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Google, Informatica deepen ties around big data in the cloud

Google and Informatica have expanded their partnership and product integrations as enterprise customers seek to move large data sets into the cloud for processing and analytics.

A deeper partnership between Informatica and Google reflects enterprises' desire to tackle big data in the cloud for advanced processing and business insights.

Informatica has added support for pushdown optimization within the Google BigQuery cloud data warehouse platform. It also now supports Google Cloud Dataproc, the big data cloud platform built on Apache projects like Hadoop, Hive, Spark and Pig.

Pushdown optimization moves data transformation logic into the target database itself. This saves time and effort over using an extract, transform and load (ETL) tool to pull data from source systems and apply transformations data moves into the target data store. Different degrees of pushdown optimization are applied depending on the situation, according to Informatica.

Meanwhile, Informatica intends to make the Intelligent Cloud Services iPaaS product, as well as its master data management (MDM) software, available on Google Cloud.

The companies plan to align MDM with Google's marketing platform. Large companies with siloed or duplicative systems may have multiple records for the same customer, product SKU and other types of business data. MDM systems are geared to eliminate duplicates and otherwise clean up business data for use in various applications.

Customers can also use Google Cloud and IICS in conjunction to create marketing data lakes from Google AdWords, YouTube and scores of SaaS applications, Google said in a blog post.

An early-access program for Informatica IICS and MDM on Google Cloud is slated for later this year.

Google-Informatica partnership rooted in pragmatism

The expanded Google-Informatica integrations come down to pragmatism. Each company needs the other, and deeper ties allow each to address new customer demands.

Forrester Research analyst Boris EvelsonBoris Evelson

For Google Cloud, which has revved up its large enterprise ambitions under the leadership of Thomas Kurian, Informatica's massive installed base in the Fortune 500 is a natural target.

In turn, Informatica's customers want to move more data to the cloud, and if this becomes easier with their existing Informatica licenses, that's all the better. There are also many data integration alternatives, from prominent independents such as Talend, as well as large platform vendors like IBM and Oracle.

The iPaaS market alone, where IICS competes, has more than 120 vendors, as recently identified by Gartner. IPaaS products offer prebuilt connectors and maps to popular enterprise applications, and often feature drag-and-drop style interfaces. They mean to speed up the integration process for less complicated scenarios, particularly within company departments.

Data has to end up [in BigQuery] first, and very often it's not as simple as just replicating the data there.
Boris EvelsonAnalyst, Forrester

Meanwhile, Google is in a battle to poach customers from Teradata and other data warehousing platforms for BigQuery. In turn, every BI vendor of note wants to integrate with BigQuery, said Boris Evelson, an analyst at Forrester Research. "Data has to end up [in BigQuery] first, and very often it's not as simple as just replicating the data there," he said.

That's where vendors such as Informatica, with mature products for ETL, MDM, data virtualization and other areas, can play a key middleman role. For example, BigQuery contains data structures such as nested tables, that typical relational database systems do not, Evelson added. It's in Informatica's sweet spot to grapple with and resolve these factors within data-integration efforts, he said.

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