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What do a recent upgrade and direct competition with IBM have in common? They happen to be characteristics of two companies within the tech sector that can very well grow at a consistent rate over the next 3-5 years. These two companies show promise, continued growth, have a proven and successful product line and aren't as volatile as some of the other players such as Microsoft, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and (Oracle NASDAQ: ORCL).

Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) - A recent upgrade to BUY from HOLD and a $50 price target by UBS has SLAB on the rise. The Austin, Texas based semiconductor company is one of the lead providers for Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and has a very impressive EPS track record. When the company reports its quarterly earnings during the last week in April, don't be surprised if we see them beat estimates once again. Analysts are currently calling for earnings to fall between $0.39/share and $0.47/share; however earnings of $0.47/share to $0.51/share aren't out of the question.

Informatica (NASDAQ: INFA) - This NASDAQ darling is on the rise and there isn't too much in the way of its continued growth. With the direct competition coming from both IBM and Oracle, INFA designs data integration and data quality software within the CRM space. With quarterly earnings due out in late April, analysts are expecting INFA to earn between $0.29/share and $0.34/share and revenues coming at $191.5 million and $197.0 million. For a company that has beaten estimates by at least 6% the last 4 quarters, investors may very see EPS of $0.36/share to $0.39/share and revenues possibly surpassing $200 million.

These are great growth plays for any investor. Long Term Investors should keep an eye out for positive earnings results and the continued expansion of both companies software solutions portfolio. Short term investors may want to play the options based on the upcoming earnings from both INFA and SLAB.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.