Informatica Targets SMBs With Cloud-Based Data Integration Services


Informatica is seeing increased demand for its cloud computing data integration software and services among small and mid-size businesses, and the company has stepped up its recruiting of regional systems integrator partners to help it reach SMB markets.

In January the company will begin offering Informatica Cloud Express, a cloud data integration service for Salesforce.com users with usage-based pricing specifically targeting SMBs. Informatica Cloud Express was unveiled earlier this month at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference and has been undergoing beta trials.

Informatica has offered cloud-based data integration services since 2007 and those have been popular among large businesses, some with as many as 20,000-seat licenses, said Ron Papas, general manager of Informatica cloud, in an interview. A major driver for that demand is the need for businesses to link cloud applications like Salesforce with on-premise, back-office systems.

Informatica's Data Loader Service is the most popular application on Salesforce.com's AppExchange site, according to Papas.

"More people are comfortable with [cloud computing] today, even the large companies," Papas said. "We do see improving cloud maturity at the CIO level."

While Informatica has successfully sold its cloud-based integration services to large and mid-size companies, Papas said the company hasn't been able to adequately address the specific needs of of very small companies with its current offerings.

That led to the development of Informatica Cloud Express, a multi-tenant data integration cloud service that lets users of Salesforce.com's on-demand applications create, schedule and automate bi-directional data transfers between Salesforce and on-premise databases and file systems. A company could use Cloud Express to integrate customer information in Salesforce with financial data in an on-premise database, for example.

Pricing for Cloud Express starts at $99 per month and increases based on the number of rows of data the service processes. While some vendors claim to sell cloud services with usage-based pricing, most actually sell annual and multi-year subscriptions, said Darren Cunningham, vice president of Informatica Cloud.

Customers can upgrade to more advanced editions of Informatica Cloud as their needs become more complex and the volume of data they process grows, Cunningham said in an interview. Informatica Cloud, for example, can integrate Salesforce with on-premise accounting and billing systems.

Informatica has also begun offering its cloud data integration services in conjunction with other on-demand applications. Earlier this month the company announced a deal to integrate Informatica Cloud with Dun & Bradstreet's D&B360 data-as-a-service offering.