Looking to take a page out of Salesforce.com's playbook, Informatica has launched its own online data integration
Dubbed Informatica Marketplace, the new data integration exchange allows Informatica partners and other developers to build upon the vendor's core data integration software and sell the resulting prepackaged applications.
Informatica already has more than 400 partners and more than 50,000 developers working with its data integration software through TechNet, LinkedIn and other online communities. Informatica Marketplace will serve as another outlet for that collaboration, according to Judy Ko, vice president for product management and marketing at Informatica.
Common data integration patterns are emerging, Ko said, both industry- and data domain-specific, that lend themselves to prepackaged mapping applications. By embracing third-party collaboration, Informatica is also hoping to spur innovation, she said.
"They will think of things that we never even thought of, and that is the whole point," she said.
As part of the new marketplace, Informatica is making some of the underlying code in its software available to developers. Among the likely offerings will be master data management (MDM), complex event processing (CEP), and B2B data exchange applications built on top of Informatica's data integration and data quality software, according to Ko.
"We are adding [extra] open extensibility mechanisms to let them develop on top of Informatica and an open marketplace infrastructure to match buyers and sellers," she explained.
The online marketplace or exchange model has been popularized largely by Force.com, Salesforce.com's cloud-based application development community. Other vendors have followed suit, including Intuit and IBM.
"I can't imagine Informatica wasn't influenced or at least inspired by what Salesforce.com has done," said Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz and Associates, a consulting firm based in Newton, Mass.
Hurwitz said online marketplaces' time may have come, as more and more companies access applications and data in the cloud.
"As we move more into the world of cloud computing, it's a type of approach that really requires collaboration," she said. "This type of world definitely lends itself to a partner ecosystem."
But Informatica's new venture isn't about generating significant new streams of revenue, at least not directly. Indeed, the vendor will take only between 10% and 30% of the revenue the new applications generate, just enough to cover its costs, Ko said.
Instead, Informatica is hoping the new exchange will extend its influence as the de facto data integration vendor. "This isn't about money. This is about power," Hurwitz said.
Still, Ray Wang, an analyst with Altimeter Group in San Mateo, Calif., predicts that Informatica Marketplace will become a $1 billion company in the next three to five years. Informatica reported revenues of $500 million in 2009.
In addition to cultivating partnerships and developer networks, Informatica has also been busy entering related data management markets itself. The company acquired MDM vendor Siperian in January and CEP specialist Agent Logic in September.