Informatica adds intelligence to data management but faces unusual competition as traditional roles blur

The Customer Data Management landscape

Informatica continues to thrive in its position as an agnostic third-party data management vendor that supports enterprises’ applications and data initiative. This approach has served Informatica well, as tailored solutions such as Customer 360 have complemented and supported leading front-office applications like Salesforce with customer data management. As front-office application vendors innovate to challenge Salesforce for market share, many are building customer data platforms that enhance the information feeding these applications and build a case for full-suite sales across front-office touch points. Among this competition, there is also a driving need to build greater insight and intelligence into customer data. Informatica’s acquisition of AllSight greatly strengthens the intelligence it can deliver around its clients’ customer data, but applications-led vendors will increasingly challenge Informatica in the customer data management space as they look to build out their value propositions.

Unifying and adding intelligence around customer data is a ubiquitous priority

Vendors across the cloud-based and traditional software landscapes want to elevate the value they provide customers and increase their addressable market by prioritizing unified and intelligent data to power enterprises. Data efforts are following the same workloads trends as cloud applications, focusing on CRM first before HCM and ERP to build traction in the market.

Applications-led vendors such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Adobe are leveraging the data their individual sales, marketing, customer support and commerce applications generate and consume. This allows vendors to craft partnerships, new solutions and data model transformations to unify and enrich the data across all discrete application areas. The message shapes up to enable an enterprise to equip all front-office functions with a single and complete depiction of each customer or prospect that tracks and contextualizes actions at every point of the customer life cycle. In the last nine months we’ve seen numerous developments along these lines, including:

  • SAP announced the unification of its customer experience applications into a single suite, C/4HANA, with plans for deep integrations and layers of intelligence.
  • Adobe, Microsoft and SAP announced their alliance under the Open Data Initiative to give joint clients a more comprehensive view of their customers by enriching data across each vendor’s front-office applications.
  • Salesforce announced Customer 360 to update records across its systems with new information via a unique customer identifier.
  • Oracle announced CX Unity as a data platform that unifies data across Oracle and partner front-office applications to provide a comprehensive view of engagement points and additional data intelligence.
  • Salesforce announced intentions to offer a customer data platform to store a unified profile of customers.
  • Adobe announced a customer data platform.
  • Adobe and Microsoft expanded their relationship, launching new tools and leveraging data from LinkedIn to provide purchasing insights for B2B sales and marketing.
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