Posts Tagged 'data migration'

Integration’s Role in Software Selection for Cloud/SaaS

Thanks to @PaulRessler for tweeting this article today: Proper Software Selection for Cloud/SaaS: Analyst Tips. It looks like the author comes from EVAL source, an organization I had not heard of prior to reading the post. Not surprisingly, I was drawn to the points made about cloud integration:

Integration is still a key issue when integrating a cloud solution into your IT/services mix. Organizations are using the cloud for adding a new system or service, or using the cloud to integrate existing systems with new services. By using the cloud as a platform to integrate disparate systems this approach provides key infrastructure that you do not have to build which saves time and money and lowers overhead costs.  As with any technology purchase due diligence still must be completed as the same obstacles of implementation, data migration, training, change management and project management must occur for a cloud integration to be successful.

There is also an acknowledgement of the “shift in buying behaviour which includes security, integration, business agility and TCO” when it comes to selecting the right cloud/SaaS solution. This is a topic I’ve covered in a number of posts here and on the Informatica Perspectives blog:

Cloud Integration: Batch vs. Real Time

In the last few days there have been diametrically opposite messages coming from two vendors who claim to deliver best-in-class data integration solutions for Salesforce.com (and other SaaS application vendors). Doug Henschen wrote about both cloud data integration product launches.

  1. The first vendor focused on data migration to the cloud.  They acknowledged that data migration “often turns out to be more complex than expected” and highlighted the importance of performance to data integration (while throwing a few unsubstantiated haymakers at the competition I might add).
  2. The second vendor focused on real-time application integration, making the claim that their product, “offers two-way, system-to-system, event-driven integration that is real-time rather than batch oriented.”

Hmmm. So which is more important? Real time or batch data integration? And is it really an either-or proposition? Are we really now dragging the old ETL vs. EAI debate to the cloud?

To me it gets back to a topic I’ve written about before: What to Look for in a Cloud Data Integration Solution.

If a data integration vendor claims to be all about one or the other it should be a red flag. The bottom line is to understand your requirements, your data volumes (both today and long term), your integration complexity (both today and long term), your resources (on-premise or SaaS?), and the skill set of your users (SaaS administrators and IT roles). And when it comes to a Salesforce.com partner, be sure to dig into customer references and read the reviews on the AppExchange. This will reveal quite about about overall customer adoption and success.

Feedback?

How to Migrate to the Cloud

An interesting discussion about integration broke out last week on the Salesforce Professional LinkedIn Network. This question was asked (by a vendor who wanted to promote his solution it turns out):

“How do most new implementations migrate data to salesforce from legacy systems? Especially when there is a need to maintain an integration between existing systems? I’ve noticed on numerous job boards postings for dbas to manually create a staging database and perform ETL to salesforce.com through this database.”

So far there have been 24 comments…mostly by vendors about themselves; a couple by consultants promoting these vendors; and few by customers who have actually provided some real-world experiences. Nevertheless, the post is definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the topic of Salesforce integration. My advice, of course, is to focus on the quality and quantity of AppExchange reviews. I’ve also written a couple of posts on selecting the right integration as a service solution in the past:

But to actually answer the question directly, I thought I’d post a couple of Salesforce migration videos from my good friend Bryan Plaster to help you get started.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Good luck! I hope this is helpful.

Informatica Recognized by Salesforce.com for Cloud Data Integration

appexchange award data integrationInformatica, the leading independent provider of enterprise data integration software, today announced that Informatica Cloud Data Loader Service for Salesforce CRM, a component of the Informatica Cloud, was honored with salesforce.com’s AppExchange Best of ‘09 Awards for data integration.

Some highlights from the press release:

  • Salesforce.com customers have voted the Informatica Cloud the top data integration solution for the second consecutive year.
  • Salesforce.com recognizes top AppExchange partner solutions based on user reviews. (Check out Informatica Cloud Services here.)
  • More than 400 companies are now relying upon the Informatica Cloud to integrate Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform with on-premise databases, flat files, and enterprise applications.
  • The Informatica Cloud is now running an average of 20,000 integration jobs per day and moving and manipulating more than four billon records a month.

Here’s a video summarizing the Informatica and Salesforce.com partnership:

Top In(tegrate) the Cloud Posts of 2009

Call me crazy, but I enjoy the annual Best and Worst, Top 10, and Prediction articles that are everywhere this time of year. And while I’m disappointed that none of my LucidEra posts made it on to Donald Farmer’s 2009 business intelligence blog highlight reel, here are the post popular In(tegrate) the Cloud Posts for the year:

  1. You Know You Work for a European Company When (clearly SAP’s new Budweiser marketing strategy works – 5000+ views for this BusinessObjects video)
  2. If It’s Not Multitenant, It’s Not Really SaaS (generated some good discussion)
  3. The Importance of Data Integration in the Era of Cloud Computing (one of the first posts on this blog)
  4. Data Loader Service: Most Popular AppExchange Free App (have you downloaded it yet?)
  5. IDC Publishes Cloud Services Benefits and Challenges (who hasn’t used these graphs in a slide yet?)
  6. Questions to Ask a Salesforce Integration Solution Provider (is it multitenant? how much training is required? can I try before I buy?)
  7. Cloud Integration Use Cases (replication is the primary based on the poll)
  8. Salesforce Integration with BigMachines (connecting 2 very popular SaaS apps)
  9. Cloud Integration for Competitive Advantage (competing on integration?)
  10. Twitter and Salesforce Integration with the Informatica Cloud (big news – Twitter is popular!)

And I’m pleased to say that traffic is growing. More validation that, “Cloud Data Integration will eclipse both security and availability to be the defining capability that drives Cloud Computing success?” Perhaps.

Integration Clouds Blog Stats

Thanks for reading (and commenting). Happy New Year!

From Cloud Data Loading to Synchronization

The Informatica Cloud Data Loader Service was recognized by Salesforce.com in 2008 as the number one integration application on the AppExchange. In 2009 it has become the most popular *free* application (followed by Salesforce for Twitter) and the feedback has been truly amazing.
The Data Loader Service is designed to automate basic loading and extraction of data between Salesforce.com, flat files, and relational databases on a daily basis. But the Informatica Cloud Data Loader Service is just the first step towards secure, powerful, and complete data integration as a service.
The next step, you ask?
The Informatica Cloud Data Synchronization Service. The industry’s only true enterprise-class software as a service integration solution, the Data Synchronization Service is designed for non-technical users to set-up, manage, and monitor bi-directional integration tasks. Primary use cases for the Data Synchronization Service include:
  • ERP Synchronization:  Opportunity-to-Order & Customer Master Synch (SAP, Oracle); Quoting Integration, etc.
  • CRM Integration:  Cases, Leads, Campaigns; Territory Management; Price Book & Product; Custom Objects, etc.
  • Business / IT Alignment: Business self-service to trusted information; IT avoids proliferation of point solutions.
This is a first in a series of posts that outline some of the key reasons that Salesforce customers continue to upgrade (in just a couple of clicks) from the Data Loader Service to the Informatica Cloud Data Synchronization Service. Here’s a brief demonstration of integrating secure FTP files with Salesforce using the Informatica Cloud:

Salesforce Administrators Praise the Data Loader Service

Check out some of the recent AppExchange reviews for the Informatica Cloud Data Loader Service. A FREE tool designed to introduce Salesforce administrators to more powerful bi-directional data integration, the Data Loader Service has truly become the productivity tool of choice to help Salesforce organizations migrate to the cloud:

  • “What SaaS is all about”
  • “This app saved us time and money!”
  • “The first tool every SF Admin needs to know”
  • “A Major Advantage to our processing”
  • “Sit back and let it do the work”
  • “Easy as 1-2-3″
  • “Intelligent Software”
  • “Couldn’t be without it”
  • “Saved us time”

Check out the reviews and please share your feedback here. And if you’re already using the Data Loader Service and want to move up to real-time data synchronization, data profiling, and data replication in the cloud, be sure to also check out what Salesforce CRM and Force.com customers are saying about the Informatica Cloud Services.

Free Data Loader Service Drives Salesforce Productivity

Check out this Salesforce customer feedback about the free Informatica Cloud Data Loader Service:

“I’ve calculated the productivity savings and I am saving my company about $3500 per year by using this free product.”

Migrating to Salesforce? Looking to get started with bi-directional data extraction and loading?

Find out why more and more Salesforce customers are sharing their 5-star AppExchange reviews and getting more from their Salesforce CRM and Force.com investment here.

Cloud Integration Use Cases

I wrote a post for the Perspectives blog today about Cloud Integration Use Cases. The obvious ones are:

  • Data Migration
  • Data Synchronization
  • Data Replication
  • Data Quality

What are yours? Here’s a quick poll:

Free Data Loader Service for Salesforce

I spoke to quite a few Salesforce customers and partners at Dreamforce ’09 who didn’t realize that the Data Loader Service is free. Yes, you do also get a 30 day trial of the Data Synchronization Service, Data Profiling Service, and Data Replication Service when you get started, but once it’s clearly understood that yes, the Data Loader Service is in fact FREE, I typically get asked the following question:

“How is it different than the Force.com Data Loader?”

Here’s my answer:

  • The Data Loader Service (DLS) is designed for non-technical users. (Easy to set up. Easy to Use.)
  • DLS provides daily scheduling capabilities. (Get started with automated data integration.)
  • DLS is the first step towards true bi-directional data integration as a service. (Easily move up to more complex, bi-directional cloud services.)

Here’s a quick Data Loader Service demo recorded by a partner. And if you’re a Salesforce CRM or Force.com customer and/or partner and like the tool, please take a few minutes to share your feedback on the AppExchange.


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