Software // Information Management
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4/27/2009
12:27 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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Teradata, SAP Forge Enemy-of-an-Enemy Alliance

Oracle is an obvious target... but let's not forget about IBM. Yes, SAP and IBM are strategic partners... But IBM has stepped up bundling of InfoSphere information management and Congos BI software in recent months, and that can't be sitting too well with SAP executives watching out for BusinessObjects.

Data warehousing vendor Teradata today announced a new partnership with enterprise applications and business intelligence vendor SAP. On the surface, the deal is about helping joint customers by integrating SAP NetWeaver BW (Business Warehouse) and SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence software with Teradata's Active Data Warehouse solutions. Below the surface, the pairing brings closer together two vendors that both compete head on with Oracle and (with some coopetition) IBM.The emphasis of today's announcement, which was issued just hours ago at the Teradata Universe European customer conference, being held in Istanbul, Turkey, focused entirely on user benefits, quoting joint customers including Joe Zakutney, vice president, global applications at The Hershey Company:

"For companies like ours that leverage massive amounts of information with Teradata and SAP, the promise of tighter integration and closer collaboration is significant," Zakutney stated. "Most companies realize that centralized data warehousing is the best approach for BI and analytics, and SAP software running on Teradata is exactly the kind of combination we foresee as a technology advantage in the years ahead."

Running NetWeaver BW on Teradata's database management system is a pretty straightforward proposition (and it's not like it wasn't possible to integrate before). What's unclear to me reading the release is just how much the integration streamlines that proposition and to what extent SAP BusinessObjects software will be integrated with Teradata. All the release says is "SAP BusinessObjects information management (IM) and BI solutions complete the picture for end-to-end data warehousing and analysis," which is pretty much feel-good blather that doesn't promise anything.

Oracle is an obvious target of this the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend announcement, but let's not forget about IBM (a rival Teradata never forgets about). Yes, SAP and IBM are strategic partners, and lots of SAP apps and BWs run on IBM databases and information management infrastructure. That said, IBM has stepped up bundling of IBM InfoSphere and Congos BI software in recent months, and that can't be sitting too well with SAP executives watching out for BusinessObjects. In fact, IBM execs tell me we're likely to see offerings akin to BI appliances in the coming months, but that's a topic for another blog.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get an interview about today's announcement, so I'll share what I learn on that score soon enough.Oracle is an obvious target... but let's not forget about IBM. Yes, SAP and IBM are strategic partners... But IBM has stepped up bundling of InfoSphere information management and Congos BI software in recent months, and that can't be sitting too well with SAP executives watching out for BusinessObjects.

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