Informatica Celebrates 10 Years of Cloud Integration
The Informatica team is very excited to celebrate the 10th birthday of Informatica Cloud. During the past decade, we’ve worked very hard and have had a relentless focus execution to achieve a singular mission – to help our customers bridge the cloud and on-premise worlds seamlessly.
To mark this milestone, let’s drive down memory lane and reminisce about some of the great cloud achievements and milestones we have hit. There is no better person to do this with than Informatica’s Ron Lunasin – one of the most popular veterans at Informatica and founding member of the Informatica Cloud team. And, guess who had the privilege to interview him ? One of the newest members of the Cloud team, me!
Ron Lunasin’s Interview by Anwesa Chatterjee – Informatica Celebrates 10 Years of Cloud Integration!
In case you don’t know Ron,– he is Informatica’s fifth employee and founding team member of the Informatica Cloud team. Ron has been with Informatica for 20 years and frankly it is hard to believe, as he doesn’t look a day over twenty. Informatica has kept him looking great throughout the years!
Anwesa: You have been at Informatica for 20 years, tell us more about your journey at Informatica? How did it all start? What was your role?
Ron: I started as an intern in June 1995 where I helped write the first Sybase driver. The team was very small and located out of two small rooms in a little office in Menlo park. In addition to being as one of the early employees, I was one of the founding members of the Cloud team in September 2005. At that point, we were called the On-Demand team. I have spent more than a decade with the Informatica Cloud team in various roles – Product Management and Field Solutions.
It has been an exciting journey and we have proved a great deal to ourselves, our customers, our partners and shown the competition a thing or two. We started out as leaders for the on-premise world and are now leaders for cloud too, as recently called out by Gartner in the iPaaS Magic Quadrant! Our initial focus was on our partnership with Salesforce, they were the cloud leader then and still are today. We started out with solving the connectivity challenge across on-premise and Salesforce. this was mainly done to help existing PowerCenter customers implement Salesforce and make the transition from on-premise CRM systems. Our initial focus was on augmenting the best-in-class on-premise solution with the connector and selling it via subscription.
Soon, we realized that the cloud world is quite different. Users were very different from the usual integration specialists we knew and so were the use cases. The Salesforce admins were using light weight integrations and data management on their own and needed to be empowered with the right tools. The existing on-premise product was not suitable. We needed to do something different and we realized that very quickly. We built an on-demand product- what we call Informatica Cloud today, ground up for true multi-tenant cloud architecture. This product helped support our customers with the same speed, agility, and scale that any other true cloud vendor would, like Salesforce, Amazon etc.
We launched the beta in 2007 and GA in 2007. There were few small vendors in this space as well as a handful of other ESB/EAI focused vendors who were re-purposing the existing on-premise products by hosting on cloud platforms like Amazon. We tasted early success as we embraced cloud full-on by offering product free-trials and conveniently priced solutions.
Very soon, we reached to being #1 most popular offering on Salesforce ApExchange. This was a major achievement since it was customers who were seeing great value in our solution. Fast forward 10 years and today we are a clear leader in the cloud space with the most innovative solutions to help our customers make the journey to cloud.
Anwesa: What keeps you excited about Informatica? What is the one thing that makes you keep going here?
Ron: It is the company’s culture and ability in reinventing itself to be the leader every time. From a five-person company to more than 3,600 employees today, the company has maintained its culture, agility and focus intact. That’s what keeps me driven to be a part of the next wave of innovations at Informatica.
In the earlier days, the team recognized that the opportunity with cloud was going to be huge, a lot of credit goes to our previous CEO, Sohaib Abbasi. At his first company all-hands meeting, he showed a slide in his presentation which highlighted the data tsunami coming and how the on-premise data behind firewall needs to integrate to the growing cloud sources. He gave an insight to growing challenges around data integration and data management across these two worlds for our customers. We kept executing on the vision with that goal of solving those challenges. Many team members from those earlier days like Sanjay Krishnamurthy, Pinaki Mukherjee, and others helped drive the initial innovation for Cloud.
The 10-Year Journey of Informatica Cloud Integration
Informatica Cloud grew from being an ideal self-sustained start-up incubated inside Informatica into the leader of iPaaS in 10 years. At first, we had our own sales, marketing, customer success, support and development teams. We were the first team to have customer support managers to support customers with all their needs after they have deployed, and this was back in 2007. We adopted a true cloud culture by trying to learn from pioneers like Salesforce. We embraced Cloud in the early days.
During the first few years, we had some great early success and we were thinking of spinning it off – the “Innovators Dilemma” was on top of our minds. We knew it would catch up and proving ROI would be hard. We were generating fast revenue for sure and growing at a huge rate, but not enough to validate the spend on engineering.
By going private, we did a reverse spin-off and that proved to be very successful for us. As a private company, we have the capability to embrace the market shifts and innovate fast bringing what the market and our customers require. It would have been more challenging as a public company.
Anwesa: When you started the Informatica Cloud team, could you have in your wildest dream seen this to be so successful?
Ron: I actually thought we would be successful from the very early days. We continue to execute on a plan we created 10 years ago without needing to divert in any significant way. Everything we did from strategy and product standpoint – we thought of robust cloud architecture and business model ground up, worked perfectly. I’m not at all surprised where we are today, as a leader in Enterprise iPaaS and being the leading Cloud and Hybrid Integration and Data Management company. I envision Informatica being synonymous with the cloud and we probably will not need to call Informatica Cloud as a separate product anymore. I can envision in the near future every product that Informatica offers would be cloud-based to help our customers ride the next wave.
As far as my journey goes, I see myself sitting on a beach, and feeling proud to be a part of this exciting adventure and my part of this huge opportunity that stands in front of us today.