ETL across the firewall: SnapLogic at the BBBT

SnapLogic presented at the BBBT last Friday. I was on the road then so I watched the video today. The presentation was by Darren Cunningham, VP Marketing, and Craig Stewart from product management. It was your basic dog and pony show with one critical difference for the BI space, they understand hybrid systems.

Most of the older BI vendors are still on-premises and tip-toeing into the Cloud. Most of the newer vendors are proudly Cloud. The issue with enterprises is that they are clearly in a strong, hybrid situation with a very mixed set of applications within and outside the firewall. Companies talk about supporting systems in a hybrid system, but you dig down and find out it’s one way or the other, with minimal thought given to supporting the other half.

Darren made it clear from the beginning that SnapLogic understands the importance of a truly hybrid environment. They are, ignoring all the fancy words, ETL for a hybrid world. They focus on accessing data equally well regardless of on which side of the firewall it resides. Their partner ecosystem includes Tableau, Birst and other BI vendors, while SnapLogic focuses on providing the information from disparate systems.

Their view was supported by a number of surveys they’d performed. While the questions listed had the typical tilt of company offered surveys, they still provided value. The key slant, that has implications for their strategic planning, is shown by one survey question on “Technical Requirements of a Cloud Integration Platform.” “Modern scalable architecture” came in first while “Ease of use for less technical users” was third.

As Claudia Imhoff accurately pointed out, the basic information might be useful, but it’s clear om their presentation that this was an IT focused survey and should be treated as such. It would be interesting to see the survey done similarly for both IT and business users to see the difference in priorities.

SnapLogic looks like they have a good strategy, the thing to watch is how they grow. The key founder is Gaurav Dhillon, one of the founders of Informatica. He had a good strategy but was replaced when the company grew to a point where he couldn’t figure out the tactics to get over the Chasm (full disclosure: I worked at Informatica in1999, when it hit the wall. I’m not unbiased). Let’s hope he learned his lesson. There’s a clear opportunity for SnapLogic’s software, and it seems to be going well so far, but we’ll need to watch how they execute.

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