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Why did Informatica purchase Siperian, rather than use Talend’s OSS MDM?

by Andrew White  |  February 1, 2010  |  4 Comments

A user asked me this question the other day and I thought it was worth posting.  Of course, there are probably a few good reasons.  The chief of which might have been that Informatica was not aware of the availability of the Open Source Software based MDM application from Talend.  But there are other conditions that might have applied:

  • Lack of awareness – the OSS MDM application is brand new, even though the source code from whence it came, is not to young (Amalto, a small French vendor).
  • Not comprehensive – the Amalto MDM application had no proven track records across all the different vectors of complexity (industry, data domain, use case, implementation style, organization model).  Functionality seemed (in 2009) to focus on: broad number of but generally less complex definition of master data objects.
  • Unproven – I estimated Amalto had no more than 8 MDM customers by the spring 2009.  It was reported that Amalto had 6 customer of MDM in 2007 also.  This is not exactly signs of a world beating MDM solution.
  • Technology differences – Amalto had sported an XML database; this is not a common approach, certainly in MDM land, and might not necessarily have been consistent with how Informatica wants to deliver data stores to its clients.  But, this might lead to one of the more interesting aspects of an OSS based MDM offering…  Also, Amalto’s MDM offering was itself built on several OSS components. 

Bottom line: Amalto’s MDM product was oriented around the technical side of MDM; its technology was flexible, agile, and effective at modeling all kinds of interesting master data problems, and could be part of a mature SOA based infrastructure.  Its challenge was more on the “solution” side, that being, knowledge of the MDM discipline, governance, process, and organization – many of the other pieces needed within the overall program.  As such, it seems to be a better fit as a kernel for another MDM “solution” – much as Talend would want it to be viewed.

Category: open-source-mdm  siperian  

Tags: informatica  oss-mdm  siperian  talend  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a research vice president and agenda manager for MDM and Analytics at Gartner. His main research focus is master data management (MDM) and the drill-down topic of creating the "single view of the product" using MDM of product data. He was co-chair… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Why did Informatica purchase Siperian, rather than use Talend’s OSS MDM?


  1. First and foremost we are delighted that in just over a week from our launch your readers are aware of our MDM offering and are asking these questions. We are excited about the interest thus far with over 1000 downloads of the product in the first week alone!

    Talend is fairly confident that we offer a compelling MDM technology and our initial interest has confirmed this; however we are aware of the many challenges we face on the “business side” of MDM. It has taken years for customer and product domain expertise to be built and now with Talend MDM we present a flexible solution for the vast array of “other” domains that need mastering. Our answer to this problem is three-fold, simplify the MDM business case process (financially, strategically and technically), decrease the time to value for an implementation and provide a ecosystem and community for sharing MDM discipline, governance, process, and organization… democratize the market.

    The characteristics you outline, while spot on for Amalto, are not completely indicative for Talend. We did purchase base technology and it has definitely provided reliable foundation for us to build our MDM solution from. This core remains “flexible, agile, and effective at modeling all kinds of interesting master data problems”, however, since last June, we have been very busy with three key tasks. We are a far way away from last summer.

    1. Open Source: We have “open-sourced” the technology – this is not a simple task but with our release of Talend MDM Community Edition it is complete.
    2. Integration: We chose this foundation because it was a good fit with the remainder of our technology stack. We have been busy integrating our data integration, data quality and data profiling tools with the technology.
    3. Extend: In order to be a technologically “complete” MDM solution we extended the technology to make it more useful and to incorporate workflow into the solution.

    In short, we are a week out from our release and are amazed at the amount of interest our community and the MDM world has given us. We have early adopters who are building real MDM solutions for domains beyond just customer and product.

    MDM is no longer a nascent market. In fact, this MDM earthquake we are experiencing represents market maturity. In this fundamental shift, we feel the time is right for open source MDM.

  2. Andrew White says:

    Yves, thanks for the posting. I am glad that the “Amalto” comments of mine were “spot on”. I fully accept that Talend has “gone beyond” Amalto’s Xtensis MDM capability. The market, and more specifically, references, will prove to us all if the improved capability is enough to support living MDM implementations. I look forward to a demo of the OSS MDM product, and also those references. Thanks again, Andrew.

  3. […] de Montcheil of Talend, an OSS vendor that just released an OSS MDM offering, commented on a post of mine, defending (quite rightly) his organizations view of their OSS MDM solution.  One comment […]

  4. […] week, Informatica bought Siperian and this week, IBM acquired Initiate Systems.  The two largest pure play vendors were consumed by […]



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