The term "ecosystem" is often misused in the business pages.
Just about anytime two vendors or two functions are described as
working together, it's labeled an ecosystem. Words like "function"
or "system" apparently are not sexy enough, so the tech industry
has begun borrowing from environmentalists.
But in the case of
), the data warehouse company headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the
term actually fits. Teradata, a global leader in data warehousing
and big data analytics, counts among its customers
), whose Teradata data warehouse holds more than 20 petabytes of
information. Teradata says that nine of the top 10 global
commercial and savings banks, all of the top 10 global
telecommunications companies, and the five top global airlines are
users. To serve those clients, the company depends on partners that
collaborate with the firm to run functions that users need. So when
Teradata builds out its ecosystem, that means greater growth for
its many key connections as well.
In an interview during Teradata's 2013 PARTNERS conference in
Dallas this week, Stephen Brobst, Chief Technology Officer, said
that Teradata focuses on its core competencies in data warehousing,
and partners with other technology vendors for features like
reporting, data integration, and visualization. Typically the
company will have three or four lead partners in each area, he
said. "Then you have best of breed. It is our belief that no one
vendor can do everything in a best-of-breed way," he said.
So for data integration, Teradata relies on
); Torrent and DataStage which have been acquired by
(IBM); and Ab Initio, a small private company.
For business intelligence tools, it partners with
(MSTR), IBM's Cognos,
(SAP) Business Objects, and OBIEE by
(ORCL). "The OBIEE guys would say their best case studies are with
Teradata, if their database guys aren't in the room," Brobst added.
They like working with Teradata because they get better results
than they do with Oracle's database, he explained.
For data mining, Teradata's core partners are SAP, with its
recently acquired KXEN, IBM's SPSS and privately held SAS. In
visualization and discovery, the lead players are
"We have deep integration with three or four providers in each of
these areas," Brobst added. "We certify with a million, but the
partners with real engineering and deep integration is more
limited. We explicitly do not build technology in these areas."
The array of partners continues to grow.
Dot Hill Systems
(HILL), for example, has announced that it has signed an original
equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Teradata which will
incorporate the Dot Hill AssuredSAN 4000 Series midrange storage
systems into certain Teradata warehousing and big data analytics
Investors can expect to see an expanding list of partners as
Teradata does more and more with unstructured big data.
Many call centers, for example, record every conversation and store
the records for only one purpose: dispute resolution. Now companies
are working with technology to convert the recordings to text and
even analyze voices for sentiment and fraud detection. Social
media, voice, text, and machine-to-machine interactions will bring
new technology solutions, probably many from companies that aren't
"The data warehouse industry grew up on data that comes in
record-oriented format," Brobst said. "Now we are looking for value
in all this other data we have been leaving on the floor."