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March 27, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Once again allowed to refer to itself as the Teradata company, NCR Corp, this week becomes the latest vendor to unwrap a strategy that it claims will put it back in data warehousing in a big way. NCR, currently de-merging from AT&T Corp, says it will launch a Scaleable Data Warehouse program targeting the huge percentage of potential data warehouse customers for whom its famed high-end, multi-million dollar Terabyte-size massively parallel offerings are not an immediate option. Up to 80% of potential warehousing customers, it believes, are medium-sized businesses or individual departments in large organizations currently exploring warehouse strategies. A further 15% are organizations that have already decided to implement warehousing but expect to prove the system beginning in one specific area of their business. Only around 5% of the market is ready to launch headlong into large-scale warehousing offerings. Indeed, Meta Group Inc has found that 88% of companies making an initial investment in data warehousing have databases under 100Gb. A 15- day First Step sales program is targeted at the 80% of potential users. It is designed to show organizations the benefits of data warehousing using their own data, without building an actual system. NCR will provide evaluation hardware (a 4100 server), software (relational database and MicroStrategy query and analysis tools) and training for prototyping a system. Prices go from $30,000 to $50,000. A RightStart program, targeted at the 15%, is a departmental – or data mart – offering designed to enable users to take the plunge on a limited scale. Implementation is guaranteed within 90 days. RightStart includes NCR’s data warehouse discovery, design, system readiness, implementation and support and enhancement services. Hardware includes a Unix-based 5100s symmetric multiprocessing server with Teradata, Informix or Oracle databases plus data transformation and information access tools. Prices go from the low $100,000s to $1m. The Custom Engagement is NCR’s full-scale data warehouse implementation program. NCR has signed a slew of third party independent software vendors for the program, including Andyne Systems Inc, Apertus Technologies Inc, Business Objects SA, Carleton Inc, Holistics Inc, Informix Software Inc, Kenan Inc, Microsoft Corp, MicroStrategy Inc, Oracle Corp, Powersoft Corp, Prism Solutions Inc, Red Brick Software Inc, Software AG and Sybase Inc. It has a shopping list of others it wants on board. NCR says it has abandoned its previous strategy of doing extensive warehouse interoperability and testing work with one or two partners in favour of a higher-level scatter-gun approach. It has found that potential program customers are more concerned with breadth of choice than having one or two specialist options to hand. NCR, which describes the data warehouse as a process, not a product, believes that only IBM Corp and Tandem Computers Inc have offerings that compete with Teradata at the high end of the $2,000m data warehouse market. It describes the Hewlett- Packard Cos and Pyramid Technology Corps of this world as second- tier players. It says it has shipped 400 data warehouse systems, 50% of them with databases over 100Gb. It is currently trying to figure out how Windows NT will play in its data warehouse offerings – which are Unix-only now – expecting its first use will be for data markets. NCR recently outgunned IBM’s TPC-D (decision support) results, recording 216.9 TPC-D power (QppD) and 170.1 TPC-D throughput (QthD), hitting a price-performance mark of $28,272 (per QphD) running a 100Gb Teradata V2.1.1 database on a five-node, eight-way (40-processor) 5100m Unix MP- RAS 3.0.0 server. IBM achieved 207.01 performance, 85.58 throughput at $33,640 per QphD on a 32-way RS/600 SP-302, running AIX 3.2.5 and DB2 PE 1.1.

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