Ten years ago (wow, how time flies!) I was a Director at Teradata Corporation. Teradata Teradata was the first relational database management (RDBMS) company to focus on crunching huge amounts of data for analysis. Traditionally database software was used to access the same data (information) from various applications.
You see, in the “old days” data was stored inside of applications and this meant when you wanted to find out information about “Sandra Eisenberg” each application kept a copy of information pertaining to “Sandra Eisenberg” and there was much repetition, duplicated data (taking up expensive storage space) and it was impossible to get one whole picture of a customer (or other data elements) outside of the one application.
Thus database management systems were born — and they were mostly (and still are mostly) used for accessing information on the spur of the moment — customer service reps, supply chains, financial data, etc.
Teradata had recognition that all that data was in actuality INFORMATION. Valuable information. An early customer was Wal-Mart who was able to determine that certain products sold better in certain locations (maybe Dayton, Ohio users like Colgate and San Francisco users like Crest toothpaste). . . By knowing what was selling, how quickly it was selling Wal-Mart was able to stop offering sales on stuff that was selling any way and not give valuable shelf space to items that were not selling well in specific stores. . . Information became power!
Teradata currently has over 1,000 customers and over 2,500 installations of its specialized database management software. Wal-Mart is still a customer as are other major retailers. Most large players in all industries, including Telecom, Hospitality, Travel, etc. are Teradata users.
This was and is the key to the success of Teradata. Great company!
These days there are many competitors to Teradata — some the traditional database vendors and some who focused directly on competing head to head with Teradata on its home front (like Netezza, now part of IBM) and Greenplum — so to stay ahead Teradata must continue to innovate and acquire.
Which brings me to this blog post. Teradata recently purchased Aprimo for a cool half a billion dollars.
Aprimo is an industry leader in cloud-based integrated marketing software – also known as Marketing Resource Management (MRM). Aprimo claims over 150,000 marketers from 40 countries use its software – including 36% of the Fortune 100. In 2009 the company reported revenue of $69 million—f 15% growth from 2008 in an economy very few saw growth in. Those customers have tapped into a market leading solution, recognized as such by the Gartner Group. For the past three years Aprimo has also been a “Leader” in Gartner Group’s Marketing Resource Management (MRM) Magic Quadrant report.
The acquisition leap frogged Teradata into a market-leading position in Integrated Marketing Management. The cloud is key to the future, and the acquisition (if integrated properly) will tie Teradata’s leading analytics technology and Aprimo’s cloud-based marketing performance applications. This should be a huge win for Teradata — who acquired both a leading edge and complimentary technology and a great customer base into which it can cross-sell and up-sell its data warehouse technologies.
The key will be how well Teradata executes bringing the two firms together — something it has not always done well in the past. Only time will tell, but it was a great chess move.