Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Informatica Acquires AddressDoctor

Global Data is Hard to Do

Yesterday, Informatica announced their intent to acquire AddressDoctor. This acquisition is all about being able to handle global data quality in today’s market, but it has a surprising potential twist. Data quality vendors have been striving for a better global solution because so many of the large data quality projects contain global data. If your solution doesn’t handle global data, it often just won’t make the cut.

The interesting twist here is that both IBM and Dataflux leverage AddressDoctor for their handling of global address data. There are several other smaller vendors that do also - MelissaData, QAS, and Datanomic. Trillium Software technology is not impacted by this acquisition. They have been building in-house technology for years to support the parsing of global data and have leveraged their parent company’s acquisition Global Address to beef up the geocoding capability of the Trillium Software System.

Informatica has handed the competition a strong blow here. Where will these vendors go to get their global data quality? In the months to come, there will be challenges to face. Informatica, still busy with integrating the disparate parts of Evoke, Similarity and Identity Systems, will now have to integrate AddressDoctor. Other vendors like IBM, Dataflux, MelissaData, QAS and Datanomic may now have to figure out what to do for global data if Informatica decides not to renew partner agreements.

For more analysis on this topic, you can read Rob Karel's blog. Read how this Forrester analyst thinks the move is to limit the choices on MDM platforms.

To be on the safe side, I’d like to restate my opinions in this blog are my own. Even though I work for Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, my comments are my independent thoughts and not necessarily those of my employer.


Vincent McBurney said...

Informatica has to be careful not to upset those partnerships or they lose substantial partner license fees. They would have trouble replacing those fees with direct customer sales.

Informatica's share of address cleansing is quite small - especially in the USA where other vendors like Trillium and FirstLogic (SAP-BOBJ) have been there longer.

My guess is they will keep the address cleansing engine as is but improve the SaaS address cleansing options. They can now customise the AddressDoctor SaaS to suit the Informatica data quality components.

Steve Sarsfield said...

Usually where those type of arrangements break down are in the sales process. Sales will be keen to point out that "they're licensing their gecoding from us" as a competitive talk track. Sales can't help themselves... they'll do it to close the deal. Sure, they'll probably support the current customerbase for a while, but in new installations, I think it's going to be tougher for some of the vendors I mentioned.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer. The material written here is copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sarsfield. To request permission to reuse, please e-mail me.