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4/28/2009
11:05 AM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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SAP-Teradata Alliance Goes Beyond the Database

To what extent will SAP BusinessObjects software be integrated with Teradata?" The possibilities go well beyond SAP BW and the DBMS, and it's not so much a matter of smiting the competition as keeping up!

The new alliance between Teradata and SAP announced yesterday is first and foremost about making life easier for joint customers. I certainly acknowledged this fact in yesterday's blog post (despite my dark headline), and, in fact, I was surprised to learn, in an interview with executives from both companies, that SAP didn't previously support the Teradata database. So joint customers -- and SAP says close to half of its top 100 customers also run Teradata -- were making do with no connections or customized integrations.

"Some customers were using SAP NetWeaver BW in stand-alone fashion, say just for finance coming out of ERP or another module," explains Tim Lang, VP of product management, SAP BusinessObjects. "Other customers were extracting and moving some data from NetWeaver to Teradata, but there was no standardized, bi-directional connection. The big news here is that Teradata will [soon] be a supported database underneath BW, so customers can take advantage of all the standard development-test-to-production lifecycle management as well as support services."

Analyst Curt Monash may have had my post in mind when he wrote that he doesn't see any "joint mission to smite Oracle, IBM, and/or Microsoft" in this alliance, but that's where my second question from yesterday's post comes into play. So "to what extent [will] SAP BusinessObjects software be integrated with Teradata?" The possibilities go well beyond SAP BW and the DBMS, and it's not so much a matter of smiting the competition as keeping up!As I mentioned in yesterday's post, IBM has been quietly talking about IBM Cognos software bundles (and other software) delivered appliance style. And with its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle has had a lot to say about one-stop shopping for hardware and software as one complete solution.

The alliance announced yesterday is said to have evolved out of the close ties that BusinessObjects and Teradata had in place before SAP acquired the BI vendor. In fact, the partners report that BusinessObjects is the number-one BI tool running on top of Teradata. It should be no surprise, then, that all sorts of possibilities are on the table for delivering SAP BusinessObjects BI software on Teradata hardware.

"We've been working primarily on getting the BW joint-development agreement in place, but we're exploring many other opportunities to more closely integrate," acknowledges Miles Stephenson, Teradata's vice president, global horizontal solutions and alliances. "We wouldn't preclude some sort of a bundle… and we've actually looked at several of the packages that SAP BusinessObjects has put together as industry solutions."

I'm working on a deeper article on this topic, but the key point is that it seems that data warehouse appliances may soon give way to complete data warehouse and BI appliances, with end-to-end systems preintegrated and ready to plug in, load and go. SAP and Teradata clearly see the possibilities, and IBM and Oracle are in a position to take it to even greater extremes. IBM could bundle in data integration, MDM, monitoring software and so on while Oracle could deliver complete applications as well.

This topic clearly goes beyond data warehousing and BI. It's about pre-fab data centers, ready to plug in and get going with minimal systems integration work and the promise of faster, lower-cost deployment.To what extent will SAP BusinessObjects software be integrated with Teradata?" The possibilities go well beyond SAP BW and the DBMS, and it's not so much a matter of smiting the competition as keeping up!

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