Enterprises are developing hybrid IT environments at an increasing rate, leveraging cloud-based technologies to achieve flexibility and scalability while keeping workloads on premises that contain sensitive information or require low latency. This creates complex IT environments that need to be integrated, governed and made compliant with local regulations.
Informatica has positioned itself as a leading provider of data integration tools and metadata management offerings, the latter of which provide higher-level information about data, such as where it lives, how it moves and what the data set contains. This better enables IT departments to discover, inventory and organize their data sets across the IT landscape, and allows them to better serve their business stakeholders that need easy access to relevant data. Informatica’s Enterprise Data Catalog (EDC) has already been able to connect metadata from sources like on-premises and cloud-based applications, databases, data lakes, data warehouses and cloud platforms. However, while EDC has been able to incorporate the majority of data sources, it was not an all-ecompassing solution. The vendor recently filled EDC’s portfolio gaps with its acquisition of Compact Solutions, which brings the acquired company’s MetaDex technology into EDC. TBR spoke with Informatica’s Senior Director of Product Marketing Dharma Kuthanur, who noted that the acquisition will help Informatica “extract metadata and lineage from the most complex data sources across the enterprise as well as legacy sources (e.g., mainframes). Other sources include code include code and stored procedures that you would find inside databases and data warehouses like Teradata or IBM Db2 warehouse or Oracle warehouse — so really being able to parse static and dynamic code that’s inside the databases that transform the data — and often this used to be a black box, limiting full understanding of data across the enterprise.”
In particular, the integration of MetaDex capabilities into EDC further enhances the ability of customers to catalog and govern their data from a broader range of sources, including mainframes; multivendor extract, transform, load (ETL) tools; code; and statistical and business intelligence tools such as SAS. Adding these capabilities makes Informatica a one-stop shop for metadata connectivity and data lineage across the entire data landscape spanning hybrid IT environments. Providing customers with visibility and control over all of their data better positions Informatica as the foundation of customers’ AI, machine learning and analytics-related initiatives. In addition, this increases the value proposition of the company’s broader suite of data management products and solutions like Axon Data Governance.
MetaDex rounds out EDC’s capabilities, enabling end-to-end metadata connectivity and data lineage
Large vendors such as IBM, Oracle and SAP have competing metadata tools such as Watson Knowledge Catalog, Oracle Metadata Management and SAP Data Hub, respectively, which are mostly used by the vendors’ existing customer bases. These offerings do have some overlap with Informatica’s portfolio, but Kuthanur noted that “for pure stand-alone opportunities we don’t really [compete with] them because we have a much stronger set of capabilities.”
TBR believes Informatica’s strategy around enterprise data management separates it from the larger incumbent vendors like IBM, Oracle and SAP, due to the vendor-agnostic nature of Informatica’s portfolio. According to Kuthanur, “We position our catalog as a ‘catalog of catalogs’ because we can scan all types of data sources across the enterprise, across multiple clouds, including from some of these third-party catalogs like AWS Glue, and then combine that metadata from metadata across the rest of the enterprise.” There are smaller vendors with vendor-agnostic portfolios for enterprise data management such as Collibra and Alation, but these competitors have smaller global footprints and limited metadata connectivity and lineage capabilities compared to Informatica. Informatica’s acquisition of Compact Solutions also puts the vendor roughly 12 to 18 months ahead of Collibra and Alation in regard to portfolio innovation.