Making a middleware mini-mammoth

Contact: Brenon Daly, Dennis Callaghan

Imagine combining Informatica and TIBCO Software into a middleware mammoth. Now, shrink the scale by almost 100. Move it from the US to Europe. And make it open source rather than proprietary software. In a roundabout way, that’s what we see in Talend’s recent acquisition of SOPERA. At least in part.

Since its founding in 2005, Talend has focused on offering an open source alternative to Informatica. (As we noted earlier this week, Informatica is a rather rich target. The data-integration vendor currently garners its highest price in a decade, valuing it at roughly 6 times projected 2010 sales.) Talend has enjoyed a good deal of success, doubling revenue last year and likely to finish next year with sales of roughly $50m, according to our understanding.

In addition to its core data integration, Talend also provides a data management suite combining master data management, which it snagged via the acquisition of Amalto Technologies in September 2009, and data quality. Now, it will also be serving up SOPERA’s application integration, where TIBCO is probably the best-known vendor. For its part, SOPERA has a much more modest business than its acquirer, claiming 60 customers, compared to the 1,500 paying customers that Talend has. SOPERA was actually founded inside the IT department of Deutsche Post a decade ago.

Though small, the purchase of SOPERA is nonetheless significant. As my colleague Dennis Callaghan has indicated, Talend now has a more compelling story to tell in open source middleware, especially as more enterprises take advantage of hybrid cloud environments, with applications running in private and public cloud environments that need connectivity and data sharing between them

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