Informatica World 2008 in Las Vegas

Finally I could attend the Informatica World 2008, now I'll try to explain what I found there. The conference was held under the slogan 'Gain the Edge'  from june 3 to 5.

First day began (after breakfast) with a general session entitled Vision. Strategy. Technology Announcements. Industry leadership. At the session both Sohaib Abbasi, President and CEO of Informática, as Chris Boorman, Ivan Chon and Girish Pancha, Vice-presidents in the Marketing, Data quality and Data integration areas respectively, showed their vision of current market, how technology and business are evolving and what role play in this context data and data-related aplicacions.

Much of what was familiar to me, because I had seen before at the Powerday 2008 Barcelona. This is an indicator that the company maintains a well-defined strategy, and shares with its partners.

Each speaker under the perspective of his area made particular emphasis on data value and the importance for each organization of the ability to maintain consistency and quality, ensure on time data availability, protection, sinchronization, and eficient data management and exchange with other organizations.

We noted that now having a Data Warehouse System that delivers new information every certain hour interval is insuficient. Internet and technological development, the globalization and our competitors are the reason. We heard repeatedly terms like SaaS, Real Time and Data Quality, clues about the new features of Powercenter and other tools of the company.

They also made an interesting demo about how an application like Salesforce.com can be synchronized in real time through the internet with a Google Docs spreadsheet. This cloud to to cloud computing example was made showing Salesforce.com on left screen and Google spreadsheet on right screen, each controlled by a laptop. The made a change in Salesforce.com data, and we saw how Google spreadsheet was automatically updated. Then they made a change in the spreadsheet and we saw how Salesforce.com data was also updated. Finally, they repeat the last part, but using an iPod Touch instead of the laptop. We must consider the opportunities that new mobile devices bring when we connect it to Internet.

We also attended a lively presentation of Royce Bell, CEO of Accenture Information Management Services, who knew how to keep the atention of everyone.

 

The general session of this Informatica World edition gave way to the breakout sessions, each classified into one of these categories:

  • Products and technology
  • Architecture
  • Enterprise Data Management
  • Solutions
  • Tech Talk 
  • Business Impact 

In addition each one was catalogued by level of experience and role of the assistants.

Levels were Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Roles were Architect, Practitioner and Business and IT Influencer.

So we could select the most interesting sessions depending on our professional profile.

In total there were 56 sessions, and we could choose 8 at maximum. I list below session titles classified by categories, and stress the ones that I chose.

Products and Technology

  1. What’s New in PowerCenter
  2. Data Quality with Identity Resolution: A Leap Forward for Data Quality in the Enterprise
  3. How to Get More from Informatica Metadata Manager
  4. The Informatica Roadmap: Vision for V9
  5. Informatica B2B Data Exchange: Building a Data Exchange
  6. What’s New in Informatica Data Explorer and Informatica Data Quality 8.6
  7. Protecting Private Data Using PowerCenter Data Masking
  8. Real-Time Data Integration

Architecture

  1. Customer Panel: Real-Time Integration Architectures for Right-Time Business Value
  2. Informatica Architecture: Where to Start?
  3. A Practical Approach to Building Data Services with PowerCenter 8.5
  4. Informatica Orchestration and Human Workflow: Process-Enabled Data Integration and Data
  5. Maximizing Operational Uptime: Real-Time Data Integration with Informatica
  6. On Demand Data Integration: Overview and Demonstration
  7. Deploying PowerCenter on Grid Computing Architectures
  8. PowerCenter Data Federation Option: A Unified Platform for Data Integration Flexibility

Enterprise Data Management

  1. Data Quality, The First Step on the Path to Master Data Management
  2. Where Real-Time Data Integration Meets Real-Time Data Warehousing
  3. IMS Health: Global Data Integration for Financial Information Management
  4. Customer Master Data Management at Major Telecommunications Company KPN, Netherlands
  5. Measuring and Improving Data Governance Maturity: A Practical Approach
  6. Information Management: An Implementer’s Perspective
  7. Measuring Data Quality in Philips Consumer Lifestyle
  8. Lowering Cost and Risk with the Data Migration Factory
  9. Data Profiling and Data Quality Improvement: A Practitioner's Approach
  10. Velocity Methodology: Best Practices

Solutions

  1. Campaign Marketing and Customer Relationship Management at Daimler AG
  2. A Trip to Better and Faster Corporation Travel Management: A B2B Data Transformation Success
  3. Informatica B2B Data Transformation: Success with LOGTEC for the Defense Logistics Agency
  4. Assuring Success When Integrating Salesforce CRM with the Rest of Your Business: A Partner Profile with Case Studies from Ellie Mae and Millennium Pharma
  5. Data Migration Success at G&K Services
  6. Leveraging HP and Informatica for Large-Scale Data Migration Efforts: A Case Study at CVS Caremark
  7. Strategy to Implementation: How to Get Started on your Data Quality Initiative
  8. Identity Resolution: What It Is and Why It Is Important

Tech Talk

  1. Extreme Automation: Traceability of Requirements through Testing, Governance and Compliance
  2. Planning and Tuning Informatica for Large Loads
  3. Tips to Improve Productivity Using Self-Service Support Tools
  4. Command and Control: Using Informatica Workflows to Regulate Complex Business Processes
  5. Informatica Developer: Tips and Tricks for Architecture and Development
  6. Upgrading to the Latest PowerCenter Release: Tips and Tricks, Testing and Pitfalls to Avoid
  7. Using Team-Based Development: A Practical Exposé
  8. High-Volume Data Processing (>150GB) Using Informatica
  9. Informatica Developer Tips for Troubleshooting Common Issues
  10. Power of Informatica PowerCenter at Verizon Wireless

Business Impact

  1. Driving Business Value with Integration Competency Centers: Customer Presentations, a Two-Part Series (Part 1 of 2)
  2. Integration Competency Centers: Panel Discussion, a Two-Part Series (Part 2 of 2)
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Stopping Financial Crime - a Data Quality Approach
  4. Quantifying Business Value with Informatica: Best Practices and Techniques for Funding Enterprise Data Integration and Data Quality Projects
  5. Informatica B2B Data Exchange: Success with Paramount Pictures
  6. Integration Competency Center at Duke Energy
  7. Building a Business Case for B2B Data Exchange at a Major HMO
  8. Data Governance in a Global Enterprise
  9. Enterprise Data Warehouse at a Medical Device Manufacturing Company
  10. Informatica B2B Data Transformation: Success with GfK Group 

As you can see, I was more interested in Enterprise Data Management than in any other category. Anyway I must clarify that I don't use any Informatica software, so I wasn't very interested in categories related to specific topics of the tools, or to development.

I found most of the sessions very enriching, no one better than the Informatica experts and consultants to explain the last trends in data management, data quality or data warehousing, or to recommend best practices or steps to follow in a project of this type.

In any case normally I like presentations of people independent of the software vendor or consultants, normally customers that explain their experience in a more impartial point of view. In this sense I believe that the best breakout session I attended was Customer Data Management at KPN, by Thomas Reichel (KPN) and Chris Phillips (Informatica).

 

Following these days of Breakout Sessions arrived the Thursday 5, which took place the general session that marked the end of the event. The title was Gaining the Edge. In Real Time.

After having showed in the initial meeting the need for organizations to manage their data efficiently, and adapt to market and technological progress, this session focused on how to achieve this goals with the help of Informatica software and support, and in new features offered by the version 9 of the product.

I liked the Ivan Chong demo on how to manage and conduct Data Quality processes with this new version, but the most impressing for me was the presentation made by Ron Swift, Vice President of Teradata, on the importance of manage data in real time in order to be able to react appropriately to certain situations. He showed the successful example of a casino that implemented a system that analysed in real time the behaviour of their customers while playing. If the system found that someone was loosing too much money, the staff was warned by an alarm and they tried to persuade him to continue playing. The objective was to avoid losing the customer, and real time data analysis and management helped to achieve it, they gained the edge.