Category Archives: Operational Efficiency

Integration Gives You Muscle. Data Integration with Event Processing Gives You 6-Pack Abs.

6Packabs

Everyone knows that Informatica is the Data Integration company that helps organizations connect their disparate software into a cohesive and synchronous enterprise information system.  The value to business is enormous and well documented in the form of use cases, ROI studies and loyalty / renewal rates that are industry-leading.

Event Processing, on the other hand is a technology that has been around only for a few years now and has yet to reach Main Street in Systems City, IT.  But if you look at how event processing is being used, it’s amazing that more people haven’t heard about it.  The idea at its core (pun intended) is very simple – monitor your data / events – those things that happen on a daily, hourly, minute-ly basis and then look for important patterns that are positive or negative indicators, and then set up your systems to automatically take action when those patterns come up – like notify a sales rep when a pattern indicates a customer is ready to buy, or stop that transaction, your company is about to be defrauded.

Since this is an Informatica blog, then you probably have a decent set of “muscles” in place already and so why, you ask, would you need 6 pack abs?  Because 6 packs abs are a good indication of a strong musculature core and are the basis of a stable and highly athletic body.  It’s the same parallel for companies because in today’s competitive business environment, you need strength, stability, and agility to compete.  And since IT systems increasingly ARE the business, if your company isn’t performing as strong, lean, and mean as possible, then you can be sure your competitors will be looking to implement every advantage they can.

You may also be thinking why would you need something like Event Processing when you already have good Business Intelligence systems in place?  The reality is that it’s not easy to monitor and measure useful but sometimes hidden data /event / sensor / social media sources and also to discern which patterns have meaning and which patterns may be discovered as false negatives.  But the real difference is that BI usually reports to you after the fact when the value of acting on the situation has diminished significantly.

So while muscles are important to be able to stand up and run, and good quality, strong muscles are necessary to do heavy lifting, it’s those 6 pack abs on top of it all that give you the mean lean fighting machine to identify significant threats and opportunities amongst your data, and in essence, to better compete and win.

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Posted in CIO, Complex Event Processing, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Operational Efficiency, Real-Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Application Leaders: Get Advice on How to Put Your Potential to Work

We are excited to announce the new Potential at Work Community for Application Leaders.

As an application leader, you have a very demanding job.  You have to successfully manage issues such as:

  • Driving the maximum business value from your company’s enterprise application investments
  • Keeping all of your enterprise applications current and meeting user requirements
  • Delivering on your service agreements and managing all of the “ilities.”
  • Defining an enterprise application strategy that includes on-premise and cloud
  • Delivering timely, authoritative and trustworthy data for your enterprise applications

This community is here to help you to do exactly that and to help you to excel in both your current job and your career ahead.  Our goal is to provide tips, insights, best practices and information from   experts to  help you become more successful.

Our first edition is focused on the theme of managing  an enterprise cloud application strategy.   For those who are in the process of selecting cloud application vendors, I’ve included a very handy Vendor Selection Checklist that is used by Informatica’s  Vice President of Applications. 

Are we interested in your input to the community?  Absolutely!  If you have an idea or content to share with the community, please contact us and we will get you published.

Join the community and   start unleashing your potential by clicking on this link:   

 Potential at Work Community for Application Leaders

Best regards,

Roger Nolan       rnolan@informatica.com

Julie Lockner      jlockner@informatica.com

Click here for more information on the Potential at Work communities.

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, Enterprise Data Management, Operational Efficiency, Product Information Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Architects: Your Greatest Impact Is On Integration Systems

Do you have a buy versus build architectural principle?  If so, why do you have so many developers (or armies of consultant programmers) in your IT organization? While some of them may be developing web apps or functional extensions to purchased applications, for the most part they are doing integration development. They are probably building fine-grained web services to access data resources, or coarse-grained services that provide some useful business function, or process orchestration  solutions to automate long-running business processes, or data migration in support of application modernization, or data synchronization in support of a data warehouse or master data management solution.  The list goes on.  In short, you are an integration shop. (more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Operational Efficiency | Tagged , | Leave a comment

When It Comes to Data Quality Delivery, the Soft Stuff Is the Hard Stuff (Part 4 of 6)

In my previous post I emphasized the importance of demonstrated project management fundamentals as a key enabler of effective data quality delivery. In this blog, I will discuss why an understanding of corporate financial concepts is so important to data quality success.

Despite the continued evolution of data management technologies and the growing awareness of the challenges and promises of data quality, business buy-in is still a major barrier to the widespread adoption of data quality as another lever to achieve operational effectiveness. One of the key reasons for limited adoption is a clear linkage between data quality and a business’s performance, which is measured in a myriad of ways from operational metrics to managerial reports to formal KPIs. But, eventually, the enterprise’s performance is summarized in three key financial statements; the income statement, the balance sheet and the cash flow statement. Positioning data quality impacts or improvements in the context of these financial statements begins to “connect the dots” and moves data quality from the abstract to the concrete and from the theoretical to the practical. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at the impacts and implications of a simple data quality issue like “undeliverable” billing addresses. (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, Data Governance, Data Quality, Enterprise Data Management, Master Data Management, Operational Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Value of Knowing the Value

Ever wondered if an initiative is worth the effort?  Ever wondered how to quantify its worth?  This is a loaded question as you may suspect but I wanted to ask it nevertheless as my team of Global Industry Consultants work with clients around the world to do just that (aka Business Value Assessment or BVA) for solutions anchored around Informatica’s products.

How far will your investment stretch?

As these solutions typically involve multiple core business processes stretching over multiple departments and leveraging a legion of technology components like ETL, metadata management, business glossary, BPM, data virtualization, legacy ERP, CRM and billing systems, it initially sounds like a daunting level of complexity.  Opening this can of worms may end up in a measurement fatigue (I think I just discovered a new medical malaise.) (more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, Master Data Management, Operational Efficiency, Scorecarding | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Informatica Ultra Messaging: Great Performance . . . At Lower Cost?

Printed words are good, but pictures and sound are better. Watch the video below for a quick summation of how Informatica Ultra Messaging can help your business:

  1. Increase application performance and throughput
  2. Reduce fixed and operational costs
  3. Increase capacity
  4. Reduce single points of failure
  5. Increase scalability, reliability, and availability

For more information, have a look at: Ultra Messaging, Better Value with Better Technology.

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Operational Efficiency, Real-Time, Ultra Messaging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Trading Firms Using a “Trade Smarter, Not Harder” Strategy

There are lots of ways to run a trading firm.

Some firms use a strategy centered around high frequency or algorithmic trading, which are similar in that having the best technology and writing the fastest trading applications is essential.

At the other end of the spectrum, some firms employ only human traders, using a traditional buy-and-hold strategy, expecting to hold the security for months or even years before moving it.

But in between these two ends of the spectrum, there exists a hybrid that uses electronic trading with a bit of buy-and-hold added in. Some call this blend “trade smarter, not harder”.

Instead of competing with other traders to get the absolute lowest price, this strategy prioritizes on making better decisions by doing “pre-trade analytics” on historical and financial data.

(more…)

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Posted in Financial Services, Operational Efficiency, Real-Time, Ultra Messaging | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Electronic Trading Systems Moving to the Cloud

More and more business applications are moving from the desktop to the cloud, and electronic trading applications are no different.

Over the last five or ten years, application vendors have established several advantages of running major applications, even mission-critical applications like salesforce.com, over the cloud.

These advantages include:

  • Easier and smoother upgrades, which provides much better adaptability and agility in the face of changing market and business conditions, plus a better user experience,
  • Better scalability, with newer technology advances, and
  • Better portability across a wide array of device types, including smartphones and tablets (especially in the last 2-3 years).

Recent improvements in Web technology, such as HTML5 WebSockets, are helping to speed this transition along by providing several throughput and latency advantages over earlier iterations of Web technology, and even over native Windows applications. Now, application architects can freely choose the technology that provides a better path for growth, agility, and scalability, which is often a Cloud-based solution.

As I write this, a few of our customers who provide electronic trading solutions to their clients are making the strategic move to develop a next generation application based in the Cloud. The main driver for one customer was to be able to take on more clients more quickly and therefore grow the business faster by increasing marginal revenue and profitability. They found that the list of challenges with a thick desktop client to be just too big for growing the business as quickly as they wanted to — or needed to.

Messaging middleware, especially peer-to-peer solutions such as Informatica Ultra Messaging, can be a very important piece of a Cloud-based application. The peer-to-peer “nothing in the middle” model provides applications not just ultra-high performance (whether for high throughput or low latency), but also near-linear scalability, true 24×7 reliability and availability, and business and IT agility. These qualities tie directly to the advantages listed above.

Cloud-based applications, of course, must also contend with the Internet and all that comes with that: support for various browsers and platforms (and versions of each), scalability and bandwidth issues, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. New web technologies like HTML5 WebSockets from Kaazing are best positioned to take care of the path from server to the smartphone or tablet, and with JMS connectivity to Ultra Messaging on the back end, can provide a Cloud-based application with a lean, scalable and agile infrastructure, usually with less hardware.

For more, please see our 2011 Efficiency series (#1, #2, #3) on our Perspectives blog, or whitepapers such as Modern Messaging Middleware for Big Data in Motion or Enterprise Messaging Data for the Web.

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Posted in Big Data, Cloud Computing, Operational Efficiency, Real-Time, SaaS, Ultra Messaging | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Data Quality Goes Green in Colorado, and on the Informatica Marketplace

A recent trip to a supermarket in Telluride, Colorado struck me as a funny place to find an analogy for data quality, but there it was. You see, supermarkets here require you to bring your own bags to cart your groceries home. Those brown disposable plastic bags are banned here – the town has made a firm commitment to the philosophy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. By adhering to this environmental philosophy, data integration teams can develop and deploy successful data quality strategies across the enterprise despite the constraints of today’s “do more with less” IT budgets.

In the decade that I’ve been in the Information Management space, I’ve noticed that success in data integration usually comes in small increments – typically on a project by project basis. However, by leveraging those small incremental successes and deploying them in a repeatable, consistent fashion – either as standardized rules sets or data services in a SOA – development teams can maximize their impact at the enterprise level.

(more…)

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Posted in Data Governance, Data Quality, Data Services, Enterprise Data Management, Informatica 9.1, Informatica 9.5, Integration Competency Centers, Operational Efficiency, Pervasive Data Quality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment