When you're king of the hill, don't be surprised when you start to take shots from the wannabes out there, even the ones that truly are bigger and stronger.
That's the situation facing Teradata, leader of the rapidly expanding data warehousing industry. In fact, it's becoming rare these days to read about a new warehousing product or service from among the many vendors at play here without a complementary statement as to how it will peel market share away from Teradata.
One of the more brazen moves in recent days came from DATAllegro in the form of a set of utilities for its v3 warehouse appliance with the express purpose of migrating data and applications from Teradata. While these tools can be used to integrate DATAllegro's appliances into existing Teradata environments, the company is not shy about pointing out that they can be used to replace Teradata altogether.
"The reality is that warehousing is a white hot market and Teradata is the market leader," said Jesse Fountain, vice president of presale services at DATAllegro. "When it comes to exchanging data between Teradata's system and ours, we have the ability to read their binary file format and load it into our appliance at a faster rate than you can load it into a Teradata box. So the cost-per-hour on Teradata is substantially higher than on our technology."
To shore up its position, DATAllegro has also replaced its existing query tool with the Nexus system from Coffing Data Warehouse. The move will make it easier for customers to query not only Teradata but DB2 and Oracle as well.
While Teradata is no doubt aware of DATAllegro's recent moves, the company is more likely to be eyeing HP's Business Intelligence Group, now headed up by none other than Ben Barnes, whose resume includes a stint as Teradata's general manager of marketing when it was part of NCR. In this interview with ZDNet, Barnes spells out his plans to use the NonStop SQL database running on Itanium-based Integrity servers and sporting an updated version of NeoView to cut into the market.
Despite all the attention, Teradata doesn't appear to be sweating just yet. The company posted a 3 percent revenue gain in the fourth quarter, hitting $466 million, while net income jumped 27.4 percent to $79 million. The company has authorized a $250 million stock buyback program, which seems to indicate that its directors are confident that current R&D efforts will keep it a step ahead.
As competition heats up, we'll have to see if that holds true.