The data integration market can sometimes be hard to get your head around. There are many players in the space, each with their approach to the market. The 42 page Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration provides a thorough analysis of the market, but it can be hard to get the big picture of the landscape from reports like this. A careful review, however, yields some interesting patterns. As I interpret it, there are really three major categories of vendors: Cross-the-Enterprise, Integration Specialists, and Niche Players. Interestingly, over half, 8 of the 14 companies in the report, fall into the specialist category. This is probably one of the reasons why IDC research found that on average, companies have four different integration solutions.
When you look at Gartner’s grading, they look at many variables, but a few stand out as potentially higher priority when you look at what they choose to highlight in the report within the Strengths and Cautions sections for each vendor:
1) Breadth of data management capabilities, including styles of integration, data quality, master data management and data governance
2) Support for new use cases, including big data, the cloud, and self-service
3) Market presence, meaning how widely they are adopted in the market and around the world
4) Availability of implementation resources, including integration partners
5) Product quality, reliability, documentation, and support
6) Price, complexity and total cost of ownership
In my view, this actually makes a pretty good checklist of the basics you should be considering when evaluating a data integration solution.
Here’s a breakdown of how I would categorize the market:
The niche players Actian, Adeptia, and Information Builders all have solid products for traditional data integration use cases but lack both the market presence and breadth of data management capabilities. They all have satisfied customers and are quite capable in the use cases they support.
In the Integration Specialists category, we see a wide range of players, some that might not surprise you and others that will. While some of the vendors listed below are specialists like Denodo, Attunity, and SynSort, there are also three leaders and one challenger in this category, namely Oracle, SAP, SAS, and Microsoft. That is because, even though they have broader solution stacks, they are primarily being used within their existing ecosystems, and they are generally used with more narrow use cases than the broader cross-enterprise vendors.
· Attunity: Replication and Synch
· Cisco: Data Virtualization
· Denodo: Data Virtualization
· SyncSort: Mainframe Use Case
· Microsoft: Microsoft environments
· Oracle: Oracle environments
· SAP: SAP environments
· SAS: Analytics use cases
These are the vendors that are serving the entire enterprise, across all platforms and styles of integration. There are big benefits that can come with a Cross the Enterprise option because it means that your entire IT team can be on a single integration platform regardless of the rest of your technology stack. This gives IT leadership more staffing flexibility and allows more reuse from project to project. Given this, we recommend companies look carefully before using the “almost free” options that come with some of the other data management players and recognize the flexibility and agility trade-offs that will come with them.
Surprisingly, there are only two incumbent players in this category: Informatica and IBM. Although there are several other larger players in the magic quadrant (Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and SAS), each has chosen to focus on their specific ecosystem, leaving very few cross-enterprise, cross-platform options, despite the benefits that go with them.
Informatica and IBM are highlighted in Gartner’s report for their breadth of functionality and investments in new trend areas. On the downside, Informatica and IBM are dinged for their pricing, complexity and total cost of ownership. At Talend, we also see them being slow to respond to the new market needs in big data and cloud platforms.
In my view, the limitations of the incumbents has created a great market opportunity for Talend (the only other cross-the-enterprise player) and our customers. By the way, we are also the latest entrant to the leader’s quadrant (a significant milestone for our organization). We have the breadth of functionality of IBM and Informatica without the cost and complexity challenges and are we’re the leader in the most important, up and coming areas of data management, cloud, and big data. When you look at the Gartner report, you’ll see that we too have our cautions, such as product stability and availability of talent, but they are rapidly being addressed. This creates a very compelling option for customers, a broad integration platform serving many use cases, running 5x faster in the cloud and big data with a total cost of ownership that is one-fifth the cost of the incumbents.