Last month, Informatica announced its continued partnership with Siperian expanding the link between data integration and master data management. This renewed partnership not only shows how complementary products can be used together, but also how partnership strategies reflect industry trends and vendor and product roadmaps. Additionally, when vendors partner with one another and develop connectors enabling technologies to work together without complicated integration tasks, organizations are the main entities that benefit.
This article is broken out into two parts. Part 1 provides an overview of what Siperian and Informatica offer in terms of technology and how it overlaps. The main focus of the piece is how Siperian’s partner strategy benefits both Siperian and Informatica customers based on Siperian’s perspective. An overview is provided about how both technologies work together and what organizations should be aware of when relying on vendor partnerships. Part 2 identifies Informatica’s focus on MDM and how they leverage their partnerships to do so and provides an explanation of how both solutions overlap to provide a full master data management solution.
How it works
Before learning about how customers benefit from vendor partnerships, it is important to understand how using Siperian and Informatica together works. Below provides an overview of how MDM fits within an overall data integration and migration framework. Information from various operational systems, databases, and unstructured data sources are cleansed and migrated into a hub where one system of record is created. This is where a single version of the truth gets created in relation to customer, supplier, product, etc. Additionally, the hub can be used for vertical applications such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, oil and gas, and financial services.
Entity views are based on business agreement of what a customer or supplier or chosen MDM focus means. Once this information is stored it can be fed back into operational systems to keep information up to date, or provide simple look-ups for CRM related applications so that employees constantly know what is happening with the customer. Overall, the goal is to develop one set of data that can be referenced and used to increase data quality and customer value.
Source: Informatica, 2008
Why partnerships matter
Solution providers build their offerings to solve specific needs within the organization. In many cases, solutions implemented within an organization are chosen to help solve a problem or address a specific requirement. Even though integration is always considered when selecting new solutions, choices are rarely made based on how they fit with the overall IT infrastructure. Consequently, activities surrounding integration may take up the bulk of time required to implement a new system.
Partnerships enable quicker integration. When two solution providers partner to provide easier integration, they generally develop a set of APIs so that each solution can “speak to each other” without additional integration requirements. These partnerships are generally chosen based on customer interest. For Siperian and Informatica, there is a high level of overlap as many of Siperian’s customers use Informatica to populate their hubs and migrate data across the organization.
Siperian’s focus on two types of partnerships
Siperian focuses on two types of partnerships to enhance their offerings to customers. The first consists of ISVs and data service providers. Vendors within the areas of data modeling, data quality, and data matching boost Siperian’s solution offerings to enhance its core set of technologies. Managing data is essential within MDM and the ability to maintain data quality initiatives and to ensure integration with an organization’s current standards (i.e. Informatica, or Trillium) means that Siperian can offer organizations a full data management solution.
The second type of partnership is with System Integrators to enable organizations the ability to implement a full suite based on vertical market. Siperian is accustomed to handling different entities across 8 verticals, such as pharmaceuticals, financial services, and oil and gas, with hubs focused on areas such as employee, physician, product, customer, etc. The solutions that are built and developed by the System Integrators are brought to market within the various vertical markets.
Combined benefits for Siperian and Informatica customers
Estimates from both Siperian and Informatica state that more than half of
Siperian customers also use Informatica. In addition, Identity Systems’ linking and matching technology is embedded within Siperian, meaning that all of Siperian’s customers deploy the technology. With Informatica’s recent acquisition of Identity Systems, the relationship between the two partners has become stronger as their customer base continues to overlap. Additionally, because Identity Systems is embedded within Siperian, customers only access one company for support.
In terms of Siperian’s hub and Informatica specifically, in many cases, organizations use Informatica PowerCenter to move data into the hub. Once data is in the hub, Identity Systems’ matching and linking agent is used to create a single source of truth for the organization. Informatica is then used again to populate any of the downstream systems, including CRM, ERP, data warehousing, reporting, etc.
What partnerships mean for end user organizations – the benefits, the challenges
As described above, partnerships enhance the integration between disparate solutions. For organizations, this generally means that diverse applications can be easily deployed side by side. In the case of Siperian and Informatica, there is a focus on tight integration because of their customer overlap and Informatica’s newer commitment to MDM with the acquisition of Identity Systems. Unfortunately, other vendors may partner with each other but not place strong emphasis on the actual integration components, meaning that the partnership essentially exists on paper. Consequently, it is important for organizations to ask additional questions when considering a potential solution provider on partner status alone.
Note: the information about Siperian’s partnership with Informatica was attained in an interview with Ramon Chen and Ravi Shankar.
Ramon Chen is Vice President of Product Marketing for Siperian. With more than 20 years experience designing, developing, managing and marketing enterprise software, Ramon is responsible for all product marketing initiatives at Siperian.
Ravi Shankar is Senior Director of Product Marketing for Siperian. With more than 19 years of experience, Ravi directs product and technical marketing activities including analyst briefings, competitive strategy, collateral creation, and sales support at Siperian.