Informatica World wrapped up in San Francisco last week where almost 3,000 customers and partners gathered in the Moscone West conference center for four days packed with executive keynotes, customer and partner presentations. Based on my time there it’s clear that:
Informatica is pivoting to cater to a business audience. They recognize the business and their requirements have gained greater influence over technology purchasing decisions and are responding accordingly. Heralding what they call the age of data 3.0 they now want to leverage their leadership position in data management to build industry solutions on top of their data integration, data quality and data management tools. MDM solutions like MDM-Customer 360, MDM-Product 360, and MDM-Supplier 360 take aim at delivering mission critical insights to the business user. Their expanded partnership with Tableau will also continue to expose them to business audiences.
Promising new executives have their work cut out for them. Informatica has a 20 year track record of success in data management. But they are going in a new direction that is largely uncharted territory for them. Lou Attanasio, is the newly minted Chief Sales Officer who will need to transform an organization accustomed to speaking with IT to one that appeals to a business audience which will require a new sales model, training, and specialized sales talent that can speak to the client in terms of business value while also covering the technology at the right altitude. Jim Davis, who joined earlier this year as CMO from SAS, is leading the charge in positioning Informatica as not just a data management tool but a platform that is embracing cloud, mobile, social, big data, IoT and security.
Clients now have a report that helps them make more informed choices about selecting a PIM solutions. PIM is not always a well understood master data solution option for Enterprise Architects. Questions arise about, do I need PIM or MDM or do both? Aren't PIM and Product MDM the same? How does this fit in my architecture? This report takes away the confusion, answers these questions. It gives insight into how vendors satisfy PIM demands, differentiate from MDM and operate in hybrid scenarios.
The first Forrester Wave collaboration across the Business Technology and Marketing and Strategy groups. In the age of the customer, tighter collaboration between business decision makers and technology management professionals is critical. This wave addresses both perspectives providing the business requirements for marketing and product professionals while also addressing the technical questions that are important when selecting tools. Yes, business and technology management can work together, be on the same page, and produce great results!
I just came back from a Product Information Management (PIM) event this week had had a lot of discussions about how to evaluate vendors and their solutions. I also get a lot of inquiries on vendor selection and while a lot of the questions center around the functionality itself, how to evaluate is also a key point of discussion. What peaked my interest on this subject is that IT and the Business have very different objectives in selecting a solution for MDM, PIM, and data quality. In fact, it can often get contentious when IT and the Business don't agree on the best solution.
General steps to purchase a solution seem pretty consistent: create a short list based on the Forrester Wave and research, conduct an RFI, narrow down to 2-3 vendors for an RFP, make a decision. But, the devil seems to be in the details.
Is a proof of concept required?
How do you make a decision when vendors solutions appear the same? Are they really the same?
How do you put pricing into context? Is lowest really better?
What is required to know before engaging with vendors to identify fit and differentiation?
When does meeting business objectives win out over fit in IT skills and platform consistency?