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Ron Powell

Thanks for visiting my blog. As co-founder of the BeyeNETWORK, acquired by TechTarget in 2010, I am privileged to participate in many industry-related activities as a BeyeNETWORK expert covering business intelligence and analytics. These events provide me with a unique insider perspective into the business intelligence ecosystem, its products and the vendors that provide those products. I'll be sharing that invaluable information with you through this blog, which will also be a reflection my business philosophy. And, just to make this interesting, I'll be sure to include my personal point of view on a wide range of topics and share some of the stories of people I meet in my travels.

About the author >

Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

July 2010 Archives

I have spoken with many of the experts and analysts in business intelligence and analytics about the recent consolidation in the analytic appliance market. Many cannot believe that companies like Greenplum and Sybase have agreed to be acquired as this market is just starting to pick up steam. The recent acquisitions make sense for both SAP and EMC. Many of the other appliance vendors are facing tough financing options, finding it difficult to get the next round of financing and I will bet that many of them will be closing their doors or selling out.

But the big question is WHY - I believe that we will know the answer in October and it will be Microsoft - stay tuned!

Posted July 27, 2010 12:34 PM
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Adaptive Planning and the Business Performance Innovation Network recently release the results of their quarterly survey of finance executives. One of the findings of the survey was that improving planning, reporting and analysis is the top challenge for finance organizations. I think you'll find some of the other survey finding interesting too. You can view the survey (PDF) here.

Posted July 26, 2010 2:05 PM
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Most of you know that I have been involved in covering the data warehousing market since the early '90s. I've watched as companies realized the benefits they could obtain by implementing a data warehouse. I've seen the price tag for data warehousing drop to a level that makes it a technology that isn't just for the "big guys," and I've witnessed how business intelligence, analytics, cloud computing, virtualization and the deluge of data impact all organizations today. The technology changes have been phenomenal, far surpassing what anyone dreamed of in the early days of data warehousing.

That's why I'm excited about the recent news that EMC will acquire Greenplum. Greenplum was developed for sophisticated, high-performance data analytics. According to the press release announcing the acquisition, "Greenplum is capable of delivering 10 to 100 times the performance of traditional database software at a dramatically lower cost." Greenplum uses a "shared-nothing" massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture, using virtualized x86 architecture. This is particularly important for data warehousing today because of the ever-growing volumes of data that require sophisticated analysis. 

We are now seeing the consolidation within the data warehouse and appliance market accelerating. First SAP acquired Sybase IQ and now the big news this week that EMC is acquiring Greenplum. This is great news for both EMC and Greenplum. EMC continues to make acquisitions for processing large amounts of data as we see data volumes increasing exponentially. This also adds to their software portfolio, which has much higher margins than the hardware and storage markets.

For Greenplum, it gives them the capital to expand and access to the largest customers in the world. Greenplum currently has 138 customers and this should help them grow by at least a factor of 3 in the years ahead. EMC has worked with many of the appliance vendors in the space, I believe that they chose Greenplum's "Chorus Technology" for many of the following reasons:

  1. Greenplum has played a major role within the implementation of private clouds for large customers, which provides for greater virtualization and a better way to manage storage.
  2. MPP architecture which is critical for scalability.
  3. This combination will provide an "open alternative" to customers who do not want to be locked into a specific stack provided by a single vendor like Oracle, etc. By going with EMC, Greenplum, VM Ware and Cisco, they can get the best of all worlds.
  4. Gartner had positioned Greenplum as a breakaway visionary compared to other appliance vendors.
  5. EMC has been working with Greenplum at many customer sites as direct attached storage and now they will be able to use SAN to reprovision storage "on the fly."
In my opinion, this is a great move for EMC and I am always a fan of  "strategic acquisitions" as the benefits far outweigh the cost. This is also going to add more pressure to the other data warehousing appliance vendors like Netezza and ParAccel who are going to find it more difficult to remain as separate entities.

According to Ben Werther, Director of Product Management at Greenplum, "The combination of Greenplum technology and EMC's virtualized private cloud infrastructure is a great match. Together we'll provide technology and tools to help customers extract value from their rapidly growing volumes of data and be ready for whatever 'big data' challenges lay ahead."

This news makes the data warehousing, analytics and BI even more exciting for us to watch and, of course, for you to use!

Posted July 8, 2010 2:22 PM
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