Informatica had its user conference Infa17 this week in San Francisco, from May 15th till May 18th2017. We had the chance to be there on Monday, and actually speak about MDM trends (see the Storify here).

As usual user conferences come with a flurry of press releases, this one was no difference – let me dissect in the custom style, it can be found here:
Expands key capabilities of iPaaS to include end-to-end data management
Advances productivity with CLAIRE – metadata-driven Artificial Intelligence
Scales enterprise-wide to manage complex hybrid data environments
Adheres to the broadest security certifications MyPOV – A fair summary, these press releases are a bit too long, when the PR folks realize they need a bullet list of content items at the beginning.
Informatica World, SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 16, 2017 – Informatica, the Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader accelerating data-driven digital transformation, today announced Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services, the most advanced Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solution available for end-to-end enterprise cloud data management. Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services will feature a next-generation user experience based on a modern API-based microservices architecture, powered by Informatica’s innovative enterprise unified metadata intelligence - known as CLAIRE Engine.
MyPOV – Great summary, described what is happening and bridges between well know iPaaS to microservices and AI, introducing the CLAIRE engine.
Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services expands Informatica’s leading application and data integration iPaaS capabilities to now include critical end-to-end cloud data management. This includes industry leading and enterprise-class data integration, API management, application integration, data quality and governance, master data management and data security, all re-imagined for the cloud. Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services is built on the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform™, and has reimagined the front- and back-end experience for the modern cloud environment, enabling organizations to efficiently unleash the power of all their data, wherever it resides, to fuel successful digital transformation initiatives.
MyPOV – Ok more detail, and a reminder all is on one single platform – the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform.
“As the industry’s number one iPaaS leader, we are driving innovation in this market,” said Amit Walia, executive vice president and chief product officer, Informatica. “With this launch, we are completely re-inventing iPaaS. We are delivering the industry’s broadest end-to-end data management solution for the cloud, with a next-generation user experience running on an API-based microservices architecture. Powered by metadata and Artificial Intelligence, we help enterprises accelerate their cloud-powered digital transformations.”
MyPOV – Good quote rom Walia. Everybody wants to re-invent things these days, but when putting AI into action, it truly has the potential of doing things differently. My concern is that Informatica uses ‘old’ terms like e.g. metadata. No need to talk about metadata in the AI era. More below.
Data Management Reimagined for Cloud
Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services moves past the traditional definition of iPaaS to include cloud data integration, cloud application and process integration, API management and connectivity. Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services delivers the industry’s first, and only, family of clouds that provides industry-leading data management capabilities, powered by CLAIRE from Informatica.
MyPOV – Ok – this is the third – and different collection of what the iPaaS does, maybe with a data management angle.
The family of clouds available in Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services include:
Informatica Integration Cloud – Modern digital strategies require a variety of integration approaches and patterns. Integration Cloud greatly expands the traditional definition of iPaaS to include advanced, unique functionality, such as Integration Hub and B2B. This also includes application integration, data integration and API management. For example, Cloud Integration Hub provides pub-sub-hub integration capabilities for hybrid data management.
Informatica Data Quality & Governance Cloud – Modern digital strategies require trusted data. Data Quality & Governance Cloud includes functionality that delivers the data quality and governance foundation for all cloud projects and initiatives. For example, Cloud Data Quality Radar provides the ability to assess and fix data quality issues within cloud applications, such as Salesforce and Marketo.
Informatica Master Data Management Cloud – Modern digital strategies require authoritative data. Master Data Management Cloud provides single, complete and accurate views across all forms of master data, in a single source of truth. For example, Cloud Customer 360 for Salesforce provides cloud MDM capabilities that scale to the most demanding enterprise requirements with a laser focus on business self-service and self-management of master data.
Future Clouds – Additional, modular data management clouds, products and solutions will be seamlessly added to Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services over time.MyPOV – So what used to be once products are now ‘clouds’. The separation between integration, data management and then data quality and governance makes sense as these are the organic organization and breaking points how data handling organizations are setup. Good to see Informatica leaving the door open for future clouds aka products.
Adopting cloud and using data to drive disruption requires excellence in data management. The innovative combination of a modern user experience and API-based microservices architecture, built on the industry’s only Intelligent Data Platform powered by CLAIRE, enables Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services to deliver increased productivity and address new use cases, at scale.
MyPOV – Another collection of capabilities, would be good to have an example or customer proof point.
Next-Generation Experience and Architecture: Innovative Approach for Maximum Productivity
All the clouds that comprise Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services share a consistent, next-generation user experience across the entire spectrum of data management capabilities. The API-based microservices architecture delivers common services (e.g., user authentication, workflow creation, asset management, search, tagging, and more) that not only look the same, but also operate exactly the same wherever they are invoked across the cloud. This user experience dramatically reduces the learning curve for new tools and drives self-service across the environment.
MyPOV – Always good to mention suite level benefits – and this time making them tangible with examples. Consistency and synergies is what enterprises want to see when they buy multiple, suite integrated products from the same vendor.
The reimagined next-generation user experience includes a single, personalized home page with tiles for items such as personal tasks and connections, plus tiles that are dashboards for the projects that person has underway in each of the data management clouds. This home page gives them visibility and access to all the data management projects they may have underway across all the clouds of Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services.
MyPOV - It's never enough to offer great capability and functionality behind the scenes, it has to been seen and experience by the user. Good to see the UX progress, which frankly was an area where Informatica has been challenged in the past, particularly in terms of consistency. Good to see the tile approach for UX - which has worked well across the industry to bring information together consistently for multiple user roles. 

Additionally, the new microservices are based on open REST APIs. This will enable a continued rapid pace of innovation for Informatica, allowing the company to bring new services and advance existing services at a rapid pace. It will also enable quick integration with customer and partner reference architectures.
MyPOV - An overdue move, good nonetheless. REST has won and it's time to adopt it for vendors. 
Powered by CLAIRE: Intelligence Throughout the Cloud
CLAIRE—with clairvoyance in mind and AI in the center—is the industry’s most advanced metadata-driven Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and is embedded in the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform. CLAIRE delivers intelligence to the entire portfolio of Informatica data management solutions that includes data integration, master data management, data quality and governance, data security, cloud data management, and big data management capabilities. CLAIRE delivers AI by applying machine learning to technical, business, operational and usage metadata across the entire enterprise. This scale and scope of metadata is transformational and allows CLAIRE to help data and integration developers by partially or fully automating many tasks, while business users find it easier to locate and prepare the data they are looking for from anywhere in the enterprise. Meanwhile, data scientists gain a faster understanding of data and data stewards find it easier to visualize data relationships.
MyPOV – Good intro and explanation of CLAIRE, though vague on detail in regards of machine learning algorithms, platform, pricing and so on – but it is early days.

Enterprise-wide Management for a Hybrid World
Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services is built to enable enterprises to run complex hybrid environments. It provides operational insights delivered through a single dashboard for monitoring and managing all data management clouds and products and their data. Customers benefit from easy connectivity to all cloud, on-premise and big data sources across the enterprise using pre-built Informatica connectors.
MyPOV – We live in world of multi-cloud and hybrid systems – integrations in general and MDM in specific needs to span across them – so it is good to see Informatica providing a single pane of glass and tools on a common platform.

Cloud with Industry-leading Security and Trust
Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services is built for the enterprise with security as a core design principle. It has the following certifications and standards for industry leading security:
AICPA SOC 2 Type 2 and SOC 3 attestations.
Externally audited HIPAA compliance.
ISO 27000-aligned Information Security Management System, and EU-US Privacy Shield and compliance security program.
Member of Cloud Security Alliance and Salesforce AppExchange certified.
MyPOV – Security remains the top – or one of the top 3 concerns of cloud users, so it is good that Informatica seeks security certifications that help address these concerns.

Overall MyPOV

Informatica is in the transition from on premises to the cloud, what started gingerly a year ago at INFA16 is now in full swing and available at INFA17. And a cloud platform brings new capabilities e.g. in the area of Machine Learning, and as we are in the ‘buzzword AI’ age – the AI assistants are coming. Good to see CLAIRE being launched, we have to understand a little bit better what she does, where she lives, how she is educated, and what other needs she have (thanks for staying with the metaphor).

On the concern side, Informatica use some older vocabulary, and vocabulary is also an indicator for thinking. Metadata was the gold in integration mechanisms of the past. Take a look – to make it not contentious – at Google Photos: Users do not flag or tag pictures anymore. Machine Learning does. That there is a tagging (or metadata) repository underneath it – of course – but users never see that. It isn’t even exposed. If integration vendors will go so far remains to be seen – but with the rise of AI – CLAIRE will take care of the metadata, Informatica user should not know, see and talk about it – just use it the same way people use Google Photos. A high ask, but with a big prize.

Overall a good INFA17, Informatica is running on all cylinders, the PE investment seems not to hinder the execution, the vendor is moving fast, which is great news for customers and prospects. For enterprises in general, as the integration problems only get bigger for the foreseeable future.



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