Powers That Be—Hyperion and Teradata Team up for Retail Analytics

Business intelligence powerhouses Hyperion and Teradata last week announced a combined retail analytics solution.

If you thought Oracle Corp. was the dominant Power That Is in the retail analytics space, you might want to hedge your bets.

Business intelligence (BI) powerhouses Hyperion Solutions Corp. and Teradata (a division of NCR Corp.) last week announced a combined retail analytics solution based on Hyperion’s System 9 multidimensional reporting and dashboarding capabilities and Teradata’s Retail Decisions analytic software. The partnership builds on Teradata’s demonstrable strength in the retail space and is another in a series of retail-oriented partnerships with BI vendors.

On the surface, the accord also resembles a similar partnership that Teradata notched almost two years ago with Siebel, prior to Oracle’s blockbuster acquisition of the same. But whereas the Siebel partnership involves Siebel’s Business Analytics application suite in toto, the Hyperion and Teradata accord (at this point, anyway) is limited to retail analytics.

Oracle last year repositioned itself as a retail powerhouse by making or closing a number of key acquisitions. For starters, the database giant last January completed its acquisition of the former PeopleSoft Inc., which brought credible analytic technology—in the form of its Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) stack—to the table. In the following months, Oracle snapped up retail players Retek (after an epic bidding war with rival SAP AG) and ProfitLogic, followed by strong analytics performer Siebel.

Earlier this year, Oracle also nabbed 360Commerce, a privately held purveyor of open store and multi-channel solutions software.

In the past, Hyperion and Teradata officials downplayed the threat posed by Oracle in key markets, such as high-end data warehousing.

“It probably wouldn’t be right to say Oracle’s not competitive with Teradata in any way. We obviously compete for a certain slice of the market. But at the same time, in a world of coopetition, things happen, and you figure out ways to cooperate and provide more opportunities as a result of that,” said Rick Volz, senior global alliance manager for Teradata, last October.

Enter Hyperion

Last week, the two companies announced that the reporting component of Hyperion’s System 9 BI suite (i.e., Hyperion Interactive Reporting) had successfully completed Teradata’s Retail Decisions Benchmark, a metric that expresses a software tool’s ability to crunch retail analytic workloads while meeting certain performance minimums.

It is probably neither fair nor accurate to frame last week’s announcement as a response to Oracle’s growing prowess in the retail sector. Teradata is a confirmed retail performer, after all, and (more importantly) has notched similar extant partnerships with other prominent BI vendors, including Business Objects SA, which almost 18 months ago touted its own successful completion of Teradata’s Retail Decisions Benchmark. Ditto for Cognos Inc. and its ReportNet solution. What’s more, Teradata’s retail customers include retail powerhouses such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., outdoor and recreational outfitter Cabela’s Inc., and hhgregg Appliances Inc., among others.

In any event, the partners say customers can tap the combination of Teradata’s analytic technology and Hyperion’s multidimensional reporting and dashboarding capabilities to support customer and vendor scorecarding, as well as obtain enhanced insight into sales reporting and seasonal planning. “By combining Retail Decisions with the Hyperion BI Platform and BPM applications, we are providing a complete view of the retailer’s business,” said Rob Berman, vice president for U.S. Retail Industry operations with Teradata.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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