SMEs and mid-sized organisations struggling with data management challenges might want to take a closer look at Informatica, which recently introduced a new pricing strategy and expanded its reseller network to extend its reach beyond the enterprise space. James Goulding reports
Not many people would welcome a remit to double sales in 18 months. But Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA & LATAM at enterprise cloud data management leader Informatica, seems remarkably relaxed about the target.
Perhaps he is right to be. EMEA & Latin America is already Informatica’s fastest growing region, outstripping even the US and China, and now, with a new pricing strategy and expanded reseller network, it is even better placed to capitalise on market trends in data management.
Two developments working strongly in Informatica’s favour are the desire for digital transformation, which is helping to release data from storage and get it to work for business, and the massive growth in data created by humans, machines and, with the Internet of Things, dumb machines.
“There are 25 billion things connected to the internet now, whereas just four or five years ago, when I was working at Ericsson, we were predicting 5 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. Everything is exploding,” explained Murphy.
Data management platform The Informatica Intelligent Data Platform helps organisations control and make use of their data by providing a shared source of governed and trusted data collected from on-premise, cloud and hybrid systems (including databases, applications, social media, IoT and big data systems), plus a complete portfolio of modular solutions for data integration, big data management, cloud data management, data quality, master data management and data security.
Murphy says that, with all bases covered, Informatica prefers to talk about the digital transformation journey, rather than technology per se, and provide customers with a roadmap of how to get where they want to be in a few years’ time.
“The first thing to do is understand where your data is and catalogue it, then to integrate it into other systems and then to deal with quality, mastering and all that other stuff. We help customers along that journey,” he said.
Informatica focuses on four main customer ‘journeys’:
1 Cloud/Hybrid for locating, managing and controlling data in today’s hybrid cloud and on-premise environments;
2 Next Generation Analytics to help organisations understand and use data effectively once it is under control;
3 360 Engagement to provide a complete view of customer and supplier relationships; and
4 Data Governance and Compliance, which is less about the big stick and more about how to turn data compliance and governance to competitive advantage.
Over the last few years, Informatica has been going through a business transformation of its own, gradually moving from a business model based on the upfront selling of software licences to one based on cloud subscriptions.
It is now accelerating this process with the introduction of a pricing strategy and annual licensing model designed to attract SMEs and mid-market organisations.
“Historically, we have been focused on the large enterprise space, but we have just launched mid-market pricing, which allows us to go after new customers. We are getting hundreds of new logos a year now, whereas before it would have been single figures or 10s and 20s,” explained Murphy.
He added: “The fact that our products scale from small departmental-type solutions is one of the reasons our revenue has not dropped as we make the transition to a cloud subscription model. Before, a partner would say ‘Informatica is the best but they are big and only do multi-year contracts, so we need to wait until we have enough demand across the whole business before we engage with them’. That’s not the case now that we have small, medium-market pricing solutions. It’s the same solution whether it’s for 10 users or 10,000 users.”
The other part of Informatica’s approach to SMEs is an expansion of its partner network, which currently accounts for about 70% of its business – 40% from resellers of Informatica software and 30% from inﬂuencers, typically systems integrators, including the Big Four (Deloitte, Accenture, Capgemini and PWC) that talk to customers about data management and recommend the Informatica platform as a solution.
In the last year Informatica has added 150 new partners to give it the scale and reach needed to address the larger base of mid-sized businesses and hit its sales targets. “We are looking to double our revenues in the next 18 months here in EMEA and Latin America, and all of that growth is going to be through our partners,” said Murphy.
Kate Tickner, Business Development and Marketing Director of Entity Group, a long-time partner of Informatica’s, believes the new pricing strategy will not only broaden the market for Informatica solutions, but also help to raise standards for end user businesses.
“Correctly or not, the impression of Informatica was that it was purely for the enterprise, when in fact the technology is excellent whatever size business you are. This new price point will allow us to go into a much broader set of organisations that still have the same business problems – they still want a single view of the customer; they still want to make their operations efficient; they still want to comply with regulations; they still want to have secure data.
“In the past, they probably would have had to take less sophisticated solutions and perhaps do a lot of custom work around them. Now, they can go straight to the leader in data management and say there is a good chance there’s something for my business that I can pay for on an annual basis.”
She added: “The other great thing is that because it is now an annual licensing model, in terms of it being a subscription, we as a partner and Informatica as a technology provider have to make sure the solution works for customers and keeps delivering year after year, or else they won’t renew.”
Tickner believes Informatica’s growth and expansion offers real opportunities both for end user businesses and for partners like Entity Group, which builds in advisory and management services to create whole solutions rather than just delivering a piece of software on its own.
“The growth predicted in the broader data management market, which includes big data, analytics and hybrid cloud solutions, is exponential. And it is only going to get bigger as the volume of data grows. So we think there is huge opportunity,” she said.
“Although the move is to cloud, for some years to come most rganisations will be operating in a hybrid environment, which makes things even more complicated than they would have been before. Customers will need to have expertise in the product but also strategic thinking around things like data governance. They will also need proven experience in how to manage data projects. Those are the kinds of thing we offer, so we think it’s a great opportunity for a company like Entity Group.”