Partner Products Come to Fore at Teradata User Conference
Kalido, Information Builders, and Expressor Software announce products.
- By Stephen Swoyer
The biggest news at this week's Partners user conference in San Diego came from Teradata Corp. No surprise, given that Partners is a Teradata-sanctioned event.
As at previous Partners events, several third-party vendors also trumpeted product announcements of their own.
Data warehousing specialist Kalido had a full slate: it announced the completion of a port of its Kalido data warehouse to Teradata; also touted was a new mid-market-oriented DW bundle developed in tandem with partners Teradata and Claraview (the latter is a Teradata-owned subsidiary); and unveiled a new Hierarchy and Rule Management offering that will run in conjunction with Teradata and non-Teradata warehouse configurations.
The Kalido port to Teradata has been in the works for a little while: the two companies kicked off a partnership just five months ago. The nominal aim of that partnership -- the porting of Kalido to run natively on top of Teradata -- is achieved with this week's announcement. According to Kalido CEO Bill Hewitt, however, both companies see plenty of opportunity for ongoing collaboration.
"We think there's a lot of synergy between what we do and what they do for customers. They are the big dog in the data warehousing space, but they've also engineered some extremely complex environments that, as customers change, require some level of agility. That's what we bring to the table, [an ability] to help insulate [joint] customers in these [complex] environments against the effects of that [change]. We're excited about this relationship, not just because it allows us to run on another market-leading platform, but because we believe data will be exploding at a volume never seen before."
Kalido had previously partnered with Netezza Inc. (now an IBM Corp. property) to deliver an industry-specific DW appliance.
Although its collaboration with Teradata is more general -- the aim of porting Kalido to Teradata is to enable Kalido to (generally) run on top of the Teradata Database -- the two partners, in conjunction with Teradata subsidiary Claraview, likewise unveiled an offering geared specifically toward mid-market customers.
"We're delivering what's called in Teradata language an 'Accelerator Package,' so it's specifically [designed] to deliver an agile data warehouse for the midmarket," Hewitt explains. The pitch, Hewitt says, is rapid time-to-value.
"I've spent a lot of time in the mid-market in my career. It is obviously a big market, but the dynamics are very different," he observes, noting that mid-market customers tend to spend less on IT than do their large enterprise brethren. They likewise have fewer human IT resources, Hewitt explains, and the IT know-how they do have tends to be more generalist than specialist.
"These are [shops] that can't dedicate people to ETL programming, [for example], because they can't spare the resources -- and they don't have anyone who knows how to [program ETL], anyway. They need a solution that delivers time to value quickly -- they need to see the payback very quickly -- and what this platform offers is a way for them to use our software to quickly and easily capture their business requirements and lower the amount of people that they need to run the system. Our system is fully automated … and [supports a] very iterative-based approach, so they can quickly establish the [return on investment from the] next project and the project after that and the project after that, based on the return that they're going to get [from their first project]."
Finally, Kalido touted its new Hierarchy and Rule Management offering that Hewitt says is designed to make managing any data warehouse -- not just Teradata -- more nimble. It works by extracting rules or hierarchies from warehouse data and loads them into a Kalido context.
From there, Hewitt explains, business users can create new rules, change existing rules, and audit or approve changes. At the same time, Kalido's Hierarchy and Rule Management tool maintains a history of all changes.
"This is not at all a problem specific to Teradata -- it's [rather] a data warehousing problem. Any custom-built data warehouse requires an enormous amount of manual intervention to make changes. What this [product] does is help insulate the data warehouse from [some of the effects of] this change. It's making [the warehouse] more agile from a business perspective, not just from an IT perspective. The business users are more engaged and more accountable for the changes that have been made to the data."
IBI's Mid-Market Try; Expressor Touts Faster Warehouse Load Times
Kalido wasn't the only partner making a mid-market push. IBI touted a mid-market-oriented entry of its own, also in tandem with Teradata. The combined IBI/Teradata offering bundles IBI's WebFOCUS reporting environment with Teradata's DW systems. Officials say the offering can meet several mid-market price points, depending on the size or configuration of the underlying TD system. It also bundles IBI's GUI front-end for the open source software (OSS) R statistical environment, an offering that IBM usually sells separately.
Partner Expressor Software didn't actually announce anything new, but it was on hand to tout its own interoperability story vis-à-vis Teradata. The two companies collaborated earlier this month to sponsor a Webinar ("Why users demand accurate, timely, and cost-effective data"), and Expressor also used Partners as a forum to trumpet its own fast-load performance in conjunction with Teradata's Parallel Transporter (PT) facility.