Informatica app joined with salesforce.com

Informatica Tuesday said it is making its flagship PowerCenter data integration software compatible with the popular salesforce.com service. The move is the first step toward connecting customers' on-site applications with Informatica's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.

The San Francisco company said PowerCenter Connect for salesforce.com is available immediately via salesforce.com's AppExchange.

"The last six years has seen a rise of business data outside the corporate firewall due to business process or IT outsourcing," said Brian Gentile, Informatica's chief marketing officer. "We need to be able to handle all of that off-premise data."

Informatica will charge between US$75,000 and US$82,000 per CPU and will develop connectors for other SaaS applications based on customer demand. "I wouldn't be surprised if the next available connector is NetSuite or Siebel-On-Demand," said Gentile. Informatica is also developing a completely hosted data integration platform that will work with various SaaS, BPO and IT Outsourcing applications.

Companies will be able to avoid having to install any Informatica software on site, as they do today. The Informatica On-Demand Data Integration Platform will be available on a limited basis to Informatica's partners in the fourth quarter this year and generally available in the first quarter next year.

"We're seeing a wave of [small and mid-size firms] and even large-scale enterprises that are starting to do their work using hosted applications," said Peter O'Kelly, an analyst with Salt Lake City-based Burton Group. "If Informatica didn't move there, they would become increasingly irrelevant."

O'Kelly said that Informatica still faces "big competitive challenges" as one of the few remaining independent data integration vendors. Vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM are tightly tying strong data integration products into their database offerings.

"With the 'super platform' trend, vendors are arguing that the suite, not the point product, becomes best of breed," O'Kelly said.

Informatica is holding its annual Informatica World conference Tuesday through Thursday.

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