Teradata is one of the older BI Heavy companies (founded in 1979 as a division of NCR) that really just focus on BI. They began as a relational database company, but now is best known for its data warehouse. They are also known for being able to manage very large amounts of data. Throughout the years Teradata has created the world’s largest database at various clients. Teradata is well known for its technical acumen in developing creating ways to manage large databases.
Quality of Information Provided
Teradata has a lot of good technology to offer, but even still the sales team does get ahead of Teradata’s consulting. On the other hand, the papers and other documentation provided by Teradata are serious and of a very high quality. Teradata has made an important contribution to how multiple ERP systems can be rationalized through using data applications to provide a single view of multiple companies and actually provides a more thought through architecture than any of the ERP software vendors on the topic of two-tiered ERP. Teradata’s approach is discussed in the book The Real Story Behind Two-Tiered ERP.
We learned a great deal about data technologies and approaches simply by performing the reading of Teradata material in order to evaluate them for this section of our rating. We rate their content development as the best in the overall BI Heavy or BI Light category. The only thing that stopped them from receiving a perfect 10 in terms of quality of information was sales information.
Teradata is the type of software vendor that buyers can learn a great deal from.
Consulting and Support
Teradata is able to attract top-notch talent, possibly due to the fact that they offer a highly respected technology with which to work. This will naturally attract technologists who don’t only search out for the highest compensation.
Teradata has a great amount of experience in many different aspects of data management and is similar to SAS in that they provide this knowledge through their consulting arm, but are more focused on software sales rather than consulting. This means that the consulting offered by these companies is generally a much better value and come with far less fluff and padded billing rather than getting the same type of advice from either a major consulting company or a large software conglomerate. Teradata not only can be relied upon for configuration consulting of Teradata applications but also can be relied upon for how to structure data warehousing and data marts. They have experience on anything from query optimization to how to setup data teams and if we had a very heavyweight set of requirements Teradata would be our top choice.
Bureaucracy has certainly set in at Teradata. Management does have a good vision, knows how to develop the external strategy and gets the big picture, but their internal operations, as well as their systems, lack efficiency. This software vendor is also top heavy with too many executives, which invariably leads to more politics than necessary. Teradata has a large number of senior employees with a great deal of experience, but the BI market is changing these experienced resources will need to adapt.
Teradata has traditionally been a strong innovator. They clearly have the knowledge base to perform more innovation in the future. However, Teradata is facing the innovation challenge of “bigness” and is showing signs of some calcification. Overall, however, it has done a better job of staying innovative considering its size. There have been some acquisitions, which have caused hiccups, but Teradata is not primarily an acquisition-driven software vendor. If Teradata wants to stay on the leading edge, it should consider its compensation scheme. Executives don’t provide technological innovation, the more junior resources do.
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