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October 21, 2015

Teradata CEO: Diversifying data analytics to become as big as SAP

CEO briefing: Talking to CBR, Mike Koehler wants to target Fortune 500 firms as he looks to broaden the company's business.

By Joao Lima

With the world of Big Data on the cusp of an explosion with the Analytics of Everything era, Teradata’s CEO Mike Koehler is looking to take the company to the next level: simplification and integration of ‘things’ data.

Koehler spoke to CBR at the firm’s 30th Partners event in Los Angeles, US, following days full of announcements in the IoT and analytics fields.

With competitors like SAP also strengthening their offers, Teradata is looking to bring more Fortune 500 companies to its customer portfolio.

"Last time I checked, [SAP] was approaching $30 billion. We aspire maybe someday to be as big as SAP.

"Our platform as a company is really centred around data analytics. SAP’s platform is much more diverse. We continually add to our platform and add into the analytical ecosystem outside our core data warehouse proposition.

"There are still a lot of Fortune 500 companies that are not Teradata customers."

Koehler said that his company is not, however, competing with SAP in particular. He said there is a wealth of analytic tools that are out there in the analytic ecosystem.

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"We have great unique tools, that provide unique business benefits and all we are doing is making those more appealing to a broader audience. We know we have a winning proposition with Aster, and it is about how you extend the market."

Also speaking to CBR was Dan Harrington, EVP international region at Teradata. He said: "When you look at the data explosion, the products we announced, there was a huge need to store all of that new data. There are a lot of use cases that we think will add to our revenue."

Harrington said SAP’s Hanna is just a point solution around the relational model, wheras Teradata’s Aster is more of a discovery platform.

"If you have to perpetuate data in the Hanna platform it stars to become very expensive if you have a lot of data, because you have to have that much memory."

Koehler said that as data is not all equal, not all business users want to access all data as frequently.

"Our philosophy is that we can put some data on extreme low cost, some data on medium cost, and some data on high cost. Logically, it makes more sense than having all data stored in the fastest most expensive solution.

As the world deepens its global economic ties, competitors are also winning more depending on their location with different speeds of technology adoption.

Koehler said: "Western Europe has always been a strong hold, critical to Teradata. Compared to the US, a lot of technology and innovation is in Silicon Valley.

"The innovation adoption is faster in the US [because most technology is created in the US], and then from there, a lot of this lands in the UK first; Western Europe comes behind.

"There could one to three years gap in terms of adoption because of the proximity of the innovation technology that stars in the US. China is becoming a fast follower these days."

Harrington also said that the whole world has changed with the internet and the rate of adoption is much faster than before. "There is a lot less leg-time between what happens in Silicon Valley and what happens in Western Europe."

Speaking of the future, Koehler said that 2016 will see customers putting their workload in the cloud, and that "makes it much easier to make business, and we have these other things such as Listener to help us grow."

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