Informatica bolsters business intelligence offering

Informatica has taken the wraps off a platform and data warehouse designed to allow companies to exploit existing business...

Informatica has taken the wraps off a platform and data warehouse designed to allow companies to exploit existing business intelligence investments to build component-based, "plug and play" analytics.

The company's modular approach to analytics focuses on data integration, data warehousing, and business intelligence. Informatica's PowerAnalyzer is a standalone BI solution designed to provide full BI functionality without the need for extensive training and infrastructure support that challenge many enterprises, according to Sanjay Poonen, vice-president and general manager of Informatica applications.

"A lot of BI investments today have ended up as shelfware," Poonen said. "They are too expensive. They're too hard to use and they're too hard to deploy on a broad scale. We [can] sell the bottom two layers of that stack into both Business Objects and Cognos shops. That openness allows the CIOs to leverage their existing investment and use more and more of our infrastructure to allow them to do things faster and cheaper with less risk."

The Informatica Warehouse combines Informatica's data integration platform with pre-built components needed to deploy a business analytics solution quickly. In addition, Informatica has rolled out four broad data warehouses that contain 14 subject area data marts. The data marts - Customer Relationship Analytics, Financial Analytics, Human Resources Analytics, and Supply Chain Analytics - are modular and designed to be easy to customise.

The warehouse also features business adapters containing prepackaged logic designed to reduce the time to extract data from packaged software applications such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, i2 Technologies and Ariba.

Companies today often have the infrastructure to only a portion of the analytics they want to support, said Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting. Some are missing vital technology pieces at the front end, the tool interface side, the data warehouse, or those needed for connectivity, he added.

"What Informatica has done is say, 'you tell us which piece you need to improve and we'll provide the functionality'. This puts them out ahead of the market," Greenbaum said. "It's a strategy that lets the customer leverage the existing investments and get a lot more out it."

While some of the large enterprise application vendors have rolled out similar functionality, it is tied to their own products; Informatica is providing the functionality to support a heterogeneous environment, Greenbaum added.

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