Posts Tagged 'Informatica On Demand'



Cloud Computing: The Next Wave of Data Fragmentation?

I like this quote from a wide-ranging Forbes.com article about information overload and data integration:

“…cloud computing also represents the next wave of data fragmentation. As an example, any customer that uses Salesforce.com will have all the sales-opportunity information managed in the cloud by that site. Now, that same customer, in order for them to answer a very simple question such as, “Did we actually get an order from a customer,” or, “How much did we pay the sales reps,” would have to integrate information from Salesforce.com with all the management information that is typically in some on-premise application, with sales compensation information that is also managed on-premise.”

The good news is that the software as a service (SaaS) model is now more often than not seen as a friend of IT, instead of a foe. While this really depends on the company culture,  the current economic climate and pressures to reduce operational costs and risk are forcing even the most old-school IT organizations to develop new vendor sourcing and management strategies. The SaaS model, with subscription pricing, fast implementations, and lack of reliance on hardware and software on premises, is freeing up IT resources and fundamentally changing the dymanics of all aspects of enterprise software.

For example, the SaaS model has fundamentally changed the process of software evaluations and purchasing. Line of business (LOB) users are now often driving the technology purchase and the implementation process and, in some cases, they are bypassing the IT organizations altogether. So how do you ensure that your SaaS/cloud strategy is a lightening rod for revenue growth, cost savings and business alignment and not just another data silo bandaid that will deliver short term LOB gain, but result in long term IT pain?

The first step: DON’T WAIT TO INTEGRATE.

Develop a comprehensive SaaS integration strategy and choose the right cloud-based data integration solution. This is critial to avoiding further data fragmentation and it’s critical to success in the cloud.  I’ll write more about what to look for in an integration as a service solution in future posts. Also check out, “Data Integration in the Clouds Becomes More Valuable” for a good overview.

Salesforce Data Loader Demo

Check out this Salesforce data loader demo from Jeff Douglas, a senior technical consultant from Appirio.

More details available here.

FTP Data Integration in the Cloud with Salesforce

Here’s a new demo of FTP cloud data integration with Salesforce. As this these 5-star Force.com AppExchange reviews note, the cloud-based data integration solution is, “simple, robust, and easy to use.”

A Window Into Salesforce Data Management

Here are the slides from yesterday’s cloud integration webinar. The session included a fairly comprehensive demonstration as well, so if you missed it be sure to check out the recording here.

Cloud Computing Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

cloud_jailThis headline caught my eye today: “How cloud computing could land IT in court.” While I’m sure that many paranoid IT managers and vendors competing against cloud-based solutions got excited by the aggressive title of the article, it’s actually simply a series of questions to consider:

  1. How does the cloud affect your e-discovery responsibilities? ( I’m not familiar with “e-discovery responsibilities” but did find this article on the topic interesting.)
  2. Will using a cloud service violate privacy laws? (Nothing new here. Do your homework when it comes to the security and privacy policy of your vendors. Most of these vendors actually have much more rigorous testing, certification and SLAs than on-premise data centers.)
  3. What happens if the vendor goes out of business? (This is usually baked into your contract, or at least should be. This article outlines how one SaaS company SaaS managed this process recently.)

All fair questions I suppose. Ironically (not really), they all seem to point to the need for cloud-to-on-premise data replication and synchronization.

Webinar: Data Integration for Salesforce

I’m hosting my first cloud integration webinar this morning:  “A Window into Salesforce Data Management with Andersen.”

  • Struggling to align SaaS/Cloud initiatives with IT priorities and resources?
  • Do you need to integrate corporate on-premise data with Salesforce?
  • Would you like to get more out of your on-premise reporting investments?

According to Gartner, data integration is one of the leading recession proof projects that companies must push forward in order to compete in today’s economy. And having an integration strategy for Salesforce with your on-premise systems is critical to maximizing your SaaS/Cloud investment.

 If all goes according to plan, IT managers and Salesforce administrators will learn:

  • Best practices and approaches to get accurate master data into Salesforce.
  • The best approach to replicate data between Salesforce and on-premise systems.
  • How to integrate external reporting on Salesforce and corporate data sources.
  • How easy it is to try, implement and manage the right cloud integration solution.

I hope you can make it! You can register here.

SaaS Business Intelligence Smack Down on Twitter

I was skimming Twitter this morning and saw this announcement from Cognos, “Cognos Takes Aim at MidMarket with New BI Tools.”  I was surprised that the press release said nothing about SaaS / Cloud computing, and posed the question on Twitter“Why no SaaS BI?”

twitter-logoWell, Andy Bitterer (aka Andy Twitterer), who is currently in Ottawa for analyst briefing day, took me to task with this reply:

“Maybe IBM doesn’t want to go down like LucidEra…”

BOOM!

My old friend Lance Walter from Pentaho stepped in with this defence of the SaaS/Cloud model:

“But failed co. doesn’t equal failed model.”

Andy’s reply: “Fair enough, but not a really proven model either. LucidEra wasn’t the first. See IT Factory. Different reason, though.”

I then asked Andy: “Are you suggesting midmarket not well suited for SaaS BI?”

His response:

“On the low end of the midmarket I see no issue. But a 1B company doing a big-ticket SaaS BI deployment I have yet to see.”

But what about enterprise departmental implementations? I saw quite a bit of interest here in my time at LucidEra, where the SaaS BI solution was sought to address specific needs of a line of business. So far, there’s been a surprisingly muted response from the SaaS BI vendors out there. Do they have proof of enterprise customer success for Andy? Was anyone else surprised not to see a SaaS/Cloud offering from Cognos or is it still considered to be too bleeding edge? What about Business Objects OnDemand from SAP? Is it still a growing concern in this market?

In the meantime, if enterprise departmental implementations are the way forward for SaaS BI vendors outside of the midmarket (Cognos aside of course), it’s certainly good news for data integration in the cloud that includes data synchronization and data replication services.

Integration: A SaaS/Cloud Buzzkill?

With all of the excitement around SaaS and Cloud Computing these days, sometimes it seems that bringing up the topic of integration can be a bit of a buzzkill.

“Oh wait, we need to think about integrating our SaaS applications with our on-premise systems and other cloud-based apps? Isn’t that IT’s job? We didn’t plan for that? We don’t have time, skills, and/or resources for integration. Isn’t that hard to do?”

Sound familiar?

wilford-brimleyNot to get all Wilford Brimley on you, but this week David Linthicum has posted another great common-sense article called, “The integration challenges of cloud computing.” When considering whether or not you should consider “software-based on-premise tools,” “on-premise-based hardware appliance-based tools,” or “cloud-delivered integration tools,” he recommends that you consider:

  • Firewall mediation
  • Performance required
  • Maintenance and upgrades
  • Governance
  • Security

Be sure to read the full article here. No go and eat your oatmeal!

Integrate Oracle E-Business Suite with Salesforce.com

Check out this comprehensive demonstration of integrating Oracle E-Business Suite with Salesforce in the cloud:

SaaS Data Replication: Get More From Your Salesforce and On-Premise BI Tools

If you’re at a company that has already made a significant investment in on-premise business intelligence tools, instead of placing a bet on an early-stage SaaS business intelligence vendor, it seems to me that for many use cases a better approach would be to consider an on-demand data replication service that will help you leverage your existing investments.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big believer in SaaS BI for many use cases, but it’s still early days for most of the vendors in this space, most of whom are targeting organizations who have not already made investments in on-premise data warehousing and reporting and analysis tools. If you’re a Salesforce.com customer, here are some use cases for a cloud-based data replication service:

  • Trying to access and analyze Salesforce data with on-premise reporting  tools like Crystal Reports, Cognos, or even Microsoft Excel.
  • Having difficulty joining more than two objects in Salesforce for reporting purposes.
  • Struggling to ensure consistent, accurate, up-to-date, and  integrated data from Salesforce and other enterprise data sources.

With a true SaaS data replication service, you can:

  • Integrate real-time CRM data into your on-premise business intelligence and reporting systems.
  • Ensure that any new changes to your Salesforce data model are automatically reflected in your local reporting solution.
  • Deliver timely, trusted, and accurate data from Salesforce and other systems for pervasive business intelligence.

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