Informatica is attempting to put data mining information into end users hands more quickly. To do so, it has upgraded its business analytics applications and produced the Informatica Analytic Delivery Server for sending results to desktops, wireless devices and even voice recognition systems.
In an announcement at its San Francisco user group meeting yesterday, Informatica unveiled the Delivery Server, its next-generation information applications and personalized dashboards -- like personalized portals -- for displaying business analysis information.
Informatica Applications include an integration component that can draw on data from different sources, such as any relational database, SAP or PeopleSoft systems and mainframe file systems. The applications and Delivery Server sit atop its core product, Informatica PowerCenter, a warehouse building integration platform, said Sanjay Poonen, vice president general manager of applications.
A single business analytic system must draw from multiple sources and deliver to multiple clients in order to supply "the convergence of these technologies -- data warehousing, data mining" and personalized delivery of the results, Poonen said.
"More and more, people talk of doing business analytics in real time," he noted.
Such a lofty goal remains elusive at many enterprises. Data sought is in an inaccessible system. Needed information is not available until a mainframe reporting system produces it on its schedule, not the users. Or data is too difficult to analyze except by experienced data mining experts, he noted.
Enterprises continue to build data warehouses with business analytics tools on top, "but less than 2 percent of the enterprise uses it," added Joe Nicholson, Informaticas vice president of marketing, platform technology. The aim of the data warehousing industry was to be used by at least 20 percent of the corporation.
Version 5.0 of Informatica Applications takes advantage of Java 2 Enterprise Edition, the BEA Systems WebLogic Application Server and its own PowerCenter integration capabilities to pull together information and deliver it to end users.
Thus, if a saleswoman on the road learns shes lost a top customer, she could use a wireless device to pull down what products that customer had been buying and see if there were support complaints, Nicholson said.
Informatica Applications are in use at General Electric, MetLife, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sprint and the U.S. Postal Service. "Yesterdays analytic solutions were complex and not integrated," said James Cates, CIO at Brocade Communications Systems, a maker of high-speed switches for storage area networks. He uses Informatica Applications to "link our management processes with our core business metrics."
A sales manager, for example, can ask the system to deliver to him while he is on the road a chart of sales results against projections to see whether he will make his numbers for the quarter, noted Nicholson.
The Delivery Server "knows what type of device the user is working on" and formats results for delivery to that device, such as Dynamic HTML for the Compaq iPAQ handheld, said Poonen. It can also feed data into a voice recognition system, so a user might listen to the results while on her way to a client in a car.
The Delivery Server is available immediately and priced at $140,000 running on a two CPU server. Informatica Applications 5.0, available in November, is priced at $65,000 per CPU, with a typical configuration, running on a Sun Microsystems Enterprise 10000 server, priced at $450,000. The applications and PowerCenter core product may be purchased as a package for about $500,000.
Informatica is a company of 930 employees based in Redwood City, Calif., with revenues of $156 million last year. It has been growing at a rate of 100 percent a year for several years, "but we cant match that this year," said Poonen.