Our technologized society is becoming opaque.As technology becomes more ubiquitous and our relationship with digital devices evermore seamless, our technical infrastructure seems to be increasingly intangible.
- Honor Harger
An idea that I could sense was in the air during my last meeting with Teradata’s crew in California, during their last influencer event, was confirmed and reaffirmed a couple of weeks ago during Teradata’s big partner conference: Teradata is now in full-fledged transformational mode.
Of course, for companies like Teradata that are used to being on the front line of the software industry, particularly in the data management space, transformation has now become much more than a “nice to do”. These days it’s pretty much the life breath of any organization at the top of the software food chain.
These companies have the complicated mandate to, if they want to stay at the top, be fast and smart enough to provide the software, the method, and the means to enable customers to gain technology and business improvements and the value that results from these changes.
And while it seems Teradata has taken its time for this transformation it is also evident that the company is taking it very seriously. Will this be enough to keep pace with peer vendors within a very active, competitive, and transformational market? Well, it’s hard to say, but certainly with a number of defined steps, Teradata looks like it will be able to meet its goal of remaining a key player in the data management and analytics industry.
Here we take an up-to-date look at Teradata’s business and technology strategy, including its flexible approach to deployment and ability for consistent and coherent analytics over all types of deployment, platforms, and sources of data; and then explore what the changes mean for the company and its current and future customers.
The Sentient Enterprise
As explained in detail in a previous installment, Teradata has developed a new approach towards the adoption of analytics, called the “sentient enterprise.” This approach aims to guide companies to:
- improve their data agility
- adopt a behavioral data platform
- adopt an analytical application platform
- adopt an autonomous decision platform
While we won’t give a full explanation of the model here (see the video below or my recent article on Teradata for a fuller description of the approach), there is no doubt that this is a crucial pillar for Teradata’s transformational process, as it forms the backbone of Teradata‘s approach to analytics and data management.
Teradata Video: The Sentient Enterprise
As mentioned in the previous post, one aspect of the “sentient enterprise” approach from Teradata that I particularly like is the “methodology before technology” aspect, which focuses on scoping the business problem, then selecting the right analytics methodology, and at the end choosing the right tools and technology (including tools such as automatic creation models and scoring datasets).
Another core element of the new Teradata approach consists of spreading its database offering wide, i.e., making it available everywhere, especially in the cloud. This movement involves putting Teradata’s powerful analytics to work. Teradata Database will now be available in different delivery modes and via different providers, including on:
- Amazon Web Services—Teradata Database will be available for a massively parallel process (MPP) configuration and scalable for up to 32 nodes, including services such as node failure recovery and backup, as well as restoring and querying data in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3). The system will be available in more than ten geographic regions.
- Microsoft’s Azure—Teradata Database is expected to be available by Q4 of 2016 in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. It will be offered with MPP (massively parallel processing) features and scalability for up to 32 nodes.
- VMWare——via the Teradata Virtual Machine Edition (TVME), users have the option for deploying a virtual machine edition of Teradata Database for virtual environments and infrastructures.
- Teradata Database as a Service—Extended availability for the Teradata Database will be available to customers in Europe through a data center hosted in Germany.
Teradata’s own on-premises IntelliFlex platform.
Availability of Teradata Database on different platforms
Borderless Analytics and Hybrid Clouds
The third element in the new Teradata Database picture involves a comprehensive provision of analytics despite the delivery mode chosen, an offering which fits the reality of many organizations—a hybrid environment consisting of both on-premises and cloud offerings.
With a strategy called Borderless Analytics, Teradata allows customers to deploy comprehensive analytics solutions within a single analytics framework. Enabled by Teradata’s solutions such as its multi-source SQL and processing QueryGrid engine and Unity, its orchestration engine for Teradata’s multi-system’s environments, this strategy purposes a way to perform consistent and coherent analytics over heterogeneous platforms with multiple systems and sources of data, i.e., in the cloud, on-premises, or virtual environments.
At the same time, this is also serving Teradata as a way to set the basis for its larger strategy for addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) market. Teradata is addressing this goal with the release of a set of new offerings called Analytics of Things Accelerators (AoTAs), comprised by technology-agnostic intellectual property that emerged as a result of Teradata’s real life IoT project engagements.
These accelerators can help organizations determine which IoT analytical techniques and sensors to use and trust. Due to the AoTAs’ enterprise readiness and design, companies can deploy them without having an enterprise scaling approach in mind, and not have to go through time-consuming experimentation phases before deployment to ensure the right analytical techniques have been used. Teradata’s AoTAs accelerate adoption, enabling deployment cost reduction and ensuring reliability. This is a noteworthy effort to provide IoT projects with an effective enterprise analytics approach.
What Does this Mean for Current and Potential Teradata Customers?
Teradata seems to have a concrete, practical, and well-thought-out strategy regarding the delivery of new generation solutions for analytics, focusing on giving omnipresence, agility, and versatility to its analytics offerings, and providing less product dependency and more business focus to its product stack.
But one thing Teradata needs to consider, given the increasing number of solutions available from its portfolio, is being sure to provide clarity and efficiency to customers regarding which solution blend to choose. This is especially true when the solution choice involves increasingly sophisticated big data solutions, a market that is getting “top notch” but certainly is still difficult to navigate into, especially for those new to big data.
Teradata’s relatively new leadership team seems to have sensed right away that the company is currently in a very crucial position not only within itself but also within the industry of providing insights. If its strategy works, Teradata might be able to not only maintain its dominance in this arena but also increase its footprint in an industry destined to expand with the advent of the Internet of Things.
For Teradata’s existing customer base, these moves could be encouraging, as they could mean being able to expand the company’s existing analytics platforms using a single platform and therefore without any friction and with and cost savings.
For those considering Teradata as a new option, it means having even more options for deploying end-to-end data management solutions using a single vendor rather than a having a “best of breed” approach. Either way though, Teradata is pushing towards the future with a new and comprehensive approach to data management and analytics in an effort to remain a key player in this fierce market.
The question is if Teradata’s strategic moves will resonate effectively within the enterprise market to compete with the existing software monsters such as Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP.
Are you a Teradata user? If so, let us know what you think in the comments section below.
(Originally published on TEC's Blog)