Understanding Kalido's Diversity

Kalido and Teradata announced a new effort to certify Kalido's Information Engine to run on top of Teradata Warehouse -- but some users are confused about Kalido's direction.

At last week's TDWI World Conference in Chicago, Kalido and Teradata Corp. announced a new effort to certify the former's Information Engine -- which Kalido positions as a model-driven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) platform -- to run on Teradata Warehouse.

It's one of a series of recent partnership announcements from Kalido, which -- at times -- has seemed to struggle with its positioning. Early last year, for example, Kalido unveiled a partnership with analytic database specialist Netezza Inc.; later, in August, the two companies collaborated to deliver a data-warehouse-in-a-box -- dubbed KONA -- which they positioned as a "rapid time-to-value" appliance.

Prior to that, Kalido had been on the bleeding edge of the productized MDM push; was in the forefront of the model-driven DW development craze; and helped sanction the non-traditional data warehouse data warehousing space.

Given the breadth of Kalido's activities, some observers have had difficulty (meaningfully) connecting the dots. Or, as a prominent data warehousing professional put it in an e-mail interview last year, what's The Real Kalido? "To be honest, I could never figure out what Kalido was. … I've seen [several different pitches, such as] the metadata management solution, [then] model management, [then] ETL, and [now] MDM marketing," this person told BI This Week.

John Evans, director of marketing for Kalido, says he understands why some people might be confused. As an enterprise data warehouse platform (EDW), he points out, Kalido isn't like most of its competitors -- i.e., it doesn't market a database that it in turn positions as the basis for an EDW. Moreover, he points out, Kalido has a lot of irons in the fire. He understands why someone might construe what he describes as the orderly evolution of Kalido's feature set as (instead) a series of unrelated marketing gambits.

"Basically, it's an issue of [Kalido's] having all of the pieces. We have this warehousing environment; we have this MDM environment; we have this high quality data [in our warehousing environment], and we have the governance processes to maintain it. We're doing all of this in the context of the [Kalido Information Engine], so it's all centralized. It's all manageable," Evans stressed, in an interview at TDWI's Winter World Conference in Las Vegas.

Kalido doesn't lack for imitators. When data integration (DI) rival Expressor Software -- its management team included at least one former Kalido principal (Bob Potter) -- launched more than two years ago, it positioned its offering as a Kalido-like DI solution. More recently, unconventional DI player WhereScape Inc. has named Kalido as its closest competitor.

In the present case, Kalido outlines what it says are three likely use cases for its new partnership with Teradata. First, officials say, the effort will enable both Teradata and Kalido customers to rapidly generate and deploy new Kalido data marts on top of Teradata platforms. Other use cases include the ability to quickly prototype new Kalido data marts (in conjunction, of course, with Teradata Warehouse), and an option to roll out a Kalido-modeled EDW on top of Teradata's database underpinnings.

As was the case in Kalido's partnership with Netezza, the Teradata accord likewise emphasizes a "rapid" time-to-value deployment scheme. As of press time, the two partners haven't said much about the potential for ideological infighting. Is Teradata subordinate to Kalido (or vice versa)? What about the creditable MDM practices fielded by both players? Instead, the firms are playing up the complementary nature of their pairing. Kalido has not disclosed whether it plans to develop a line of industry-specific appliances -- ala its KONA offering -- in tandem with Teradata.

About the Author

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