REVIEWER: Chris Lin, vice president of Infrastructure and eCommerce for Ellie Mae.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1999 and based in Pleasanton, California, Ellie Mae is an award-winning provider of software and services for the mortgage industry, offering comprehensive business solutions for mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers and lenders, including an e-commerce infrastructure for the complete mortgage industry.

PLATFORMS: The front end is on IBM X Series x336 with two Xeon 3.2GHz Dual Core Processors with 4GB of RAM and mirrored SCSI drives. The back end is a configurable VM on Sun Fire X4200 Server with four AMD Opteron Dual Core 2.6GHz processors with 16GB RAM, Equallogics 8TB iSCSI back-end storage, and with VMware ESX 3.01.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Ellie Mae was looking for a way to have an accurate, holistic picture of data assets on both sides of the corporate firewall. Right off the bat, we needed to populate our new implementation with data from our legacy, on-premise customer relationship management (CRM) application, and then continually synchronize the two applications so that the legacy solution could still be used for customer care. Informatica iPack for was selected to address the transition issue and to lay the foundation for our next level of data integration - providing us with an economical data integration solution based on a technology platform that was quick and easy to implement and that we can grow with. The implementation went from zero to full production in approximately one week, with most of that time spent fine-tuning and ramping up. By the end of the week, we were able to shuttle data objects between the old system and Salesforce CRM, making it one of the smoothest, fastest projects we’ve seen. We estimate it would have been a two-month process without iPack. In addition, the solution proved to be 30 to 40 percent less costly than alternative approaches, such as hand coding or relying on outside consultants, resulting in 100 percent ROI in less than two months.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Informatica iPack for is a subscription offering that provided us with everything necessary to integrate internal systems with Salesforce CRM in a single bundle, including functionality for replicating, cleansing and synchronizing data across the Internet. This means we didn’t have to purchase an entire data integration platform just so we could leverage this specific functionality. Operating as a Salesforce Integration Virtual Appliance, iPack is based on the Informatica data integration platform, and its functionality and ease of use reflects its origins. Consequently, we have been able to use powerful data mapping and transformation capabilities as well as an easy-to-use graphical development interface to streamline our data integration development efforts and ongoing processes. We took our legacy data, placed it into an escrow area, and let iPack do the migration from there, followed by a round of data clean-up. We now have live synchronization between Salesforce CRM and our legacy CRM application, including automatic customer, lead and sales history synchronization. More importantly, our front office and our back office team are able to enter data into the system in a format they had become used to. iPack handles the requisite transformations as it shuttles data between the systems.

STRENGTHS: Strengths include the simple subscription-based pricing model, it is fast to implement and easy to use, it handles a wide disparity of data formats, it packages data integration technology, and it is highly scalable and reusable across projects.

WEAKNESSES: The time format resolution needs to be finer in order to handle native server timestamp in massively parallel transaction platform.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Informatica iPack was selected for its cost-effectiveness, scalability and rapid time to implementation compared to internal custom programming.

DELIVERABLES: Informatica iPack continually synchronizes pertinent data between our Salesforce CRM implementation and our on-premise legacy CRM system, accounting applications and internal applications such as customer entitlement and activities.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Informatica’s support has been exemplary, with Informatica Professional Services helping to make implementation a smooth experience.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is online, easily accessible, clear and complete.

Informatica Integration Pack (iPack) for Salesforce CRM
Informatica Corporation
100 Cardinal Way
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 385-5000

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