Monday, June 19, 2006

The Informatica recovery story

The data integration market has previously split between the EAI tools like Tibco and Webmethods, and the ETL space with tools like Informatica and Ascential (now part of IBM). The ETL space has seen significant retrenchment over recent years, with many of the early pioneers being bought or disappearing (e.g. ETI Extract still lives on, but is practically invisible now). Mostly this functionality is being folded into the database or other applications e.g. MSFT with SSIS (previously DTS) and Business Objects having bought ACTA. Still in this space are Sunopsis (the only "new" vendor making some progress) and older players like Iway and Pervasive, whose tools are usually sold inside other products. Others like Sagent and Constellar have gone to the wall.

The integration market is surprisingly flat, with Tibco showing 9% growth last year but a 10% shrinkage in license revenues, while Webmethods grew just 4%, with 1% growth in license revenues. Hardly the stuff investor dreams are made of. BEA is doing better, with 13% overall growth last year and 10% license growth, but this is still hardly stellar. Informatica is the odd one out here, having extracted itself from its aberrant venture into the analytics world and now having repositioned itself as a pure play integration vendor. It had excellent 31% license growth and 27% overall growth last year. The logical acquisition of Similarity Systems broadens Informatica's offering into data quality, which makes sense for an integration vendor. When IBM bought Ascential some pundits reckoned the game would be up for Informatica, but so far that is not proving the case at all.

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