Teradata Stands Alone, and Not Alone
LAS VEGAS -- Teradata revealed a host of partner and product announcements at its 2007 Partners User Group Conference and Expo here yesterday. Leading the hit list was a strategic partnership with analytics titan SAS Institute, and a series of product upgrades for its marketing management and data warehousing software.
The highlight of the conference was the affiliation with SAS, one of largest BI and analytics providers in the world. The strategic connection between the two former competitors will involve deeper technical integration of their respective products, as well as coordinated marketing, sales, and service activities for customers, according to both companies. The partnership will focus on running and optimizing SAS solutions and analytics processes within the Teradata database engine. Customers will be able to leverage SAS capabilities and analytics functions to utilize the "core parallel processing inherent in Teradata's architecture," said Bob Fair, executive vice president of global field operations at Teradata. Additionally, the joint road map calls for selected SAS solutions targeting financial services and retail to be optimized with Teradata, and will focus around three keys:
- Data integration and data mining
- Leveraging SAS analytics and BI solutions
- Industry-specific solutions
The timing and choice of the partnership with Teradata was an obvious one, said Jim Davis, senior vice president and CMO for SAS, stating that his company was in the third stage of its evolutionary development. "The partnership with Teradata addresses this, as we look to build out our industry offerings," he said, referring to industry-specific solutions such as price optimization and fraud detection applications. Addressing potential concerns for those customers currently using Teradata's analytics solutions, which have traditionally competed against SAS, Davis jokingly remarked, "May the best man win." He went on to note the natural synergies between the two product lines, and that customers can expect "further integration between both sets of product offerings down the road."
"The partnership of two former competitors brings together the respective strengths of both companies in business analytics and enterprise data warehousing," said Dan Vesset, vice president of business analytics at IDC. "Database analytics is a key development that promises to improve efficiency and effectiveness of business analytics solutions. It decreases data movement and increases performance. That's what this partnership speaks to."
In addition to the partnership, Teradata also announced two new product offerings: Teradata 12, the vendor's data warehousing solution, and Teradata Relationship Manager 6, the company's marketing automation and management suite.
- Teradata 12 brings all of Teradata's database and associated tools and utilities into a unified step-release and also includes enhancements to performance tuning, workload rules management, multi-level partitioning, and extended business logic processing for operational systems integrations. The latest version offers new functionality, innovations, and improved performance to make the system easier to deploy and manage, and features improved workflow management and the ability to prioritize resources based on service-level goals for various workloads, the company said. Version 12 also added 35 new features and 21 customer-driven enhancements to improve the solution's ability to deliver both strategic and operational data on the same data warehouse, said Scott Gnau, chief development officer at Teradata. "Every C-level executive in the world is searching for ways to align corporate strategy and improve operational excellence by extending the support for decision-making beyond corporate management to all functions across the organization, maximizing both operational and strategic decisions," Gnau said, predicting that customers will be able to achieve up to a 30 percent performance improvement over previous versions.
- Version 6 of Teradata Relationship Manager (RMV6) -- which was first announced two years ago at the company's Partners 2005 conference -- injects a revamped Web browser-based interface for customer segmentation and analytics and two new modules: Interaction Advisor, which uses data mining to score the next best actions for customer interaction on the fly; and Marketing Resource Manager, which provides workflow and approval capabilities for planning and executing marketing plans. Other capabilities include enterprise intelligence with multiple-step customer conversations across multiple sales and service channels, such as the Web, store, ATMs, and call centers. RMV6 also has new capabilities to bring more precision to a marketer's selection of prospective customers, and provides a range of selection options, including a point and click segmentation interface, so marketing messages can be matched to the most relevant customers.
This actually marks the second launch for RMV6. Teradata first touted the product at Partners 2005, only to pull the software back into development just before its release; Gnau, who had recently been hired at the time, decided the software solution needed additional work, according to Mike O'Sullivan, global media relations manager at Teradata, and yesterday's long-awaited release of RMV6 is the end result of two years spent doing precisely that.
The conference comes just days after the completion, on October 1, of Teradata's spin-off from former parent company NCR. CEO and president Mike Koehler, standing confidently behind a brand new Teradata logo and a new mantra of "Insight into Action," said in his keynote address yesterday: "Last Monday was another historical moment for Teradata. We're stepping into the market as a top ten publicly traded US software company and a member of S&P 500." Koehler also said that Teradata was in a strong position both financially and technically. "We're in a solid financial position with no debt and strong free cash-flow and generated close to $1.6 billion in revenue in 2006."
The spinoff was designed to free Teradata from NCR's traditional association with cash registers and teller machines and allow Teradata to focus on its own business strategy and customer base, Koehler said. Partnering with large software providers is just one part of Teradata's three-pronged strategy for growth, he said; the strategy also comprises boosting consulting staff to gain more service business, and gaining a greater share of international markets. "Together, SAS and Teradata offer companies the ability to more effectively leverage their data as a strategic corporate asset for better, faster decision-making throughout the enterprise," Koehler said.
While Koehler says that Teradata will continue to focus heavily on its CRM offerings, he did say that the company's bread and butter will continue to be enterprise data management and data warehousing. "Five years from now, we plan on being the market leader in enterprise data management and integration," he said. "Our 100 percent focus on data warehousing has proved to be a key advantage for us over our larger competitors [IBM and Oracle]. As a free standing company that advantage will be even greater."
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