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Summary

Informatica, known for its information management software, has undergone numerous organizational changes since going private in a leveraged buyout in 2015. The culmination of this was its public rebranding at Informatica World 2017 in May, where the company focused on simplified marketing messaging, cloud compatibility, and AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. However, over the past year, the company also set out to substantially restructure its partner program to meet the growing market demand for purpose-built solutions delivered by knowledgeable, certified parties. Formally introduced in February 2017, the new program has already gained significant traction, doubling year-over-year (YoY) transactions through partners and increasing the number of available purpose-built solutions.

Aligned incentives make for fruitful partner relationships

Informatica first began to restructure its partner efforts as part of the company's strategic reorganization in 2016; by late summer, several new hires had been appointed to key leadership positions within the company, including a new senior vice president for the Partner Ecosystem. The new partner program, which was publicly announced in February 2017, seeks to provide greater structure to partner relationships and create symbiosis, which would help deliver purpose-built solutions efficiently to the market. The revitalization of the program comes at an opportune time, as Ovum's research suggests that enterprise purchasers today demand a wide variety of choices and high levels of competence from partners: putting increasing pressure on vendors to have thriving, stable partner ecosystems.

Historically, Informatica had largely focused on direct sales, with each sales region having significant autonomy. For salespeople, codified incentives to work with partners were lacking – in some cases there was a perceived conflict of interest – and there had been some inconsistency in terms of how partner relationships had been handled. The new partner program sets out not only to grow the partner ecosystem, but to systematically eliminate these inconsistencies: removing conflicts of interest, aligning incentives, standardizing channel pricing, and providing partners with a predictable resell program. This effort has resulted in a standardization of the partner program, which in turn has allowed it to scale rapidly and globally within the first six months since its introduction.

Informatica's internal salesforce now has strong incentives to work through partners because they benefit directly and predictably when partners sell Informatica products. Partners, too, benefit from a rich ecosystem of benefits. These aligned incentives have extended Informatica's reach, enabling sales to leverage partners to cover their territories more effectively. The result has been a doubling in YoY transactions through partners and a 137.5% YoY increase in resell bookings volume.

One of the goals of the Informatica partner program is to ensure that customers receive a solution from a party that is skilled with the technology. Knowledge is a foundational element of the program, with certifications being emphasized, and all partners being trained extensively. This approach marries the breadth of Informatica's product ecosystem with the depth of expertise that partners can provide, which proves especially effective in vertical markets. Informatica's partnerships with value added resellers (VARs), systems integrators (SIs), and independent software vendors (ISVs), in particular, have accelerated the development of a number of new purpose-built solution packages that have been designed to meet the needs of individual industries. By leveraging the subject-matter and sales expertise of partners within specific verticals, Informatica has enabled audiences that were previously difficult to reach by direct sales alone to realize the full value of its product ecosystem.

Appendix

Further reading

"Informatica's rebranding pinpoints cloud and machine learning," IT0014-003289 (June 2017)

"Diaku brings data governance to the Informatica stack," IT0014-003243 (March 2017)

Author

Paige Bartley, Senior Analyst, Information Management

paige.bartley@ovum.com

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