What Is The Value Of An Ecosystem?

I’ve carried an iPhone for the past two years and won’t give it up; despite the fact that I believe its phone quality leaves something to be desired in comparison to others, such as the BlackBerry. Yes, we can blame it on the network, but for some strange reason my BlackBerry never dropped on my 30 mile commute, and it was on the same carrier.

Why would I tolerate the lesser phone quality? My loyalty to the iPhone has nothing to do with the phone itself. The device makes my life easier with the apps I run on it. As I was walking through the narrow streets of Barcelona looking for the Picasso museum, this phone gracefully guided me to the right place. It’s the ecosystem of the AppStore that’s established my loyalty.

On another note, we are in the process of implementing salesforce.com to replace our current sales force automation system. I would posit that it does have a superior interface from other SFAs that I’ve seen in the past. Further, there’s a lot of “buzz” around it with all the hype about cloud computing. Despite the elegance of the user interface and positive field comments, no sales rep is willing to take on more quota because of a new SFA. Trust me, I’ve directly asked this question as that would be an easy way to establish an internal rate of return.

Why would we switch systems when we are currently successful with our existing one? I believe the power of salesforce.com is with their AppExchange. There are hundreds of apps built by developers and companies that augment the capabilities of Salesforce, thus making it a better platform. For example, we can subscribe to an app that we believe will help productivity and test it in a region. If it works, we can deploy it. Otherwise, we can decommission it and continue to experiment. We can get greater leverage from the apps on the AppExchange, and salesforce.com has built an ecosystem that’s greatly enhanced their core offering.

Likewise, we believe our customers will have the same benefits with the Informatica Marketplace.  It will offer:

  • Faster time to market with pre-built solutions
  • Broader visibility to developers/companies that can assist
  • Expanded knowledge with new solutions
  • Extended capacity by requesting solutions

In fact, there are even more added benefits with our offering.

  • We are already recognized for the highest quality and best data integration products in the industry. Hence, we are starting from a very strong base.
  • We already have an established developer and partner community – 52,000 strong. Consequently, we have a large, educated base who have already built solutions/assets that can be leveraged.
  • We have a large customer base (over 4,000) who have been asking for this capability.

Go and look at the Informatica Marketplace.  I encourage you to participate. To learn more, go to www.informaticamarketplace.com. We will officially open our doors for business in Q3 2010 and are actively working with developers and partners to load their solutions on to our site.

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