Informatica acquires master data management vendor Siperian

Informatica has acquired master data management (MDM) pure-play Siperian, as the data integration vendor looks to fill out its data management stack.

Informatica announced today that it has acquired master data management (MDM) pure-play Siperian for around $130 million.

The move comes several months after Informatica announced it was entering the complex event processing (CEP) market with its acquisition of Agent Logic, as the Redwood City, Calif.-based vendor, best known for its data integration software, looks to fill out its data management stack.

Data integration plays an integral role in MDM deployments, along with data quality and data governance. Most customers must cobble together data integration and data quality software with master data hubs from multiple vendors for comprehensive deployments, build homegrown solutions, or turn to mega-vendors like Oracle, SAP or IBM for nearly end-to-end MDM platforms.

With its acquisition of Siperian, Informatica is looking to join the two mega-vendors as one of the few one-stop-shops for MDM deployments.

"I think they were forced to do this, what with IBM, Oracle and SAP pushing more and more heavily not jus point products but the integration of data integration, data quality and master data management capabilities," said Ted Friedman, an analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

The acquisition of Siperian was a "natural progression" for Informatica, according to Chris Boorman, head of marketing for Informatica, as Siperian's MDM hub is already tightly integrated with Informatica technology. Siperian OEM's data integration, identity resolution and address verification technology from Informatica. A number of Siperian customers are also Informatica customers, he said.

The goal of MDM is to create a single view of master data -- most commonly customer and product data -- for use throughout an organization's operational, transactional and analytical applications.

"Our acquisition of Siperian will expand Informatica's addressable market with an additional high-growth, adjacent technology category, MDM infrastructure," said Sohaib Abbasi, chairman and CEO of Informatica, in a statement. "Informatica data integration and data quality have a proven track record of enabling successful MDM projects. Together, we will advance Informatica as a leader in this exciting MDM Infrastructure category."

Siperian is one of the few MDM pure-plays that support multiple data domains, according Gartner. Historically, Siperian's primarily focus was on MDM of party data (such as patient, customer, etc), but more recently it started to sell into other master data domains," Andrew White, another Gartner analyst, wrote on his blog after the Siperian announcement.

The other top independent MDM vendor is Initiate, itself the center acquisition rumors.

Rob Karel, an analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, said Informatica's acquisition was largely expected, as Siperian, like Initiate, has struggled to find enough new customers to compete with Oracle and IBM. Initiate is now likely an acquisition target by IBM.

"Initiate won't last a month," Karel said.

Informatica announced the acquisition during its fourth quarter earnings call yesterday. For the year, Informatica reported over $500 million in revenue. The much smaller, privately owned Siperian earned an estimated $30 million in 2008, according to Gartner.

Based in Foster City, Calif., Siperian employs around 150 people and counts just over 60 customers, most in North America. Informatica, in contrast, has over 1,700 employees and boasts nearly 4,000 customers worldwide.

Despite Informatica's recent mini-acquisition spree – in addition to Siperian and Agent Logic, it acquired data quality vendor AddressDoctor in June and identity resolution specialist Identity Systems from Nokia in 2008 – Informatica has no plans, at least for the moment, to enter into other, related data management markets, like business intelligence (BI) or data warehousing.

"For us, there is a fundamental difference between BI and data integration," Boorman said. "As for BI, we'll let others create the screens that display the data, and we'll concentrate on delivering the timely, trustworthy data."

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