Move to Cloud Prompts Companies to Give Up on Custom Integration

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Data Integration Remains a Major IT Headache

Study shows that data integration is still costly and requires a lot of manual coding.

Cloud is driving growth for data integration vendor Pervasive Software - which isn't surprising. But what is surprising is that 65 percent of the integration work is still on-premise, according to Lance Speck, general manager for integration at Pervasive Software.


How's that again?


It seems the cloud becomes the last straw on custom code.


"A lot of these people who were satisfied with whatever clunky custom code they had built to hold them together for the last decade or two are now forklifting pieces of that to the cloud and when they do, they break their integrations and their infrastructure, so they have to rethink how they do it," Speck said. "So they're saying, 'Well, we're not building ourselves again because that was a mess' or maybe 'There wasn't an option at the time, but now we'd like some place where they have subject matter expertise on how to build it in an extensible way that will scale and give them things they've had on their wish list for the last 10 years.' For us, it's opened tons of conversations."


I talked with Speck recently about Pervasive's past year and its focus for the new year. We also talked about the last Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools. Pervasive is among the thinning ranks of vendors on the Magic Quadrant. The company lost a bit of ground this year on ability to execute, largely due to small factors like a shift in how Gartner weighs its criteria and a client upset at the time Gartner called, Speck explains. But just like at the Oscars, just being in the quadrant is an honor, he adds.


"It's a Who's Who. There's a lot of people in the 'also ran' list on Gartner and we're not in that," Speck said. "To get above that, you have to have global coverage, you have to have a certain number of products covered, revenue of a certain amount, all these things, so to a certain extent, whether we're up at the top or we're in the visionary quadrant, enterprises check the box and say 'These guys must be legitimate and not just a startup with a bigger story than they actually can deliver on, because they passed the criteria.'"


Over the past year, the integration division has focused on channels for growth. It launched Pervasive Galaxy, a marketplace for integrations - connectors, processes, even apps - built with Pervasive's platform. Lance describes it as "the Apple store combined with a Groupon combined with some combination of marketplace for integration solutions." It has 150 connectors that were built either by Pervasive or by its channel partners; the developer keeps two-thirds of the profit from sales, while Pervasive keeps one third.


Master data management is another big area of growth for Pervasive, which the company believes - no doubt correctly - will continue to grow in 2012.


Big Data is also on the company's radar. The company began investing R&D dollars in Big Data six years ago, Speck said, so they're already well positioned with a Big Data team that "easily" represents 10 percent of the company. DataRush makes Hadoop faster and more usable, he adds.


"We've spent a lot of time, like I said, years and years and years, on how to leverage stacks that go up and sideways in the multicore world, and so how to leverage the most out of all these massive machines that are becoming mainstream and then processing massive sets of data automatically forcing those to best utilize those machines. Most of the applications in the world don't yet automatically take advantage of that, but we do," he said.

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