In which Jill sees old friends, and hears some new news.
Teradata whipped its customers and prospects into a froth again this past week in Washington D.C. at the company's annual Partners User Group. I've been to several Partners conferences over the years. Okay, make that many Partners conferences. Things do get pretty frothy at Partners--and I'm not just talking about all those overflowing post-workshop beer steins.
But credit goes to Teradata this year for actually having some news, transcending the "we 're innovating, trust us" and "us too!" messaging of the past several years. Teradata suffered a branding black-eye for disavowing both the data mart and, more recently, the data warehouse appliance markets before taking an about-face and embracing both. Consequently business partners and customers alike were left wondering how much longer Teradata would insist on its large, centralized, local platform approach.
But this year, laundry list announcements for new product codes, feeds and speeds improvements, and incremental release updates were replaced by practical and innovative solutions, including:
- Linkages between the Teradata DBMS to the Hadoop and MapReduce environments, allowing the use of user-defined functions to move and manipulate the data.
- In what it calls its Agile Analytic Cloud, Teradata is now installed in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), in effect taking the acquisition, installation, and maintenance costs out of the equation and enabling information on-demand. The demo in the Teradata booth took Web 2.0 to the DBMS environment. Evan Levy was impressed, and that's saying a lot.
- Teradata is also allowing customers to set up private clouds in which individual users can set up a private Teradata instance in a blade environment. Companies in large blade environments can repurpose hardware quickly with the Teradata product.
- Teradata also has increased the number of customer success stories for its in-database processing with SAS, and the stories of higher performance and business benefits--Bank of America presented its anti-money-laundering success story--confirmed that the Teradata/SAS partnership is thriving.
- A fresh emphasis on data mart capabilities, particularly as they surround an enterprise data warehouse solution. Indeed the concept of a dependent data mart seems to be newly taking hold, emphasized by none other than CEO Mike Koehler in his Monday keynote. Teradata is (finally!) admitting that new analytic needs are increasingly department-centric, and it's hoping that they're scalable.
As in years past, Partners devotees included both business and IT constituencies. Presentations from established companies like Volvo, Timberland, eBay, and Nationwide Insurance confirmed that Teradata customers are evolving both strategic and tactical business initiatives through integrated data. Some topics that were hotly emphasized last year, including Teradata's MDM offering, have cooled off. Discussions of time-to-value, business alignment, and TCO seemed to grab the most mindshare.
Interestingly, Teradata also seems to have succeeded in leveraging its initially-maligned 2500 appliance to entrench itself in existing accounts. "Every year I have Netezza come in just to benchmark performance," one Teradata financial services customer confided to me. "It scares the pants off my Teradata sales team. But the 2500 has put the kibosh on that. We have the skills and the practices. Why change?"
As in past years, it's not the executive presentations or even the new feature announcements--however fresh--that set Teradata apart. Rather, it's customer testimonials like the bank's that keep Teradata customers buying--and returning to Partners often. Or, every year.
Let's see if IBM's Information on Demand conference can deliver the goods as effectively next week in Las Vegas.
Posted October 22, 2009 3:03 PM
Permalink | No Comments |