Informatica, Talend Offer Different Paths To Master Data Management

Last week Informatica, a leading supplier of data integration and ETL (extract, transform and load) technology, said it acquired MDM developer Siperian for $130 million. Earlier in the week Talend debuted its own open-source MDM software to complement its open-source data integration and data quality management software.

MDM systems create a central index or repository of data definitions that helps provide organizations with a single view of their customers, finances and operations. Many businesses have disparate IT systems that, for example, may record financial transactions differently or use different definitions for "customer" or "sale," making it hard for a company to consolidate and synchronize data across those systems.

As businesses struggle to get a better handle on their operations to cut costs and adjust their strategies in the turbulent economy, they are recognizing the critical role MDM can play in their IT integration plans. A Forrester Research report released in October found that 49 percent of all organizations planned to implement or expand their use of MDM software.

"MDM provides a holistic, single view of business entities," said Chris Boorman, Informatica's chief marketing officer, in an interview. The Siperian acquisition "extends our addressable market with an adjacent, high-growth technology."

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Siperian, founded in 2001 and based in Foster City, Calif., has customers in financial services, telecommunications and consumer packaged goods industries. The company's central matching engine software was built on Informatica's identity resolution technology under an earlier OEM agreement, and Boorman said integrating the Siperian product line with Informatica's would be relatively easy.

Informatica plans to sell the Siperian software alongside its Informatica B2B Data Exchange product, for example, to share master data among supply chain partners. "This all comes together very efficiently and very effectively," Boorman said.

Earlier in the week Talend began marketing its own MDM product " the first open-source MDM software, according to the company " based on technology the company acquired in September from Amalto Technologies.

Talend is offering a free version of the software, the Talend MDM Community Edition, under the GPL license, and Talend MDM Enterprise Edition, under a subscription license. The latter product provides more capabilities and features used by big companies. Talend also offers a range of support services with the enterprise release.

Late last week Talend CEO and co-founder Bertrand Diard couldn't resist taking a shot at Informatica and its Siperian acquisition and comparing it to Talend's direction. "We believe the two announcements represent two entirely different directions for the data management market," he said in a statement.

Calling Informatica's Siperian acquisition "business as usual in the proprietary software market," he said: "Talend's goal is to democratize the MDM market with an affordable, open-source alternative at a fraction of the cost of cost-prohibitive and disjointed proprietary technologies."

Boorman, when asked about Talend's announcements, said Informatica never runs into the company and its products in the marketplace.

Informatica and Talend both have plenty of competitors, however. IBM, Oracle, SAP and SAS Institute, among other vendors, all provide MDM products or build MDM capabilities into their software.