Who’ll do data integration 2.0?

Martin Frid-Nielson of Soonr, Roy Grainger of Mavenlink, Alan Masarek of QuickOffice, Ivan Koon of YouSendIt, and Stowe Boyd, GigaOM Pro analyst at GigaOM's Net:Work 2011Pinar Ozger (c) 2011 GigaOMWith so many remote workers using so many different cloud-based services to manage every aspect of their jobs — documents, projects, expenses, you name it — it’s possible that companies are losing access to lots of valuable information. That means there’s a business opportunity for someone willing to step up and solve the problem.

Ivan Koon, CEO of YouSendIt, noted that the problem has been around for 30 years and has been largely solved for legacy business software by companies such as Informatica. That company and its ilk have made loads of money doing things such as ETL (extract, transform, load) and data integration. The challenge now is doing it for the new breed of tools that boost worker productivity but can make it very difficult to port or integrate data among services.

The alternative is that businesses go back to using single-vendor stacks or stop using such a hodgepodge of services, but neither is going to happen. Soonr CEO Martin Frid-Neilsen said U.S. workers are champions of productivity, and we’ll use whatever helps us work better and faster, expecting IT to worry about it later.

Prospecting about who might step up to fill the void of bringing together these myriad data sources, Mavenlink CTO Roger Neel suggested the early contenders might be the new breed of cloud-based backup services. These companies aren’t just storing bits and bytes, he noted, but actually are adding rhyme and reason to storing data, and could take it further.

Photo by Pinar Ozger.