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Informatica Offers Partners Faster Development Capabilities, Advanced Training

At its Elevate partner conference this week the big data company also will debut a new consumption-based pricing model to help partners speed customers’ cloud migration projects.

Informatica is launching several partner-focused initiatives that the cloud data management software developer says will help partners – especially systems integrators with which the vendor is allied – accelerate customers’ cloud and digital transformation efforts.

The initiatives, being announced Tuesday at the start of Informatica’s Elevate Partner Summit, include new consumption-based pricing for customers, expanded training for partners, and new low-code/no-code application development that partners can bring to their cloud application development and modernization practices.

Customers are about 20 percent into their overall cloud migration initiatives, said Richard Ganley, Informatica senior vice president of global partners and digital transformation solutions, in an interview with CRN.

[Related: Top Data Integration Tools In 2020: Here’s Who Made Gartner’s Magic Quadrant]

“I think they’ve tackled the easier bits first and now we’re really getting into the hard bits. The really difficult stuff is what [they] are starting to do now,” Ganley said. Moving an entire on-premises data analytics and data warehouse system to the cloud would be an example of one such complex task, he said.

“Our customers are pushing fast to do this because it’s become a source of strategic advantage,” Ganley said. He also noted that all this comes as many businesses have already accelerated their cloud-migration and digital transformation efforts because of the move to work-from-home and other operational IT changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud migration efforts “have definitely accelerated since the pandemic began. We’re seeing a lot of cloud-first projects coming on,” said Vikas Punna, managing director with Huron Consulting Group, an Austin, Texas-based strategic services provider and Informatica partner that provides advisory, business transformation, implementation and managed services, in an interview with CRN.

“The industry at large is seeing an accelerated interest in moving to the cloud as part of a larger data strategy and the need for an efficient data-led transformation is continuing to grow,” said Scott Holcomb, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, also an Informatica partner. “Deloitte’s business acumen combined with Informatica’s enterprise cloud data management platform is helping organizations move to a cloud-first, cloud-native strategy quickly and efficiently so business can thrive in a post-pandemic world,” Holcomb said in a statement.

Informatica, based in Redwood City, Calif., is a leading developer of cloud data management software and data migration and integration tools, including the company’s Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) offering.

About 50 percent of Informatica customer deals today involve working closely with a partner, Ganley said. The vendor has strategic relationships with Accenture, Deloitte, Cognizant and Cap Gemini and works with a number of other global and regional systems integrators and services-focused partners

Topping the Elevate conference announcements are new IICS application development capabilities, including low-code/zero-code development and a modular drag-and-drop interface driven by business processes. The capabilities will help system integration partners with cloud modernization practices more quickly and easily develop new applications and modify legacy applications for cloud migration and digital transformation projects.

“These are real key capabilities for our GSI [global system integrator] partners,” said Ron Long, Informatica GSI product marketing director, in an interview. “This enables them to use [IICS] and agile development to build applications and application modifications on the fly to provide multi-cloud services.”

“There’s no hand-coding – it’s all around the business processes. So when [partners] work with their customers, they can figure out what’s the business process they have to implement,” Long said.

Software applications and services developed with the new capabilities, powered by the company’s CLAIRE AI/machine learning engine, are reusable and vendor-neutral, and will support cloud-first, cloud-native strategies across all cloud providers, according to Informatica. “The roadmap is very compelling for our partners,” Long said.

“Low code/no-code absolutely makes sense,” said Punna at Huron Consulting Group, citing work-from-home and other changes that solution providers have had to make in their operations because of the pandemic. “Productivity has to go up and low-code/no-code plays very well there.”

Informatica is also announcing more in-depth training and certification for partners implementing Informatica software for enterprise cloud data management.

Last year, partly in response to changed business conditions due to the pandemic, the company launched its Foundation Level Certification 100 Series of on-demand training and Ganley said about 9,000 people at partner companies have completed that no-cost training.

In May Informatica will begin offering the next level of training and certification, the 200 Series, which includes a deeper dive into product architectures, use cases for cloud application modernization, data “democratization” including data governance and privacy, and 360-degree business views for finance and customer experiences, according to the company.

At Huron Consulting Group, all employees who work within the Informatica practice – currently more than 60 – are required to take the training and be certified, Punna said. Even with low-code/no-code development, Huron consultants must understand higher-level concepts such as improving business processes.

And the move to more flexible consumption-based pricing for Informatica products will make it simpler for new customers – and the systems integrators and solution providers they work with – to adopt and expand their use of Informatica software. Consumption-based pricing makes it easier for partners to support customers as they move into cloud computing either in a big way or take it in small steps.

“This way they can move quickly with us and take those first steps,” Ganley said of the new pricing.

Informatica has been aggressively expanding into the cloud in the past year including expanding data governance support for the Snowflake Data Cloud and extending IICS data integration links to Google’s BigQuery analytics.

“We’re excited to double down on our partner growth this year with the best technology and best partners globally to give customers the most flexibility and control of their journey to the cloud,” Ganley said.

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