Informatica touts AI benefits with a caveat: Data cleanliness and management are critical

To be widely effective, AI needs clean data and cloud scale

Informatica World 2019’s focus was on customers of all backgrounds and sizes leveraging AI to accelerate digital transformation. While AI is not a new or novel discipline, cloud computing has supported its growing accessibility by enabling scalable, cost-effective data processing. In that spirit, Informatica has forged partnerships with the three most prominent public cloud brands, Amazon Web Services (AWS; Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google Cloud (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and put these three Platinum partners on stage throughout the event’s keynotes and breakout sessions.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud was represented on the keynote stage by new CEO Thomas Kurian, who harped on both data processing at scale and the idea of ensuring you’re informing AI and analytics with clean and comprehensive data sets. Informatica and Google jointly announced that as of the conference, Informatica’s Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) and Master Data Management (MDM) solution were available on Google Cloud, better enabling customers to move their data warehouses to Google Cloud Platform, leverage Informatica’s products in the environment, and run analytics through BigQuery and Google’s AI capabilities.

AWS

Ariel Kelman, VP of Worldwide Marketing at AWS, joined Informatica CEO Anil Chakravarthy on stage to describe how AWS is innovating and enabling customers with AI, but more importantly to explain the relationship between Informatica and AWS in supporting their joint customers. Kelman admitted that “a lot of [AWS’] services need data and a lot of that data is still on premises.” Though AWS is bringing its services into customers’ environments through AWS Outposts, customers also want help bringing their data to the cloud. In addition to supporting integration between Informatica products such as Power Center and IICS with Amazon Redshift, the partners announced a joint offering with Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) that enables customers to complete a free, self-service data migration assessment. The assessment service leverages Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog on AWS and Cognizant’s data-to-cloud migration assessment and strategy services to help customers begin planning and mapping their data migrations to cloud. The service is intended to accelerate customers’ data migrations to AWS infrastructure while ensuring enlistment of Informatica data management products and Cognizant consulting and systems integration services in the process.

Microsoft

While Microsoft and Informatica did not make a formal announcement on stage, Microsoft had a large presence in the final keynote of Informatica World and in breakout sessions, highlighting how Microsoft approaches AI innovation and use cases across various industries and customer roles. At the outset of the event, Informatica announced its support of the Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM), data frameworks meant to ultimately reduce data silos across workloads and applications through data model standardization on Microsoft Azure. Informatica’s support of the Microsoft CDM, which is a key aspect of the widely discussed Open Data Initiative between Microsoft, Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) and SAP (NYSE: SAP), enables customers to utilize Informatica’s portfolio of products and solutions to manage data across applications and enable analytics and business intelligence efforts across the data landscape. TBR believes there’s a clear opportunity for Informatica to similarly extend its Customer 360 and Customer 360 Intelligence solutions into the Open Data Initiative alliance, particularly to bring greater light to the capabilities brought with Informatica’s recent acquisition of AllSight, a storyline that was overshadowed at the event despite its deliberate inclusion in the narrative.

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