“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:
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.
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).
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?
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.
“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:
Informatica, 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.
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:
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:
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:
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″
“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.