There’s been a lot of hoopla this week about Informatica 9, and rightfully so. A lot of people at Informatica have been working on this release for a long time, and we’re all excited about the potential it has to help our customers get to the next level. Informatica 9 can be used in many different ways to help organizations deliver more value from their data to the business. But there are several business use cases which are really a sweet spot for Informatica 9, based on the traction we have seen already with real-world customers.
- Regulatory/compliance/financial reporting. Informatica’s heritage is in data warehousing, which is a fundamental underpinning to reporting systems. But even with all the great advances that both business intelligence and data integration technologies have achieved, CFOs are still challenged in many ways. Hidden data quality issues put them at risk for non-compliance, leading to penalties, brand degradation, or even jail time. Minor changes in data sources—say a business rule that has been changed or a format has been adjusted—if not handled correctly and quickly also can mean that reports are incomplete or erroneous. And it simply takes too long for any new sources of relevant information to be incorporated into the reporting structure. Informatica 9 can really help in these areas by making data quality issues much more visible, and by drastically reducing the amount of time it takes to accommodate changes in the data underlying the reports.
- Trusted single view of customer. This concept has been beaten into the ground over the years by numerous vendors, to the point where it has started to lose its meaning. But the need is real—ask any head of marketing who has to try to figure out who their best customers are and why, or who has to find the best ways to increase customer share of wallet. And despite all the hype from many vendors over the years, the problems still haven’t been solved. Why? Because customer data is scattered across dozens of systems, and the data quality is often very poor. Informatica 9’s data services and data quality capabilities are going to play a critical role in bridging the final gaps to achieving the single view of customer.
- M&A integration. A lot has to happen after a merger or acquisition with regards to business-critical data. Financial reporting needs to be consolidated. Customer information needs to be merged, so that cross-sell opportunities are identified and pursued. Products and suppliers need to be rationalized. Some of these activities need to take place almost immediately, and Informatica 9 can help by enabling companies to consolidate data “on the fly”. But some of these activities are pursued months or even years after the actual event, and that’s when you need a solid infrastructure platform upon which you can build and extend the rules and logic for the data needed to drive the business.
Based on what you have heard and seen this week, in what other business scenarios do you see Informatica 9 playing a key role?