Teradata-SAS alliance aims for better use of BI

LAS VEGAS – Addressing attendees at the company’s annual Partners user conference a week after the its spin off from parent company NCR, Teradata president and CEO Mike Koehler promised Monday that the data company would now be able to chart its own course. And he wasted no time doing just that, unveiling a strategic alliance with business intelligence vendor SAS.

Known for its enterprise data warehousing solutions, Teradata was spun off from NCR and began trading on the NYSE last week. Speaking at Partners, Koehler said as a separate company Teradata will be better able to deliver on its vision of active enterprise decision making with speed to improve decision making. He added being focused solely on data warehousing will be an advantage for Teradata over competitors like IBM, that play in many different areas.

“Now we will have the opportunity to optimize our business and control how we invest,” said Koehler. “We will control our own destiny.”

And that destiny will involve a strategic partnership with SAS, a former competitor in the business analytics space. Businesses will now be able to run SAS solutions within the Teradata database engine, instead of having to remove their data from the Teradata data warehouse and move it into a SAS storage system before applying SAS analytics. The relationship also includes engineering optimization, joint solutions, joint technology road maps and joint sales and marketing efforts.

“We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Koehler. “Our coming together is a clear win for the many companies that rely on both SAS and Teradata.”

Sharing the stage with Koehler, SAS president and CEO Jim Goodnight added a joint SAS/Teradata centre of excellence has been created with a dedicated team of data architects and engineers from both companies to work with their mutual customers.

“We’re seeing huge growth in the amount of data and it’s not just the amount of data, but the volume and the velocity,” said Goodnight. “This partnership has great potential for our customers. This will have a very significant impact across all industries, from banks managing risk to insurance companies guarding against fraud.”

Joel Martin, vice-president of enterprise software research with IDC Canada, said that, in a nutshell, the announcement gives SAS access to Teradata’s master data management solutions. SAS needs that, says Martin, to expand its own offerings and compete more heavily with Oracle after its acquisition of Hyperion.

“Given SAS’s capabilities for predictive analytics, by optimizing their solution for Teradata’s data base engine retailers and financial services companies can track, report and analysis on activities at a faster pace than before,” said Martin. “That’s important when you consider there has been 161 exabytes of data created worldwide and that retail, financial and supply chain systems that have been automated for decades continue to create more and more data everyday across multiple applications, databases and locations.”

Teradata also used Partners to announce a number of new product releases and updates including Teradata 12, its flagship database offering. The new release boasts 37 new features and 21 enhancements, including an optimizer that rewrites poorly written queries to improve the quality of the data returned.

“This is a very big and dramatic release for us,” said Scott, Gnau, Teradata’s chief development officer.

The platform is supported by the recently released Teradata 5500 server, which the vendor says can give customers power savings of up to 75 per cent while boosting performance and taking-up less space in the data centre.

Also new is Teradata Relationship Manager version 6, now with a browser-based interface to broaden usage within the enterprise and ease deployment of the marketing automation tool set. A new suite of professional services was launched focused around eight areas, including data governance and master data management, and the Availability Management Services portfolio was released to help customers minimize risk and maximize uptime.

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