Informatica makes a push into master data management

18th Jun 2009

Informatica's acquisition of AddressDoctor is part of a wider push into master data management but according to expert Madan Sheina, it is also a defensive move by the firm to keep one of the more advanced address cleansing and validation products out of the hands of its competitors...

Informatica is trying to bundle information integration with data quality and cleansing through its acquisition of privately-held firm AddressDoctor.

The German firm provides global address validation and enrichment services through. It helps customers correct addresses, check for changed addresses and enrich address information with geocoding.  Typical customers include direct and online marketers, hospitality and tourism firms, and postal and delivery services. AddressDoctor also already partners with leading data integration and data quality vendors, including IBM, DataFlux, Experian QAS, Melissa Data and Siperian.

It's all part of Informatica's wider push into master data management (MDM). Ivan Chong, senior vice president and general manger of Informatica's data quality division, says: "The combination of Informatica and AddressDoctor further advances our technology leadership in data quality by adding the pre-eminent address validation technology natively to our platform."

A defensive move?

But there is a bigger picture than just Informatica making another acquisition. “This is a defensive move by Informatica to keep one of the more advanced and globalised address cleansing and validation products out of the hands of its competitors,” reckons Madan Sheina of research firm Ovum. “The message is clear: if you can't handle address cleansing on a globalised scale, your data quality suite won't make the cut. More importantly, this acquisition could also be a precursor to Informatica's next move - a big push into MDM.

“Customer postal address cleansing is hardly rocket science, but it's still the staple diet of many data quality implementations. Therefore, it's not surprising that Informatica swooped for AddressDoctor. Its address cleansing capabilities are well known in data quality circles. Given its highly structured nature, name and address cleansing is one of the original data quality business case applications - i.e. for marketing campaign efficiency. AddressDoctor's software is one of the sharper products, spanning 240 countries, supporting over 40 different character sets and multiple platforms. Even specialist address verification firms like Experian QAS and Melissa Data tap the technology to extend their global reach.”

Sheina sees this as another step towards Informatica building up the components of a full MDM lifecycle toolkit, as well as sparking a wave of consolidation. “Through AddressDoctor, Informatica has inherited some of the core capabilities that are also part of Siperian's MDM Hub solution,” says Sheina. “Consider that well over 50% of Siperian customers are also Informatica PowerCenter ETL customers and that Informatica also has a partnership with, and financial stake in, Initiate Systems (another leading pure-play MDM vendor) and you perhaps have the makings of the next set of mergers that will propel the company into MDM.”

In the last year, Informatica has acquired developed identity resolution technology from its 2008 Identity Systems acquisition and added additional functionality to its market leading Data Explorer and Data Quality products.  The firm was this week positioned by analyst Gartner in the leaders quadrant in its 2009 Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools report. 

"Informatica continues to pursue an aggressive roadmap, which we believe is why we have established ourselves as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant," says Chong. "We have an unwavering commitment to data quality excellence, as evidenced by our market share gains in this fast growing market and the high number of customers who have made us their organisational standard. Our strategic direction and vision allow us to continue to innovate for our customers, allowing them to gain operational efficiencies across their enterprise."


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