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For Citizen Integrators, Location Is Everything

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In a previous age, necessity may have been the mother of invention. But today, where time has become our most precious commodity, it is convenience that is now driving our greatest innovations. If time is the new standard of currency and convenience the measure of its worth, the big question for every industry is, “how do you use both to create value for your products and services?”

For integration vendors, the answer lies in an analogy to the real estate marketing slogan “location, location, location” that first gained prominence in the early part of the last century.

According to William Safire, the phrase had its origins in 1920’s Chicago and made its way to London where it was popularized by and misattributed to the real estate magnate Lord Harold Samuel. Regardless of who said it, and whether it was uttered on the banks of the Thames or Lake Michigan, its meaning was unambiguous. That is: A property’s intrinsic worth can only be measured by its proximity to the things – schools, roads, utilities, shopping or any other amenity – that the community values.

Proximity creates value. This is especially true for today’s Citizen Integrators, who increasingly need greater access to self-service integration tools to be productive in their jobs.

The Citizen Integrator is a concept that is gaining a lot of attention in the business world. It refers to the everyday DIY business user – the marketer, the salesperson, the administrator – that increasingly uses and relies on data to effectively do their job. The concept figures prominently in the work and writings of Gartner Analyst Massimo Pezzini, but is also gaining currency among integration vendors.

Massimo, like Lord Samuel before him, took a phrase and endowed it with unmistakable meaning. But more than that, he has created an imperative for businesses – especially for integration companies, such as Informatica – to, as he writes in a recent blog, Embrace the Citizen Integrator Approach to Improve Business Users’ Productivity and Agility.

It is here, at the intersection of the needs of the Citizen Integrator and the applications designed to fulfill them, where Massimo arrives at the answer to the question of how proximity can create value for a data integration application.

As Massimo argues in his blog, the speed of today’s business has outpaced traditional integration tools and approaches. If companies are going to successfully seize opportunities and quash threats, they have to put agile integration tools in the hands of the business users on the frontlines of the action. In most instances, this also means placing those integration tools within the line of business application itself.

That is exactly what we’ve done with the release of the new Informatica Data Wizard.

With the Data Wizard, we’ve embedded all of the self-service integration a business user could ever need right within Salesforce. Now, a field marketing manager can import lead lists from any source, a sales operations admin can export information to Sales Cloud, or a customer service rep can load an incident from a Service Cloud object, in minutes, without help from IT, or ever leaving the Salesforce application.

The benefits in terms of productivity are obvious. By placing the Data Wizard within Salesforce, we’ve eliminated most of the time penalties commonly associated with using an external integration tool – from sourcing and evaluation to training and the disorientation of switching back and forth between apps.

Less obviously, however, are the gains made possible by the complete embrace of the “Citizen Integrator Approach” that the Data Wizard represents. With the advanced integration features and intelligence we’ve built into it, the Data Wizard extends the self-service integration capabilities of business users in every important area.

So, for all the Citizen Integrators out there who are looking for a quicker, better and more effective way to do your jobs, Informatica is here to help. No longer are the tools of data integration out of reach of those who need it the most.

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