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Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog! Please join me often to share your thoughts and observations on new analytic platforms, BI and data management. I maintain a vendor-focused practice that uses primary research, briefings, case studies, events and other activities that stimulate ideas as a source for commentary on strategy and execution in the marketplace. I believe the emergence of a new class of analytic platforms, and emerging data management and advanced tools herald a next step in the maturity of information technology, and I'm excited to be present for its emergence. I hope my blog entries will stimulate ideas that will serve both the vendors creating these new solutions and the companies that will improve their business prospects as a result of applying them. Please share your thoughts and input on the topics.



Recently, ParAccel published a TPC-H benchmark, and I said here that it was a coup that ought to get them significant attention. The blizzard of discussion that ensued was no doubt gratifying for ParAccel - Google reported 182 hits for "the past week" for them as of 6/28.

Now, Google hits - and visibility in general - aren't everything. In a relatively crowded field, ParAccel will need more than just a fairly well-received press release - they will need money. Money to drive marketing, money to turn interest into leads, and money to fund a sales and field force to convert those leads into business. The good news? They just got some. On June 29th the firm announced a C round of venture capital has been secured, to the tune of $22 million led by Menlo Ventures; ParAccel's previous investors participated as well.

Obviously, the substantial new funding is good news; in addition to the availability of funds, it implies that due diligence by some savvy folks concluded that even in difficult times, ParAccel is worth investing in. Menlo's John Jarve will join ParAccel'sboard. I talked to CEO David Ehrlich about the new round and what he expects to do with the funds. He told me:

"We went slowly until the product was ready. Our feature/functionality is fairly complete, and we've demonstrated that our price/performance is superior. We think we have an offering that for most environments is the leader. Now we can begin to ramp it up."

Fighting words, but Ehrlich is spoiling to get into it. "Most of our activity has been POCs so far, and we've never been outperformed in a customer environment," he asserted.  He says that ParAccel will continue to invest in product; IT Market Strategy expects to see a new product release coming up very soon. But most of the acceleration in the near term will be in Sales and in the field organization, he says.

"Till very recently, we had one sales person - we wanted to take busines at a measured pace. Now we can scale the organziation so we can take care of customers they way we want to."

ParAccel has already gone from that single salesperson to 3 - they are represented in eastern, western and central North America now. "The only throttle is that we set a high bar - we spoke to over a hundred for the two we hired," Ehrlich says.  They have several more field spots open:  SEs and field reps. They will stay domestically focused for now, although Ehrlich has seen interest from overseas distributors. The Support organization right now is robust - ParAccel has 10% of its 60-person headcount in support-related positions and Ehrlich believes they can scale through the next couple of dozen customers without much new hiring.

But for a growing firm, there are certainly needs beyond sales and field organization. In the same period ParAccel saw its 182 hits, Vertica registered 222 with no announcements. Greenplum saw 193 following a launch effort the week before, and InfoBright got 526 on the heels of an announcement of their own. Sybase IQ, the leader in the analytic DBMS space, had 916. leveraging the momentum will take execution and a little spending of its own. Driving visibility, and turning it into leads, will clearly need to be a focal point.

Partner relationships will also become more significant. Ehrlich is very upbeat about ParAccel's continuing EMC partnership: "Our patent-pending SAN integration gives us an advantage. EMC (and other storage vendors) have competition to watch for from Netezza, Teradata, and Oracle's Exadata. We're a good option for any SAN vendor to deliver a high performance analytic DBMS with all the enterprise characteristics." The technology helped drive the Price Chopper win EMC and ParAccel recently won.

So, the game's afoot. Several hot new companies, all only a few years in the market, will be duking it out for mindshare and customers in the suddenly exciting analytic DBMS space. Looks like it's going to be a hot summer

Posted July 6, 2009 1:38 PM
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