationWeek article, Informatica is making a "big play for the SaaS market in a close partnership with Salesforce.com."


The article notes that with annual revenues of approximately $450 million, Informatica already ranks among the largest of Salesforce's partners. It's also one of the biggest and baddest in the data-integration space, with a customer base of more than 3,000. Gartner ranks it in the leaders quadrant with IBM and SAP/Business Objects. IBM and Informatica vie for the top spot in Gartner's Magic Quadrant, with Informatica just above IBM in its ability to execute and just short of IBM in completeness of vision.


So, to some extent, you have to pay attention when Informatica thinks something is a growth opportunity. I know there are those who believe the software-as-a-service model will be as fleeting as its predecessor, the ASP (application service provider, for those of you who just entered the work force), but apparently, Informatica begs to differ.


Ron Papas, Informatica GM of On Demand, told InformationWeek that Informatica thinks SaaS holds a lot of potential for the company:

We are making a big investment in the R&D side. We're looking at this as a very strategic growth opportunity for the company.
Informatica plans to unveil its most recent Salesforce integration offering this week during Salesforce's Dreamforce user and developer's conference in San Francisco. The new offering is a Web-based integration service that allows Salesforce customers to synchronize data between their onsite applications and databases, and the Salesforce CRM system running in Salesforce's data center.


Of course, one of the great appeals of Salesforce is that business users can access it and use it without involving IT - a marketing lesson that has not been lost on Informatica. The article notes that the new service is simple enough to be used by a tech-savvy business person or a Salesforce CRM administrator in a business division -- in other words, without IT's support.


The new product is called the Informatica On Demand Synchronization Service, and prices start at $1,000 per month per integration. The integration wizard includes more than 100 pre-built functions for linking onsite applications with Salesforce.


Of course, Informatica isn't the only company unveiling new products at Dreamforce. Magic Software is also offering a special edition of its iBOLT business-integration suite for Salesforce customers.


Magic Software is an Israeli-based company with offices in more than 10 countries. It's been around since 1983, as I learned during an August Q&A with Avigdor Luttinger, vice president of corporate strategy for Magic Software. The company offers two key products: its uniPAAS application development platform (previously eDeveloper) and iBOLT, a business-integration suite that supports orchestration of business processes and applications.


Luttinger revealed that Magic traditionally has worked primarily with independent software vendors, although its products are certainly available for other businesses. But Magic also has its eye on the SaaS integration space.


Last week, Magic unveiled a new SaaS integration offering -- the iBOLT Special Edition for Salesforce. It plans to demo the new offering at Dreamforce. The iBOLT special edition includes several Salesforce-specific enhancements including:

  • Salesforce.com Replicator, which will allow you to replicate Salesforce data to any on-premise database for backup or reports
  • A new software development kit (SDK) adaptor, which will help independent software vendors service-enable their existing applications
  • Increased security
  • Lotus Notes application DB connectivity
If you happen to be at Dreamforce, you can check out a demo at booth 458. Magic also announced last week that it's offering an iBOLT Special Editions for SAP, Oracle JD Edwards and IBM i.


This press release offers more details about both announcements.