IBM Acquires Netezza – ADBMS Consolidation Heats Up

IBM’s bid to acquire Netezza makes it official; the insurgents are at the gates. A pioneering and leading ADBMS player, Netezza is in play for approximately $1.7 billion or 6 times revenues [edited 9/30; previously said “earnings,” which is incorrect.] When it entered the market in 2001, it catalyzed an economic and architectural shift with an appliance form factor at a dramatically different price point. Titans like Teradata and Oracle (and yes, IBM) found themselves outmaneuvered as Netezza mounted a steadily improving business, adding dozens of new names every quarter, continuing to validate its market positioning as a dedicated analytic appliance. It’s no longer alone there; some analytic appliance play is now in the portfolio of most sizable vendors serious about the market. Read more of this post

Decoding BI Market Share Numbers – Play Sudoku With Analysts

In a recent post I discussed Oracle’s market share in BI, based on a press-published chart taken from IDC data – showing Oracle coming in second. As often happens in such discussions, I got quite a few direct emails and twitter messages – some in no uncertain terms – about why the particular metric I chose was not sufficiently nuanced or representative of the true picture. I freely admit: that’s true. In general, market observers know Oracle is not typically placed second overall – but the picture is more complex than a single ranking. My point was, and is, that it’s too easy to slip into a “who’s on top” mentality that obscures true market dynamics. In this post, I’ll dig a bit deeper, and describe what different approaches or categorizations show us – and what they don’t. Finally I’ll talk about how much this matters – and to whom. Read more of this post

Oracle’s High BI Bar: Managed, Multifaceted and Actionable

Oracle’s newest BI release is massive, spans multiple product categories, and raises the bar for competitors in dramatic fashion. In my prior post I focused on its rollout and competitive posture. The market has waited a long time as the reconciliation of many moving parts was accomplished – most notably the convergence of the Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) offering and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE). Hyperion integration with its Essbase acquisition was not complete. In 2007, OBI’s newest release (10.1.3) was most notable in many eyes for its new Microsoft Office support. PeopleSoft and Siebel had been acquired some two years before that, and Master Data Management was already a topic of discussion then (2005). There was a long way to go. And analysts? Well, think of us as the kids in the back: “Are we there yet?”

Oracle has used its time, and its $3B per year investment in R&D, well. OBIEE 11g delivers a strong base for its customers to build upon, and for its own teams to continue fleshing out a very coherent vision of ready-to-consume, actionable analytics suitable for multiple roles, on multiple platforms, across the breadth of information available. Although there is much left to do, Oracle has laid out a clear path and articulated a differentiated message that offers ample reasons for anyone on other platforms to consider OBIEE, whether or not they are an Oracle customer. For this analyst, the big wins are the Common Enterprise Information Model, The Action Framework, the strong manageability focus, unified and enhanced user interaction for report and other forms of design and delivery, and BI applications.

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Oracle Sets Sights on BI Leadership. Has it Picked the Right Target?

Oracle is not first in BI, and wants to change that – that was the clear message of a well executed, multi-site “real plus virtual” event with top executives showing off the result of a multi-year effort to rationalize and integrate a set of leading but overlapping components into a seamless suite. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g (OBIEE) deserves the accolades it has already received from analysts who welcomed its announcement – it makes bold and serious bets on effective centralized metadata administration, data integration/ unification and optimized analytic architecture, collaboration, globalization, mobile device support, and a powerful link to action that will be most effective (unsurprisingly) with its own business applications. While it misses some pieces – fully integrated in-memory processing, SaaS and cloud support among them – these will be forthcoming, and Oracle is clearly committed to a quicker release cycle now that the thorny internal politics around legacy products seem to be resolved. But its competitive focus may be misdirected; while SAP is still ahead in market share, IBM is the bigger threat in the marketplace.

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RainStor Adds Funding, Investors, Readies Nearline Archive Rampup

RainStor, a firm I discussed as Clearpace in a June 2009 post, had some very good news this week.  $7.5 million in Series B funding came in from Informatica, Storm Ventures and its previous investors Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and The Dow Chemical Company. RainStor plans to “use the funding to expand into new markets, grow its partner base, and invest in product development and R&D” says the press release. Read more of this post

Does Informatica get a place at the head table?

From  Judith Hurwitz, president, Hurwitz & Associates (http://jshurwitz.wordpress.com).

Informatica might be thought of as the last independent data management company standing. In fact, that used to be Informatica’s main positioning in the market. That has begun to change over the last few years as Informatica can continued to make strategic acquisitions. Over the past two years Informatica has purchased five companies  — the most recent was Siperian, a significant player in Master Data Management solutions. These acquisitions have paid off. Today Informatica has past the $500 million revenue mark with about 4,000 customers. It has deepened its strategic partnerships with HP, Ascenture, salesforce.com, and MicroStrategy.  In a nutshell, Informatica has made the transition from a focus on ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools to support data warehouses to a company focused broadly on managing information. Merv Adrian did a great job of providing context for Informatica’s strategy and acquisitions. To transition itself in the market, Informatica has set its sights on data service management — a culmination of data integration, master data management and data transformation, predictive analytics in a holistic manner across departments, divisions, and business partners. Read more of this post

GoldenGate Software Buy a Win for Oracle

Oracle today announced it is buying GoldenGate Software for an undisclosed sum, likely a couple of hundred million dollars. To revisit some facts from an earlier post, Goldengate had been in business 15 years, with some 500 customers, 4000 solutions deployed, and strong partnerships with Oracle, Teradata and Ingres on the database side, and Microstrategy and Amdocs in the app and BI space. Their message revolved around 3 key attributes of their changed-data-based replication technology: heterogeneity, real-time (log-based) performance, and high-volume transactional support. Read more of this post

Aster Appliance Elevates MapReduce Chatter, ADBMS Visibility

Since my last post about Aster, the analytic DBMS (ADBMS) vendor has added another arrow to its quiver. Its new MapReduce Data Warehouse Appliance Express Edition starts at $50,000, and includes Aster nCluster on Dell hardware and a copy of MicroStrategy BI software for up to 1 Tb of user data, which Aster clearly sees as a sweet spot. (MicroStrategy has been doing a lot of seeding with the ADBMSs lately; it also has  an introductory bundling deal with Sybase IQ.)  Delivering a ‘compute rich’ appliance on commodity hardware, with reduced operating costs, certainly hits all the right notes. But is 1 Tb  the sweet spot for MapReduce? I think not – although it makes a great starting point, and that may be Aster’s real opportunity – give ’em a taste of what SQL plus MapReduce can do, and watch them demand more and more. And sell it to them. Dell and MicroStrategy should love this strategy – if it works. Read more of this post

Can GoldenGate Software Continue to Grow Transactional Replication?

GoldenGate Software may not be a well-known name, except in circles where transactional replication is a hot topic, but after 15 years in business, they have assembled a sizable base of some 500 customers, with 4000 solutions deployed, and partnerships with vendors as diverse as Teradata and Ingres on the database side, and Microstrategy and Amdocs in the app and BI space. Their message revolves around 3 key attributes of their changed-data-based replication technology: heterogeneity, real-time (log-based) performance, and high-volume transactional support (committed only.) And despite their notoriously closed-mouthed approach to their finances, it’s fair to say that they are generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue yearly (Hoover’s says $9.7M in 2007, but I believe that’s very low), so it’s evident the marketplace is interested. The big question is whether GoldenGate will invest to sustain and grow sales, or watch larger competitors competitors take their market away, now that they’re on the radar. Read more of this post

Clearpace – Have Your Data and Archive it Too

Clearpace has a potentially lucrative question for you: how much of your data is really needed with any frequency at all? How much keeping it managed as if you needed it tomorrow cost you? What if you could take most of the 2 year old and older data out of your databases, compress it dramatically, put it on low cost storage and reduce your database sizes – and still be able to get to the data if you needed it? You can, Clearpace says, and this early-stage UK-based company already has customers to back their claim. Read more of this post