From Teradata Partners Conference: Spinning the Spinoff

Ann All

Poor Teradata. Despite its best effort to keep journalists in attendance at this week's Partners conference in Las Vegas focused on its recently finalized spinoff from NCR Corporation, the scribes preferred to speculate about what might have been.


It was hard to blame us, really, in light of SAP's $6.8 billion offer for Business Objects -- which was announced just as the Partners event got under way on Oct. 7. Business journalists can be a single-minded lot, and acquisitions often make nice, juicy copy.


It was clear to see it was still on the journalists' minds at a press briefing the next day. A writer from Computer News wondered if Teradata went public because it couldn't find a company interested in buying it. Not at all, said Teradata executives, the spinoff was simply a decision to separate Teradata from NCR, a manufacturer of ATMs and other self-service gear with which it shares little synergy.

(The spinoff was) a decision by the board and under consideration for, you know, a number of years was that we had two very successful businesses serving different customers and different markets and felt it was in the best interest of everybody including employees, shareholders and everything else to have two companies 100 percent focused on their respective businesses.

Yet the writers kept working the acquisition angle. One noted that while the spinoff carries no tax ramifications for NCR shareholders, that will change if Teradata is acquired during the next 24 months. Another mentioned that both SAP and Business Objects had insisted they had no interest in acquisition -- right up until their deal was announced.


Teradata isn't all that interested in playing in the application space, said the execs.

What we're all about and what we're focused on is providing companies the best data foundation. The applications and BI tools and everything else that a company is implementing just go against the enterprise data warehouse.

Deals like SAP/Business Objects benefit Teradata, they added.

So we're a partner with SAP, we're a partner with Business Objects; we'll be a partner with SAP Business Objects moving forward. Same thing when IBM acquired Essential. Same thing when Oracle acquired Hyperion; when Oracle acquired Siebel. We've got deeper and better relationships with these people and what we do is unique. We help people bring together an integrated foundation of centralized data and we leverage a lot of partners in the marketplace including this last relationship we announced today (a strategic partnership with SAS).

The SAS partnership marks a new focus for Teradata -- enabling operational analytics provided by other companies to run within its environment. Some joint customers of the two companies -- including Warner Home Video, a presenter at the conference -- are already working to do so.

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