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Also posted on: The IM Blog
Informatica has historically been known as a provider of ETL (extract, transform and load) and associated solutions. While it has significantly extended its portfolio of products over the years it has been, to many eyes, what we might call a “traditional” company. What Informatica has recognised is that big data, NoSQL, cloud, mobile and the Internet of Things all mean that user organisations are transitioning to non-traditional environments. And Informatica knows that it needs to move with them.
To support these mutual transitions Informatica has been innovative in both its cloud strategy and in introducing new products (for example, Informatica Rev, Secure@Source and the Intelligent Data Platform). However, products are one thing, but how you transition from a “traditional” to a “non-traditional” environment is something else. For Informatica itself it is going private (this has just been finalised) so that it can redevelop itself away from the prying eyes of quarterly financial reporting. But customers need something more than this and Informatica has just announce BOST (pronounced to rhyme with toast rather than cost) to enable this.
BOST, which stands for business, operations, systems and technology is a framework, metamodel and/or methodology, which includes reference models, that are designed to support the transition from traditional to new age data management infrastructures. It specifically addresses the people and processes that need to evolve during this transition and it will be used both by Informatica in its service engagements and, more particularly, by its SI (system integrators) partners.
BOST is a development based on an acquisition that Informatica made last year of a company called Proact, which had previously been a long term partner of Informatica. Technically, BOST is based on defining an enterprise architecture. However, it is probably not a good idea to think about it in these terms: at least, if you treat architecture in this context as a thing rather than as a process. Or, as Informatica puts it: as a noun rather than as a verb. In other words, BOST is not so much about pretty diagrams (though it has these) but is concerned within on-going change and transition.
What’s interesting about this is not so much BOST itself but what this says about Informatica. Vendors often talk about being a partner to their customers: BOST is the sort of facility that gives credence to such claims.