PeopleSoft dumps Informatica for Ascential license

PeopleSoft is revamping one of the components in its Enterprise Performance Management portfolio of analytics applications, dropping licensed integration technology from Informatica Corp. in favor of software from Ascential Software.

PeopleSoft of Pleasanton, California, selected Informatica in 1999 to provide ETL (extract, transform, load) technology for PeopleSoft's analytics applications. As that arrangement came up for renewal, PeopleSoft decided Ascential, headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, would be a better fit as its partner, said Chris Leone, vice president for product strategy of PeopleSoft's Financial Management and Enterprise Performance Management lines.

"I don't see this as moving away from Informatica. It's moving toward Ascential," Leone said. "(Ascential is) much closer to where PeopleSoft is headed, in focusing on EAI (enterprise application integration) and ETL capabilities and data quality. A big strategic advantage, from our perspective, is (Ascential's) focus on metadata management."

PeopleSoft has already begun embedding Ascential's DataStage integration software into its Enterprise Performance Management suite applications. Later this year, it plans to incorporate Ascential's MetaStage technology.

The changes will be transparent to customers, according to Leone.

"Customers will be 100 percent insulated from this," he said.

Customers currently using Informatica's software will continue doing so, and PeopleSoft will provide free consulting resources to customers on maintenance contracts to help with any problems that may arise from upgrades, Leone said.

Research firm Ventana Research adopted a more cautious tone in an advisory note issued Tuesday.

"Ventana Research recommends that existing PeopleSoft customers using Informatica's ... PowerMart cautiously assess the migration challenges with business requirements in mind," the firm wrote. "Depending on your organization's data integration architecture, conversion to DataStage from the existing Informatica offering could be a tough process, but not converting could be tough as well."

Ventana recommends customers work closely with PeopleSoft and Ascential to determine their best course of action. Those that decide to upgrade should take advantage of support programs offered by the vendors, the firm said.

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