The 451 Group's latest research on Dell Boomi

Tom Paine

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It is rather contradictory that although consensus is that Dell Boomi is a leader in PaaS integration services (see its positioning in the Gartner Magic Quadrant), a critical component of the explosive growth of SaaS and the Cloud, yet its still quite small.

One might expect Dell to be building a huge Boomi headquarters in the center of Berwyn, whereever one imagines that to be. But right now there are only a couple hundred people to put in it at most.

That's one piece of information derived from the 451 Group's latest research on Dell Boomi, put together by Carl F. Lehmann, entitled 'Dell Boomi continues to impress but lags in some key markets.' Carl was kind enough to share some of it and speak with me about it.

Some key takeaways from the 451 Group report:

  • Revenue growth (presumably for 2015): The Americas grew at 44%, EMEA posted a 108% growth rate and APJ grew at a 72% rate. Obviously global penetration is increasing.

  • Boomi reports that its AtomSphere iPaaS executes 2.8 billion integration processes per month, versus over the 30 million per month it reported as a key milestone just three years ago.

  • Boomi has been bolstering its AtomSphere iPaaS for scale via performance improvement.

  • Boomi has successfully developed its master data management (MDM) capabilities to a degree.

  • But it still lags behind other market leaders in the area of big data integration.

  • Boomi's API management capabilities were announced in March 2015, and they should become of increasing importance strategically.

  • Boomi's target market is users implementing hybrid on premise/private cloud/public cloud solutions.

One thing I didn't know was that EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) was Boomi's legacy business from its early days. In fact, its never really gone away, and Lehmann writes that "over time, Boomi believes, as do we, that the EDI market will become ripe for transformation to next-generation hybrid cloud integration architecture."

Lehmann emphasizes that Boomi's "integrated multipurpose platform" is probably its greatest strength, but that Boomi is not alone in having gone down that path.

A couple of other points of interest:

Boomi AtomSphere is a single-instance multi-tenant architecture that runs primarily on Rackspace.

SuccessFactors has been a major Boomi user, but SAP is trying to replacing it with its own SAP HANA Cloud integration (HCI) iPaaS. That offering has been improved, but Boomi is still likely the superior solution and will remain in the SuccessFactors toolbox for some time, the report says.

So the overall picture is that Dell Boomi is a vibrant, market leading business, and that PaaS integration is a critical utility for hybrid  deployments. It isn't alone, having numerous competitors including IBM (which acquired Cast Iron around the same time Dell acquired Boomi) and a still independent MuleSoft.

What's surprising is that the revenue figure I've heard for Boomi is still quite small. I wonder, perhaps, if there are some transfer pricing issues going on, or that headcount figure may not include other Dell people who spend considerable time on Boomi issues. Just guessing.

Lehman felt the biggest threat to Boomi was the uncertainty surrounding the completion of the Dell/EMC/VMware deal. Completing the deal has required considerable financial engineering, and its been a tight fit. But I think Boomi has always been one of Michael Dell's special interests, and as long as he's involved I think Booml's interests will be looked after.

As Fortune said of Michsel Dell one year ago: "He seemed particularly excited about Dell Boomi, which integrates software systems, helping companies win in what Dell calls “the API (Application Program Interface) economy.”

There seems to have been a smooth transition from the Nucci/Moul era to GM Chris McNabb and his team. And Dell Boomi just announced it was adding its first COO and CMO.

I've wondered whether Boomi would be better off in a company more focused on data tools, such as Informatica or TIBCO, but it also may be a better fit with some of the more cloud-oriented EMC properties.

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