Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Analytics, Integration Across the Cloud: Easier with Pervasive

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 7, 2010 2:27:01 PM

I have written often about how business applications and services operating on the Internet must be interfaced to the enterprise. When businesses rent applications through software as a service (SaaS) or cloud computing, they create challenges in making that data usable by a range of analytic systems inside the enterprise. Pervasive Software specializes in providing data integration and management software for these purposes and has evolved its technology for distributed data integration.

Pervasive has more than 5,000 customers, and 1,000 of them run its software in SaaS mode. The company also accommodates customers operating in the Amazon Web Service and Elastic Computing 2 (EC2) environment. Pervasive has partners as well that use its data integration and embedded database technology. While our firm has covered its traditional on-premises technology for years, I recently spent time examining its cloud computing offering. It successfully addresses issues of connectivity in projects that have data in both deployment methods that must be integrated and migrated across systems.

Let’s say for example that a business uses in the cloud for sales force automation and booking orders but has to record the transactions in its in-house SAP accounting system. Many organizations might underestimate the difficulty of this task. Pervasive’s product DataIntegrator supports both batch and real-time integration of data between on-premises and cloud computing applications. Although this integration technology is not as well known as those from IBM, Informatica and Oracle, it has very robust capabilities along with prebuilt connectivity to over 200 sources and targets. DataIntegrator also works with Pervasive’s data quality products Data Profiler, Data MatchMerge and Integration Hub. The Integration Hub often is used for business-to-business (B2B) purposes but can also stage data across the Internet for cloud computing or exchange data with an organization’s customers. Another application, Business Xchange, helps B2B operations run faster and more efficiently. Our benchmark research in product information management found that only 10 percent of organizations are sharing data across business-to-business operations and that incompatible tools and disparate forms of data are the primary issues preventing more of them from doing that.

Whether it is for B2B integration of data or throughout the cloud, organizations must have flexibility in their systems to adapt to these configurations in a cost-effective manner. When it comes to business intelligence (BI) and analytics, I see increasing willingness of IT departments to allow their use in a cloud computing or hosted environment; our recent benchmark research on BI and performance management found that nearly as many companies in the next 12 to 24 months are going to rent the software (28%) or have it hosted (25%) as are going to purchase it (33%) to install on premises. One reason for this trend is to make BI available to more users; that of course will add to the pressure for efficient integration of data in and outside of the enterprise.

Pervasive is responding to this demand also. Its recently announced DataRush is designed to process large volumes of data and helps address the need to integrate data for analytics and for data warehousing and business intelligence. DataRush has a data processing engine that utilizes parallel processing technology; it can also be used for data quality assurance, cleansing and aggregating data that can immediately be processed for analytics. Difficulty in understanding data issues was the top concern for 57 percent of participants in our data governance benchmark research. The significant amount of time spent in data preparation can be reduced by using a product such as DataRush, which eliminates the delay in data processing and allows analytics to be applied to the data immediately. Applying analytics to data efficiently was a top priority in our recent benchmark research on BI and performance management, as 46 percent of organizations already are deploying or planning to deploy systems to improve this, and 17 percent hope to deploy such systems in the next 18 months.

Pervasive claims that many customers have drastically reduced their time to integrate data using commodity hardware, some going from hours to 25 minutes or minutes to 45 seconds. Its other modules, including DataMatcher, Recommender, Profiler and Analytics, can execute within DataRush, and Pervasive has tools for organizations to develop and integrate their own modules. All of this is critical as the processing of data across the enterprise and cloud computing environments should focus less on staging data and more on processing it in a smooth flow. In addition, data governance should be established within these processes and across cloud computing; our benchmark research found that to be a priority for deployment within two years for 32 percent of organizations.

Pervasive has found consistent growth and increasing profitability from its operations as it recently announced and has take a progressive approach to meeting a new generation of needs for enterprises. Its efforts have helped get it into long and short lists of evaluation while others like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have not been able to innovate fast enough in data integration for cloud computing and analytic processing. Pervasive’s frequent competitors are others that I have written about such as Informatica and a newer entrant Jitterbit. These vendors are also addressing the needs of business people who cannot wait for lengthy IT projects to get the data they need and apply analytics to get the metrics and indicators that are essential to performance improvement and success. The opportunity for Pervasive to grow is substantially larger with a value to the business in analytics and cloud computing along with meeting the data integration and processing needs of IT organizations.

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Mark Smith – CEO & EVP Research

Topics: Pervasive, Cloud Computing, Data Integration, Information Management (IM)

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