Steering committee president of Teradata Partners User Group, James Volmer took stage with a Chevrolet Camaro crashing through the backdrop of the stage to grab everyone’s attention and kick off the annual conference A highlight on his company Enterprise Rental Car where they have streamlined their interactions with insurance and repair providers using a common application called ARM using a data mart solution. But the baton was passed to president and CEO of Teradata, Mike Koehler. He discussed how Teradata was fairing in a challenging economy. Discussing that BI is still a top priority in organizations which we know is an intention and not representative of the top spend or percentage growth on spend (See: BI is Not a CIO Technology Priority Yet!). Mike emphasized the importance of an integrated approach to data warehousing compared to silos and reduction of costs which is pretty obvious to many but not how organizations have been taking on new analytic data mart solutions. While Mike discussed the importance of TCO there was not a definitive formula or reference for customers or comparison to other providers. I have seen how TCO (See: Does TCO Matter Anymore?) is still not well used by CIO and IT, and not sure how IT can do effective budgeting (See: Mastering the Art of IT Budgeting) without it.
Sidestepping the data warehouse ruckus and competitive shots at Oracle OpenWorld last week (See: Larry Ellison Stumps Oracle Exadata and Fusion Applications with California Governor) with their re-energized data warehousing efforts, Mike did briefly discuss Teradata with version 13 now available that provides new series of advancements in performance and scalability along with how it is available in appliances and cloud computing and what it can now do for your organization. The highlight of the event was their discussion of their new appliance they call ‘Teradata Extreme Performance Appliance’ for active data warehousing which uses enterprise solid state drive (SSD) instead of traditional mechanical drives. This appliance model 4555 will be available in early 2010 and is designed to handle up to couple hundred terabytes. Though they did not provide details on computing power to compare against others it is going to bring a new advancement in storage that they announced last year. Teradata has postured that this appliance and approach will even be more effective than using alternative approaches like complex event processing (CEP) which is not clear since that approach provides a more detailed level of granularity in events and ability to dynamically monitor and act on real time processing in organizations. But the benefits of enabling Operational Intelligence were clear in our recent benchmark research where the real time processing of more than a dozen sources and the ability to provide insight and capabilities to take action on risk, fraud, performance, processes are important but also the integration of data warehouses for historical reference and for caching/staging events for further processing.
Most interesting was that Teradata also announced their advancement into cloud computing called Teradata Enterprise Analytics Cloud providing a range of options for organizations to use the database technology  in what is called Teradata Express will be available for free for up to one terabyte of data and operates on Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. The Express offering is available through Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and can operate within VMware Player. Both of these use Teradata Elastic Mart Builder to develop the data mart or data warehouse and can be monitored using Teradata Viewpoint. I have been communicating for some time that CIO should engage on this topic for a range of reasons (See: CIO Strategies Require Cloud Computing) across business and yes for data warehousing. This announcement is an important first step for Teradata to help customers try and buy Teradata along with determining where data needs to be housed and managed. I would expect more announcements and advancements to support this need across organizations where they operate across a business to business supply chain and just to reduce internal costs and resources in managing Teradata.
Teradata also announced their geospatial support and advancement into what I call Location Intelligence with providing geo-spatial processing and tagging of data with latitude and longitude coordinates through partnership with Safe Software for spatial ETL and Teradata consulting services. This is a critical step forward for Teradata as our Location Intelligence benchmark research has found the criticality of integrating data into the necessary tools and applications. It is not clear that Teradata has fully developed their market advancements as this geo-spatial support is only as good as the tools like that from ESRI and Pitney Bowes Business Insight MapInfo and specialized applications like that from Accruent, GeoVue and others along with Business Intelligence technologies like Information Builders who have Location Intelligence capabilities built into their products.
An insightful session by Todd Walter the CTO of Teradata development provided a glimpse into the next version of Teradata 13.1 that will come in later 2010 adds some critical capabilities covering time-zone support, exporting, compression, cylinder optimization, fault isolation and improvements to their utilities that save significant time which is in the end money and processing time for other activities. All of this is essential as they continue to find Teradata being used further in real time and global 7x24 operations. But next will have to be where Teradata can advance other required processes like data governance which have demands for policy and management of data as our recent benchmark research found to the comfort of common meta and master data that also need to be tightly coupled with Teradata technologies.
Teradata continues their work in supporting a range of industry partnerships. Teradata partnership with SAS advanced further with integration of analytics with SAS 9.2 some of the procedures can operate within Teradata 13 and was available for technology review. It will take some additional releases to integrate additional analytics and also have deeper support for range of tools. Teradata also earlier this year announced a deeper partnership with SAP to embed Teradata as part of SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence which continues on their joint solution and technology efforts. Oracle was found at the conference with Robert Girsten, head of EPM development discussing integration between Teradata and the financial performance management solution offerings. Most do not realize that Teradata is being used in a broad range of financial related data and processing including taxes for private and public sector as my colleague points out. (See: Teradata Helping States to Collect Taxes). 
Mike Koehler the CEO states that Teradata has no limits compared to others in enterprise data warehousing from number of users and concurrent queries the breadth and complexity analytics. Now the real test is continuing to advance their rich history in data warehousing while focusing on the analytics and solutions demanded by business. Building on last year where I wrote about Teradata leadership in the industry (See: Teradata: Confident and Competitive) last year and they clearly continue to advance from a product and customer perspective. While many vendors like Oracle and IBM have been trying to beat them in competition for over 15 years, Teradata has a strong solution and technology approach that with their customer oriented organization will continue to advance in the market. While there might be technologies that are cheaper and faster than Teradata, organizations make decisions based on the confidence and commitment of the vendor which has been part of Teradata secret sauce for some time.