Informatica Unveils New Business Analytic Applications

Informatica Corp., a company that first established itself as a player in the data mart space, recently announced a new line of business analytic applications. Dubbed Informatica Applications, the products purport to marry the company's data mart expertise with the business analytic proficiency of Influence Software Inc., which Informatica acquired in December 1999.

According to Roman Bukary, director of product marketing at Informatica (, many organizations want to implement some sort of business analytic solution, but are discovering conventional, packaged analytic applications are not the solution.

"In order for you to be successful now, today, it’s not enough to deploy a stovepipe analytic solution on top of a stovepipe transaction system," Bukary explains. "What value is it for a CEO to know that the Web channel has had an increase in sales if the CEO can’t correlate that increase to increased profit, increased revenue, and a good understanding that the two channels aren’t cannibalizing one another?"

Informatica is positioning the Informatica Applications series as a set of three suites of integrated analytic applications that can help organizations effectively evaluate the dynamics of their customer, partner, and supplier relationships.

The product set consists of Informatica Applications for electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM), a suite of integrated analytic applications that Bukary says is engineered to manage customer acquisition, intimacy, and retention. Additionally, Informatica Applications for e-CRM combines Informatica’s data mart technology with the metrics required to analyze CRM-related aspects, such as marketing campaigns, sales force management, sales orders, sales forecasting, and service optimization.

Also included in the product set is a business operations analytic suite, dubbed Informatica Applications for eBusiness Operations. Bukary says the suite can help streamline many business processes commonly associated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The processes include ERP mainstays such as general ledger, billing, payroll, and overall enterprise planning.

The Informatica Applications series is completed by Informatica Applications for eProcurement, a suite of integrated analytic applications that can help business professionals and corporate decision makers evaluate the effectiveness of internal procurement systems and procurement throughout the supply chain.

In Bukary's opinion, the speed of e-business is such that robust business analysis is more important than ever.

"Because of the visibility and speed of the Internet, it’s not enough for customers to say ‘I’ll add analytics tomorrow.’ It’s not appropriate because if you can’t analyze it, how do you know that you’re moving in the right direction?" he observes.

Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis Inc. (, says the combination of Informatica’s expertise in data mart technologies with the business analytic competencies that Influence Software brings to the table is a common-sense objective.

"An analytic application is basically an application built on a data mart: If you’re an analytic application, you’re analyzing data, and you’ve got to have the data somewhere -- in the data mart," Schiff explains. "Vendors were coming out with easy-to-use, simple-to-install data marts, but most of the time they didn’t have templates built upon them. What this does is it gives you a number of analytic applications that are designed to leverage the underlying strength of the data mart."

As Schiff points out, however, Informatica is by no means alone in attempting to reposition itself as a provider of business analytic applications and solutions.

"They’re delivering a product right now -- and the strategy makes sense -- but they’re certainly not the first vendor to do this. Nor do I expect them to be the last," he concludes.