ATLANTA — It's not every day that a CEO publicly admits mistakes. 

But that's exactly what Teradata President and CEO Victor Lund did here yesterday at his company's annual user conference.

During a keynote at the Teradata Partners Conference, Lund admitted the company has made mistakes. 

But he also promised Teradata is reinventing itself to better address the needs of its customers.

Lund confessed the company might have taken the wrong approach to the digital world. He acknowledged that being open to options including open source and NoSQL technologies is the way to go, and reiterated his commitment to Teradata's customers: the business users who reap the benefits from technology, not the IT department.

"Tech will always be key but we have to find technology led solutions to achieve business objectives at scale," Lund said.

Lund sat on Teradata's board for nine years before being named the company's top executive in May. He took the job to lead the data warehousing giant through what its board of directors called "a comprehensive transformation, including both its technology and go-to-market strategy."

Teradata's New Approach  

Constellation Research analyst Doug Henschen described Lund as soft-spoken and unassuming during the keynote. He was well received for listening and putting the focus back on business solutions, he added, continuing, 

"Back in its early days, Teradata sold to the business, not to IT. What he admitted was that the focus got too invested in technology and not a solution sell where open-source technologies like Hadoop, NoSQL databases and open-source analytics have a legitimate role. He's promising — and Teradata is actively moving — to embrace new options like cloud and open source that have legitimate places in the types of solutions that customers are embracing these days.” 

3 Core Offerings 

Teradata, which now brands itself as an analytics solutions company, has three core offerings: business analytics, analytical architecture consulting and hybrid cloud products.  

It’s neither all about the box or about transforming itself into a marketing solutions provider, which some thought was its intention when it acquired and nurtured Aprimo, a marketing applications platform. It was known as Teradata Marketing Applications before it was sold last spring. 

Teradata, like many vendors, may have got caught-up in the marketing hype of 2012-13 when many were saying that CIOs and CTOs would report to CMOs in the future.  

What Lund seems to have balanced is that marketing and the overall business pays the bills, but that leading edge, data-crushing technologies, accessible anywhere, anytime, at any scale, will provide the insights companies need to beat the competition. 

4 Major Announcements 

Teradata has made four major announcements so far at #TDPARTNERS16, which runs through Thursday. 

Teradata Customer Journey Analytic Solution  

Analytics around customer journeys may not be as insightful as they seem, especially when buyer behavior is ill-informed or misunderstood. It’s an expensive mistake to make. Take the case of a shopper who researches on the web, but buys in store. What happens when you send him a coupon when he abandons his shopping cart? You lose part of your margin, of course.

Teradata analytics

Chris Twogood, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Teradata , told CMSWire that managers must move beyond old school one-to-one marketing tactics that rely on purchases and traditional customer profiling if they truly want to understand individual customer experience. 

Insights from Teradata’s Customer Journey Analytic Solution promise to help marketers to optimize churn, customer satisfaction, response and conversion rates, and service delivery. 

Twogood said it enables intelligent integration of data in real time, multi-genre analytics and interaction management and supports open source technology that allows for the incorporation of data from any source and integration with any inbound or outbound channel (including digital). 

Teradata Anywhere

This offers first of its kind availability of Teradata's massively parallel processing (MPP) database and analytics solutions on the public cloud — Amazon Web Services now and Azure soon to come, in addition to Teradata IntelliFlex, VMware and the Teradata Managed Cloud. 

Henschen told CMSWire it's a good move, explaining, "It's a seriously capable database with an advanced optimizer. It's not every company that needs that power, but they can finally exploit it on-premises, managed, private cloud or public cloud. The initial appeal will be mainly to existing Teradata customers looking for flexibility. The cloud options will initially be used mainly for use cases like backup/disaster recovery, test and dev and cloud bursting whereby workload peaks could spill over onto cloud capacity in an elastic way. That lets you buy for your usual scale needs and add cloud capacity to meet peak workload demands.” 

Teradata Borderless Analytics 

This is the actualization of what analytics on the hybrid cloud are all about, according to Twogood. The new offering orchestrates analytics across public cloud, private cloud, managed cloud, and on-premises appliances. 

This means that data will be consistent regardless of where it lives, that analysts will get the same results regardless of where their queries are run, that there will be an intelligent copy of changed data. Best of all, Twogood said that there's push-button system initialization. Included in Borderless Analytics is Teradata QueryGrid’s new architecture that promises to deliver improved performance and consistency and a framework for new services such as security, encryption and performance monitoring. 

Teradata RACE  

Teradata Race (Rapid Analytics Consulting Engagement) is a nifty, agile, technology-agnostic consulting service that helps companies see the potential business value of analytic solutions before an investment is made. 

Needless to say, this is a solution that will help the business justify the spend and set IT up for success (or Teradata for a consulting engagement). 

Delivering on the Potential of Data Analytics 

If the aim at Teradata Partners is to show the value that modern data analytics can bring to the world, then the conference is well on its way to delivering on its goal. 

Attendees have heard about how pharmacy data is being leveraged to combat opioid addiction, to transform CRM relationships into household relationships via the Internet of Things (IOT) and more.