Teradata recently held its annual Partners conference, at which gather several thousand customers and partners from around the world. This was the first Partners event since Vic Lund was appointed president and CEO in May. Year on year, Teradata’s revenues are down about 5 percent, which likely prompted some changes at the company. Over the past few years Teradata made several technology acquisitions and perhaps spread its resources too thin. At the event, Lund committed the company to a focus on customers, which was a significant part of Teradata’s success in the past. This commitment was well received by customers I spoke with at the event.
I also had a chance to talk with Oliver Ratzesberger, Teradata’s EVP and chief product officer, about the company’s focus and product direction. For the near term, Ratzesberger said, its focus remains on selling to and supporting new and existing customers in the largest 1,000 global enterprises, but in the longer term Teradata wants to win over the development community, too. As a large-scale provider of databases and big data management tools, Teradata competes to some extent with the Hadoop ecosystem I have written about. Teradata likely has encountered new challenges in growing revenue since the advent of Hadoop, but the company also embraces Hadoop. Its Aster Analytics product now runs on Hadoop (and AWS), the company offers a Hadoop appliance as well as Presto for SQL on Hadoop, and Think Big, its analytics consulting group helps design, implement and manage Hadoop-based systems. Management took these steps after recognizing that the company needs to coexist with the growing Hadoop ecosystem.
Ratzesberger pointed to other developer-friendly changes as well. Teradata Query Grid 2.0 has become a platform for monitoring and managing a heterogeneous combination of data sources, not just a tool for routing queries. Workload management has always been a strength of Teradata, and it is now seeking to extend those capabilities to non-Teradata systems via Query Grid. Teradata Listener, for ingesting streams of information such as Internet of Things (IoT) device data, allows developers to simply register the service, get an API key and develop in their language of choice using a RESTful API and JSON data structures.
Concurrently with the event Teradata announced new cloud-based offerings including for AWS and Azure. These options should make it easier for developers to get started with Teradata since there is no hardware to acquire and install. The company has been moving in the direction of embracing the cloud for several years and now offers a full range of private cloud, managed cloud and public cloud options. As part of the conference, I gave a presentation entitle Why Your Data and Analytics Should Live in the Cloud. Among the most significant findings from our benchmark research that I shared is that 40 percent of organizations reported that they expect the majority of their data to be in the cloud within 12 months and twice as many (86%) said they expect the majority of their data to be in the cloud eventually.
My key takeaway from the conference is that while we may not see changes overnight, there are signs that Teradata is seeking to extend its influence beyond the largest organizations in the world. Much of new development emanates from smaller companies that seek to embrace open source, low cost and easy-to-adopt technologies. The announcements Teradata made at the Partners conference help to move the company in that direction. If you are evaluating cloud-based analytical databases, I recommend that you consider Teradata as one of the options.
SVP & Research Director