It’s not that their C-level execs don’t think these technologies are important; after all, in an article about the future of Big Data the Harvard Business Review said that
Data-driven decisions tend to be better decisions. Leaders will either embrace this fact or be replaced by others who do."
That’s quite a threat.
But even so, when a group of Fortune 500 CIO’s met in an intimate setting a few weeks ago, one of them statedthat he wasn’t sure that wrestling with Big Data was a good idea right now, he could end up looking like a fool; another said he wasn’t sure that he could cost justify it when he was unsure of the returns;a few others, ever so quietly, admitted that they felt overwhelmed by all the “Big Data” they had, the lack of expertise they had to work with it, and that theyweren’t exactly sure of exactly what Hadoop was. “The more I learn about it, the more confused I become,” one of them said. A few others nodded in acknowledgement. Needless to say, I can’t tell you who they were or I’ll never be privy to such conversations again. It’s beside the point, anyway.
The point is that Big Data may be mainstream in companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and the like (and, yes I know there are brick-and-mortar exceptions like Target and Wal-Mart), but it’s just an idea on Main Street. CIO’s know that they will do something with Big Data, but they haven’t decided exactly when or how or what kind of returns they can expect. They’re still wondering if Big Data can give the business meaningful, actionable insights that they can’t get from their data warehouse.
I know that many of you are saying I’m full of **** as you read this, that data warehouses are relics and on their way out. And while that may be true in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, Main Street is a little more cautious. They won’t go “all in” or even “in” on Big Data and its ecosystem of technologies until they feel they must, or can be confident that they can implement it without failing.
Much is expected from Big Data, and for some CIO’s this is a problem. “You can be a Big Data Hero or a Big Data failure,” one of them told me. The risk is too great to take unless you can understand exactly what you’re doing, can hire the right people, and can work with vendors who you trust to have your back when needed.
At the Hadoop Summit in San Jose, California today, Teradata, the leading analytic data solutions company, is unveiling the Teradata Portfolio for Hadoop. The company claims that it will provide the most open, flexible and comprehensive options to deploy and manage Apache™ Hadoop. The Teradata Portfolio for Hadoop offers customers new flexible Hadoop®-based product platforms, software, consulting services, training and customer support.
Why does this matter? Some would argue that it’s because companies trust Teradata; the company has been around for more than three decades, they’re present in over 2600 installations and their customers include companies ranging from the likes of American Express to The Gap. The thinking is that if you trust Teradata with your Data Warehouse, why not your Big Data?
And it’s not just that, Teradata has worked with these companies for years and years; enterprises know that they will deliver on their promises. This potentially makes the Big Data journey less frightening for customers.
Teradata is also situated so that it can inform decision makers as to what they’re missing if they don’t get Hadoop NOW; after all, they know better than anyone what Teradata’s database and analytic limitations are.
As You Like It, Teradata Serves-Up Big Data Your Way
Different Enterprises have different assets and different priorities; Teradata gets this, so they’ve built their product/service offerings to meet individual needs.
For IT departments who want turnkey, ready-to-run solutions Teradata offers two premium platforms: Teradata Appliance for Hadoop and Teradata Aster Big Analytics Appliance.
For engineering-lead IT departments who prefer to build their own systems, but want the support of Teradata, two commodity platforms for Hadoop are available: Teradata Commodity Configuration for Hadoop and Teradata Software Only for Hadoop.
It’s Hortonworks’ Hadoop Inside
According to Teradata, their variety of Hadoop implementations provides organizations real choices depending on the level of enterprise expertise and budgetary constraints. The beauty is that Teradata offers the flexibility to seamlessly move Hadoop projects from development to production, because of the common Hortonworks Data Platform throughout the portfolio. In addition, Teradata assists organizations with software, robust consulting services and customer support to further make Hadoop a valuable part of the next-generation Teradata Unified Data Architecture.And if you’ve got a Hadoop problem and Teradata can’t help you, the army of Hadoop committers who work at Hortonworks can and will.
It’s worth noting that Hortonworks probably isn’t earning licensing revenue for its Hortonworks Data Platform (because it’s truly Open Source and available free of charge), but that’s not to say the same is true for their added expertise. Add to that, that Hortonworks’ footprint grows each time it’s “built in” to a solution. Nice way to grow a footprint!
Will Teradata and Main Street Win Together?
We don’t have a crystal ball and we haven’t demoed Teradata’s solutions, but it certainly is an interesting business strategy for Teradata which clearly understands that the ground is shifting beneath them. Recognizing this and finding a way to strengthen your business proposition and to help your customers at the same time is certainly admirable.
To learn more about Teradata’s Hadoop offering, see their website.
Title image courtesy of Andy Dean Photography (Shutterstock)