December 11, 2007
Building its customer base in a business it entered less than a year ago, HP announced yesterday that Arsenal Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, has joined the list of companies choosing the Neoview data warehousing platform. HP also reported progress in growing its related BI services business, which is built largely on its acquisition early this year of Knightsbridge Solutions, an independent BI services consultancy.
The Neoview appliance was chosen for a first-ever BI implementation at Sermatech International, an Arsenal portfolio company specializing in developing and applying engineered coatings for jet engines, turbines and industrial equipment used in the aerospace, oil and gas, and chemical processing industries. Sermatech previously relied on reporting tools tied to its multiple ERP systems, but the company is moving toward standardized processes and companywide, dashboard-style reporting on business and operations performance, sales and marketing, finance and engineering. "We have multiple plants that perform the same high-tech processes, and the steps have to be identical from plant to plant in order to meet FAA and other requirements," says Bill Stuckey, an operating partner of IT at Arsenal. "[Our Neoview deployment] will enable us to compare the performance of each individual plant and see why one location is more efficient than another and then maximize throughput and performance." Arsenal finalized its selection of the Neoview appliance in October, and Stuckey says a rapid deployment will see pilot dashboards introduced by the end of this month and put into production soon thereafter. At less than a terabyte in scale, the Sermatech deployment will hardly tax Neoview's capabilities, but he says Arsenal has much larger deployments planned. "The ability to scale and handle extremely complex, high-volume environments with sub-second response was critical to our selection because some of the companies that Arsenal will invest in have extremely data-intensive requirements," Stuckey explains. HP's target for Neoview is Global 2000 customers demanding subsecond query retrieval times for complex queries applied to very large warehouses. As an indication, since the April launch of Neoview, HP has signed on giants such as Wal-Mart, 3M and Rabobank as well as smaller companies such as BonTon and Arsenal. "Many of the customers we've landed so far are using Neoview in a non-traditional way," says Ben Barnes, vice president and general manager, Business Intelligence, HP Software. "We've seen a sweet spot for Neoview in the notion of operational BI and shrinking the time between a business event and doing something about it… It's not just a matter of how fast I can load the warehouse or fast I can query it or how fast I can run very complex queries in the background, it's a matter of how fast you can do all of these things at one time." In the services area, HP claims its roster of business intelligence services clients has increased by 50 percent in this year, with Neoview playing a key role. "HP Consulting Services is working hand-in-hand with the Neoview team to implement the platform," says Terrence Ryan, a Knightsbridge veteran and now Information Management Leader, HP Service. "There are many more Neoview customers in the pipeline, and it has been a big part of our services growth." Neoview competes most directly with Teradata and IBM's DB2-based warehouse implementations. All three companies (as well as appliance vendors such as Netezza and DatAllegro) are benefitting from an expanding market. Barnes cites Garter forecasts that some 90 percent of Global 2000 companies will have at least one mission-critical application reliant on the data warehouse by 2009, and that, in turn, makes the data warehouse itself mission critical.
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