CEO Designate: Teradata To Gain Speed And Focus

A spin-off from parent company NCR should make the data warehousing specialist nimbler, but no big strategy shifts are planned.
Sharper focus on the data warehousing market and improved speed of business execution will be the primary advantages of making Teradata an independent company, according to Michael Koehler, the senior VP designated to become president and CEO of Teradata when it's separated from parent company NCR.

NCR announced plans on Jan. 8 to spin off Teradata, subject to final approval by NCR's board of directors. Barring any complications, the split should be accomplished in six to nine months.

Koehler doesn't foresee significant shifts in Teradata's overall strategy. The company competes with IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS Institute, and others in the data warehousing market. "By and large, the strategy stays in place," Koehler says.

Teradata contributed $1.5 billion to NCR's $4.5 billion in revenue in 2005. In the quarter ended Sept. 30, Teradata's revenue grew 5% to $378 million, compared with the same period a year earlier. That growth is slower than IDC's projection of 9.5% annually for the data warehouse software market.

Teradata's objective is to grow 30% faster than the market, Koehler says. To do that, the vendor will try to convince companies to build enterprise data warehouses in lieu of smaller data marts on "appliances" designed for that purpose.

Koehler declined to comment directly on Hewlett-Packard's recent move into the data warehousing market with a competing product called Neoview. "I don't have much to say at this point," he says. "It's a validation of the market as being an attractive market."

Some analysts are questioning whether an independent Teradata might be a target for acquisition by another software company or private equity firm. Koehler declined to address such "speculation."

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