I am very fortunate to have a CIO role that extends beyond the traditional responsibilities of IT. Part of my role includes the strategy and implementation of the recently launched Informatica Marketplace.
The Informatica Marketplace has generated a lot of buzz with our customers and partners. Last week while I was presenting at the Pacific Crest Annual Cloud Computing Conference I heard the excitement about our new offering from many of the attendees. Mostly, people appreciated our continued thought leadership and commitment to providing an open platform to host solutions for data integration, data quality and data management. And yes, it is an open platform to host solutions that not only support Informatica, but other vendors too – even competitors. Our fundamental belief is that the hand of free enterprise will ultimately win, so we are willing to provide an open platform to do so.
Here are a few questions I’ve heard and answered over the last few weeks:
What is the purpose of the Marketplace? Our interest is to serve the needs of the broader data integration ecosystem. Informatica itself has over 52,000 active members in our TechNet developer network today. These members asked us to provide a platform for them to build and interact. Given our 15-year heritage, use cases have now been repeated and solutions have been built. Now, sellers can share these solutions with interested buyers. For buyers, they will enjoy faster time to market with high quality solutions evaluated and certified by Informatica. For sellers, they will have an open channel to reach buyers. Our goal is to promote the Marketplace community where proceeds will be reinvested into funding it.
Why is Informatica launching a Marketplace now? As mentioned, we have over 52,000 active members in our developer network. This community has existed for more than 10 years. Within this community, developers share downloads, but have no means to monetize their solutions, nor were they reviewed by anyone. The Informatica Marketplace provides the mechanism to monetize a solution. The bottom line is that our customers have asked for this capability and existing, successful Marketplaces (like salesforce.com’s AppExchange) validate their success.
Can anyone contribute to the Marketplace and what can be contributed? Anyone with solutions around data integration, data quality and data management can participate. As described previously, this is an open market. We envision solutions will be vertically or platform (horizontally) focused. They may be data models, mappings, mapplets, tools/utilities, methodologies, white papers, connectors, etc. We believe the wisdom of crowds will prevail and market demand will dictate which solutions will be offered. Our initial approach is to work with our User Groups to determine the solutions they need and want, prioritize the responses and recruit developers to fulfill these needs. The “How to Contribute” web page is going live in mid-March and we will begin posting the most popular solutions on the site so developers can select the ones they want to support.
Will assets be validated and what do you envision assets to sell for? The Informatica brand is known for its quality. In keeping with our brand image, all assets on the Informatica Marketplace will be evaluated in order to receive a “seal of approval” or certification. This certification will have different criteria depending on the type of solution contributed. We expect solutions will range in cost from $0 to the tens of thousands of dollars. Regardless, all products will be evaluated for quality and value before becoming available.
How many solution do you expect at launch? Our goal is to launch with 25 high demand, high quality solutions. We have had the opportunity to speak with leaders of other successful marketplaces and the consistent feedback is to focus on quality over volume at launch.
Does this replace TechNet? The TechNet download capabilities will move to the Informatica Marketplace. However, TechNet still provides tremendous value by enabling the developer community to collaborate and the core purpose of TechNet will remain in place to provide an inclusive, independent and interactive forum for sharing data integration knowledge, showcasing solutions, impacting technology trends and developing cutting-edge skills.
Will Informatica employees contribute? Yes, we are creating a group called Informatica Labs for our employees to contribute solutions. These solutions will be free and all contributions will be identified with a “labs” logo.
There are many more questions to be answered. My commitment is to answer them as quickly as possible. We realize that we must be fluid in our ability to change the Marketplace dynamically to meet the demands of our buyers and sellers.
Do you have any questions for me?