Just last week, Gartner released the 2015 edition of their Magic Quadrant report for Data Integration Tools. The research giant describes the industry: “The discipline of data integration comprises the practices, architectural techniques and tools for achieving consistent access to, and delivery of, data across the spectrum of data subject areas and data structure types in the enterprise — to meet the data consumption requirements of all applications and business processes.”
Gartner provides a thorough explanation of what each specific solutions vendor offers while giving some insight into each’s strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations for how they can improve in the future. The lengthy report includes a diagram-style visual to help solutions seekers gain a better understanding of how Gartner rates each vendor. By providing the current market path and trajectory of each solution, businesses can make informed decisions and find the tool that fits them best.
The included companies are grouped into four quadrants: Niche Players, Visionaries, Challengers, and Leaders. Gartner positions each company based on their ability to execute and the completeness of their vision.
According to the IT research giant: “Enterprise buyers increasingly see data integration as a strategic requirement, for which they want comprehensive data delivery capabilities, flexible deployment models, and synergies with information and application infrastructures.” Data integration is a key cog in today’s IT world, and plays an important role in business intelligence, analytics, and data warehousing, data migration and conversion, data consistency between operational applications, inenterprise data sharing, and sourcing and delivery of master data in support of master data management.
Given the size and complexity of the data that modern businesses are collecting, the need for data integration solutions has never been greater. Collecting data is just the beginning, what is done with the newly collected data is the important part. Gartner outlines the functional capabilities of data integration solutions:
- Data delivery
- Data transformation
- Metadata and data modeling support
- Design and development environment
- Information governance support
- Deployment options and runtime platform
- Operations and administration
- Architecture and integration
- Service enablement
There were a number of minor movements on this year’s diagram, although there were no major role changes. Informatica and IBM are still the top-two players, and in 2014 Gartner positioned them almost equally in the Leaders quadrant. However, in 2015, IBM has fallen back a little, helping Informatica to position itself as the cream of the crop. Still, the two DI giants remain at the top of the class.
Rounding out the Leaders bracket for the second-straight year are SAP, Oracle, and SAS, in the same order they were positioned on last year’s report. SAP and SAS are two stable, well-known DI solutions, and Gartner notes that each have strengths in their stability and customer relations. Oracle’s standing on the visual was adjusted a bit, as Gartner feels as though their completeness of vision has improved. Oracle’s other strengths include a strong brand awareness and market presence and synergy with a broad range of technologies.
Microsoft remains the only Challenger on Gartner‘s Magic Quadrant, and their standing has regressed slightly. Although the IT superpower touts low TCO, speed of implementation, ease of use, and the ability to integrate with Microsoft SQL server, reference customers “cite difficulties with integrated implementation of Microsoft’s offerings across its portfolio as they address the growing scale and complexity of deployment scenarios for data integration activities”, according to Gartner.
The order of the vendors in the Visionaries quadrant also remains unchanged. However, Gartner has upgraded Talend‘s position, and that company, behind a commitment to big data and evolving trends, is now just a small breeze away from finding themselves in the Leaders column. Perhaps we will see Talend there in 2016. Other vendors calling the Visionaries quadrant home are still Information Builders, Actian, and Cisco, who appeared last year as Cisco (Composite Software) after acquiring the company’s DI tools in 2013.
Syncsort and Adeptia are still present in the Niche Players quadrant, but this year, there’s a newcomer, a company called Denodo. Denodo is based out of Palo Alto, California and boasts a customer base of around 250 companies for its data integration product. The company’s strengths, as outlined by Gartner, are capitalization on demand, a track record and partner channels, and connectivity supports and links to related integration capability. Their completeness of vision has them poised to become a Visionary on the quadrant as soon as next year.
Adeptia also showed some movement and is now within a stone’s throw from the Visionary quadrant. The Chicago-based company has attractively priced tools, expanded applicability via hosted cloud services, and rapid implementation features within their all-in-one integration solution. Syncsort showed no notable move, but could still find themselves close to a spot with Microsoft in the Challengers quadrant should they show Gartner an improvement in their ability to execute during 2015.