Informatica hosted the first day of its annual customer and analyst conference on May 15, 2017 at Moscone center in San Francisco. Informatica used this conference to launch its new brand and marketing message and highlight upcoming product improvements.
Over the past 3 months Informatica has worked to update its brand and market messaging. This project was kicked off and launched by the senior management with board support and sponsorship. Informatica undertook this effort because it felt that while it had the right products for the current marketplace, its customers often did not have a thorough understanding of its value to the business units. Further, it believes that it was being categorized mainly as a “ETL” vendor and this was not communicating the business value it can deliver. The effort resulted in a new logo and tag line – “Enterprise Cloud Data Management”. Informatica believes that the new tag line recognizes its legacy with a look towards the company’s future. Additionally, in conversations with several Informatica executives, it became clear that throughout the year it will be reviewing all new marketing collateral to ensure that it focuses more on the business user and less on the traditional technology heavy marketing approach it has used in the past. By doing this it will be able to focus in addressing the transformational challenges its customers face.
Neuralytix believes that this is a long overdue effort. Informatica has traditionally operated in several essential, but often behind the scenes, segments. This has lead Informatica to series of technology heavy marketing. This trend has been accentuated through a growth by acquisition strategy. The result is silos of marketing that were highly product centric and often lacked a unified corporate wide message. Changing the marketing message will address these challenges and will put Informatica on a better path. Neuralytix also believes that the first step in this process, the launch of the new brand and marketing message at this conference, was positive, and well executed and received. If Informatica is able to sustain the marketing message over the next 1 to 2 years, we believe that the market will respond and perception will change. Specifically, as data continues to increase in importance, the value of Informatica’s data management solutions, will be seen by customers as critical to their competitive advantage.
To support the new marketing messaging, Informatica is embracing changes to several product platforms and capabilities. The first is partnering with several cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce.com, and Google Cloud. This will enable customers the flexibility to use the cloud providers they want and integrate that with traditional on-premises and hosted infrastructure. The Informatica solutions are then used to manage the data regardless of where it resides. The second is the availability of Informatica Intelligent Data Platform in the cloud. Through APIs and micro-services customers will be able to identify the data sources they need to accomplish a given task. Informatica’s cloud based solutions will then connect and integrate the required data. All of the integration will be managed by Informatica in the cloud, eliminating the need for customers to pull the data into an on-premises solution. Finally, on the go to market side, one of Informatica’s goals is to become easier to do business with. To achieve this, it is expanding the subscription based model to all products. Informatica understands in many cases a full featured product that requires a large upfront license expense is a barrier to a potential sale. Using the subscription model, customers can select the components of the product they need to launch new projects and, based on their success or failure, scale up or down over time.
Neuralytix believes that while the embrace of the cloud provides is a positive, the current environment makes that table stakes. The availability of the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform in the cloud is not table stakes and is a competitive advantage for Informatica. Intelligent Data Platform in the cloud can open new market segments for Informatica. This is particularly true for the emerging born in the cloud customers. Finally, the extension of the subscription model to all products will be valuable for existing and new customers. Existing customers will find value in the flexibility the new subscription model offers. This gives them the ability to use Informatica products that they are already familiar with for initiatives that are less critical and thus have less executive sponsorship and budget. For new customers, being able to stick their toe in the water before having to commit to a large license purchase will provide then with the flexibility to investigate the solutions and determine if they will address their needs. The risk that Informatica will face with the new subscription model is a potential loss of license revenue. This is not an unfamiliar risk or one that other software vendors have faced as they transitioned from license to subscription. Addressing this risk will require Informatica to invest heavily on customer success. If the customers are successful using the Informatica solutions they will not migrate away and will expand their usage.
Overall, Neuralytix believes that the strategy is sound. The success will come down to persistent execution. Changing market perception will not be accomplished in one year. It will take consistent effort over time. Product development will also need to stay on the cutting edge to support the new business models. Informatica will need to execute over the long term in both the marketing messaging and the product development.