Informatica Cloud MDM Provides Unified Data View via Salesforce.com; Updates Cloud Integration
Informatica is shipping a master data management (MDM) solution that aims to let firms use Salesforce.com as a single location from which to view, cleanse, de-duplicate, and enrich their business-critical data. The company also launched its latest update to its Informatica Cloud integration solution. IDN speaks with Informatica Cloud vice president Darren Cunningham.
Informatica is shipping a master data management (MDM) solution that aims to let firms use Salesforce.com as a single location from which to view, cleanse, de-duplicate, and enrich their business-critical data. The company also launched its latest update to its Informatica Cloud integration solution.
This solution provides end users with a “complete” view of their customers, across all sorts of databases, such as billing, service tickets, financial data, and more, Informatica Cloud vice president Darren Cunningham told IDN.
“Letting customers refer to Salesforce.com as their master data store has been a huge pain for users, so Informatica Cloud MDM has features that let users easily look at data within Salesforce from multiple hierarchies in a unified fashion,” Cunningham said. Informatica Cloud MDM can aggregate and cleanse data for Salesforce.com from SAP, Oracle, NetSuite and some 50 other sources.
Built to be managed by the Salesforce administrator, Informatica Cloud MDM de-duplicates, cleanses, and consolidates data from back-office systems and builds hierarchies directly within an instance of Salesforce. Notably, Informatica Cloud MDM runs as a native cloud-based solution with Salesforce.com and the Force.com platform and leverages the Informatica Cloud integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS). This combination lets Informatica tie Salesforce.com together multiple on-premise and cloud systems, making it simple for users to adopt, Cunningham added.
Informatica Cloud MDM is a multitenant software-as-a-service (SaaS) MDM application, natively built and deployed on Force.com.
Informatica Cloud MDM offers features that allow users to:
- Cleanse, standardize and enrich customer information. Data standardization, address validation and email verification features ensure data stays clean and reliable at all times. Further, customer information can be augmented with data from third-party data providers (Bloomberg, data.com and Thomson Reuters, etc.)
- Eliminate and prevent duplicate/inconsistent data. Accounts, contacts and opportunities in a single instance or across multiple Salesforce instances are matched and consolidated. This builds a complete and authoritative view of the customer that can be shared across stakeholders – sales, marketing, service, operations, etc. Further, controls seamlessly integrated with Salesforce will proactively prevent duplicate data from being entered.
- Manage, import and consolidate multiple types of hierarchies directly within Salesforce. Users can choose from Informatica’s enhanced matching algorithms or Salesforce’s fuzzy string matching algorithm. This automatically displays a consolidated view of customer hierarchies (across multiple SalesForce instances and other enterprise systems) on an on-going basis.
- Easily set up and operate thanks to a guided set-up wizard that incorporates predefined best practices.
“We’ve invested a lot in embedded cloud integration, and that means we can talk directly to business users in their language about their needs to de-dupe their data or how to give them a single, consolidated view,” Cunningham said.
Informatica Cloud MDM is based on Force.com-focused MDM technology built by Data Scout. Informatica announced it acquired that company in September. “This is the first release of Cloud MDM since the DataScout acquisition, and [it] adds support for multiple hierarchies and supports data from outside services, such as Data.com or Dunn and Bradstreet,” Cunningham said.
Informatica Cloud MDM was driven by growing customer demand to let business users tap into Salesforce as a single source of reliable data, Cunningham said. It also comes as IT is getting more involved in SaaS integration projects.
Informatica Finds IT, Users Demand
for Cloud Integration Growing Dramatically
“At first, most SaaS decisions were made outside IT, or even without them, so integration was kicked down the curb. That is changing big time as business users now come back to IT and tell them how much they need reliable data across their SaaS and on-premise systems,” Cunningham said.
As an example, he said Informatica customer, Schumacher Group, a health care staffing company, noted that 50% of its processes are now in the cloud. For their part, execs at independent insurance broker Lockton told Informatica that access to good data would be a prerequisite to its broad adoption of cloud-based apps.
Broader research also backs up that cloud integration is growing in importance to overall IT cloud strategies. “Our benchmark research into data and the cloud finds that more than 40% of organizations need or plan to add data integration for cloud computing and SaaS,” Ventana Research’s CEO and Chief Research Officer, Mark Smith, said in a statement.
Aside from its MDM offerings, Informatica also released its Cloud Winter 2013 version, with a more self-service user interface to help admins more easily find and adopt SaaS integration. Informatica’s “Get It Now” option lets admins log into the Informatica Marketplace, the company’s appstore directory of SaaS connectors, to look for and try connectors for a wide variety of SaaS apps.
Informatica Cloud Winter 2013 enhancements include:
SAP Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI). This will let users rapidly synchronize customer and product data between SAP back-office and Salesforce CR, as well as cloud-based front-office applications.
Advanced data lookup. This feature, with built-in data type transformations, allow users to augment data. It also helps eliminate data silos by eliminating multiple integration steps from sophisticated data operations that span multiple systems.
Custom Integration Parameters. To increase automation flexibility and reduce maintenance costs for parameters defined in external files.
Smarter Cloud Integration Templates.Advanced controls such as partitioning of relational databases and flat files enable high performance integration of very large data sets.
Address Validation. A new point-of-entry application that lets Salesforce.com customers validate entries in real-time records against the Address Doctor library of over 240 countries and territories.
Salesforce Bulk Reader. To drive data synchronization and data replication, as well as support the latest Salesforce API (version 25).
NetSuite multiple targets. This provides optimal General Ledger integration use cases.
To make it easier to find the proper SaaS connector solution, Informatica Marketplace also adds a new, more detailed search feature that lets users search by SaaS, as well as by task (replication, sync, etc.) Users can also get a video demo of the connector directly from the Marketplace, Cunningham added.
“They just choose the ones they want to try out, and get a 30-day trial so they can start using them right away for free,” Cunningham said.
Users can install connectors to their Informatica Cloud sandboxes or production instances directly from the Informatica Marketplace, which includes more than 50 connectors. New ones are available for Concur expense management, Marketo marketing automation, Google BigQuery, Sagitta insurance agency and brokerage management, and Trackwise.
One SaaS provider was pleased with Informatica Cloud’s latest update. “Features in [Informatica Cloud’s] Winter 2013 release will accelerate the time it takes to access, integrate and deliver valuable data in order to meet our business imperatives,” said Matthias Jaekel, CRM Manager at Immobilien Scout GmbH, in a statement.
Informatica Cloud Winter 2013 is the company’s 14th release of the cloud integration platform.