Informatica World wrapped up in San Francisco last week where almost 3,000 customers and partners gathered in the Moscone West conference center for four days packed with executive keynotes, customer and partner presentations. Based on my time there it’s clear that:
Informatica is pivoting to cater to a business audience. They recognize the business and their requirements have gained greater influence over technology purchasing decisions and are responding accordingly. Heralding what they call the age of data 3.0 they now want to leverage their leadership position in data management to build industry solutions on top of their data integration, data quality and data management tools. MDM solutions like MDM-Customer 360, MDM-Product 360, and MDM-Supplier 360 take aim at delivering mission critical insights to the business user. Their expanded partnership with Tableau will also continue to expose them to business audiences.
Promising new executives have their work cut out for them. Informatica has a 20 year track record of success in data management. But they are going in a new direction that is largely uncharted territory for them. Lou Attanasio, is the newly minted Chief Sales Officer who will need to transform an organization accustomed to speaking with IT to one that appeals to a business audience which will require a new sales model, training, and specialized sales talent that can speak to the client in terms of business value while also covering the technology at the right altitude. Jim Davis, who joined earlier this year as CMO from SAS, is leading the charge in positioning Informatica as not just a data management tool but a platform that is embracing cloud, mobile, social, big data, IoT and security.
Live Data Map aims to be the Google of the enterprise. Informatica Live Data Map is a knowledge repository that is a functional part of the platform – it is not a separate product that Informatica sells. Because it a part of the platform it will be automatically incorporated in the Fall 2016 release. Live Data Map pulls data from not just Informatica products but also from 3rd party tools, databases, and ETL tools across the enterprise. This enables semantic search, exploration of data across silos, and relationship discovery from enterprise metadata.
MDM-fueled Product 360 goes beyond mastering data. Informatica MDM-Product 360 version 8.0.5 will support drag and drop integrated business process management which makes it easier for users to, among other things, analyze their workflows and identify and eliminate bottlenecks to streamline their processes and decrease the time it takes to bring products to market. New in 2016, MDM-Product 360 will now function entirely on top of Informatica Multidomain MDM (as opposed to previously acquired products like Heiler ). In addition, MDM-Product 360 will have prebuilt accelerators with tools like Price intelligence, Indix (product information marketplace), and Clavis Insight (retail analytics and content optimization) in addition to native campaign and localization management functionality.
Privatization hasn’t stifled product development. According to Informatica, the company will continue to invest in R&D at a rate similar to the historical 17% of revenues of this decade. The goal of the R&D is to compete in new spaces like security where they aim to detect threats from the inside by analyzing data access and movement throughout systems. They can detect unusual activity by users and set up intelligent alarms.
Their ability to execute is the key to their success.The vision is attractive and they come from a position of strength. But now what they’re after is Nirvana — not just enabling companies to master their data but also to operationalize insights from that data. As CEO Anil Chakravarthy puts it: “we are nobody’s number 1, 2, or 3 competitor. We want to be the Switzerland of data.” Will they succeed in their quest to become an insights company? What do you think?