Big-name companies populate the Leaders Quadrant as vendors and customers alike look to leverage data warehouses as mission-critical applications.
Posted Oct 26, 2007
Teradata was named top dog in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems, 2007," followed in the Leaders Quadrant by Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, respectively. The report, released last week, highlights the evolution that data warehouses have made from being mere stores of information supporting business intelligence (BI) into being analytics infrastructure repositories for the enterprise. The report also notes the recent focus on appliance solutions that enable companies to use these tools as mission-critical hardware.
The data warehouse database management system (DBMS) space continues to grow, and has lately begun to embrace those appliance solutions. "Much of the market is following the mantra of 'easy to install, rapid time-to-productivity, and 80 percent of needs met,' " says Donald Feinberg, an analyst with Gartner and co-author, with Mark A. Beyer, of the report. IBM, Oracle, and Teradata (which completed its spinoff from parent firm NCR on October 1) continue to battle for the largest part of the market with increased marketing and new functionality, according to the report, with Microsoft entering the fray offering a more competitive DBMS that has experienced rapid uptake among midsize businesses. (In last year's report, Gartner had rated Microsoft right on the border between the Leaders and Challengers Quadrants. This year, no vendor made the Challengers Quadrant.)
The focus of the market, driven primarily by customers' needs, has moved from tactical execution (supporting real-time applications) to strategic "mission-critical" vision, Feinberg says. Mission-critical systems are those that support revenue generation or execute cost control in support of business processes; without those systems, personnel are required to manually perform tasks to prevent loss of customers or revenue.
The size of databases is becoming less important as well, according to the report. In the past, buyers believed that the vendor with the largest database was the leader, Feinberg says. Today, smaller databases are commonly solving an organization's analytics requirements, with increased focus on the applications responsible for moving and loading data in real-time.
The march towards mission-critical status for data warehouses has led to data-mining and -analysis queries that are less structured but more complex; results from those queries are better able to drive the purchasing habits of customers. In the report, Feinberg says companies should "ignore marketing claims and base decisions on customer references and proofs of concepts to ensure that claims made by vendors will hold true in a real-life environment. Although this is a mature market with the full attention of large vendors seeking to make inroads, smaller entrants often deliver a more focused, innovative solution, so don't discount them."
Some of those smaller entrants included in Gartner's report -- listed in each category according to the research firm's view of each vendor's "ability to execute" -- are:
Compared to the 2006 report, the population of this Quadrant doubled from two to four.
This Quadrant contained the same three vendors this year as it did in 2006.
- Sybase, which moved from the Challengers Quadrant last year thanks to an improved completeness of vision, and missed this year's Leaders Quadrant by just a hair's breadth;
- Netezza, which was virtually unchanged from its previous rating; this year, the company is just slightly lagging Sybase in ability to execute, but squeaking past in terms of the completeness of its vision;
- Greenplum, the only new vendor added to Gartner's assessment since last year, is the result of the merger of two DBMS vendors (Metapa and Didera); Gartner noted in the report that the vendor has been gaining ground rapidly, thanks in part to a partnership with Sun Microsystems; and
- DATAllegro, which once again is the lowest-rated among the Visionaries; Gartner's report notes that the firm "is gaining new customers, though at a slower rate than other young companies of the same age."
- Kognitio; and
- Sand Technology, which remained the lowest-rated vendor to make Gartner's eligibility requirements for the Magic Quadrant.
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