This article is based on a podcast Ron Powell conducted with Chris Twogood, senior vice president of global marketing at Teradata. Ron is an independent analyst and industry expert for the BeyeNetwork and executive producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward Series. His focus is on business intelligence, analytics, big data and data warehousing.
Chris, tell me about the new Teradata.
Chris Twogood: It’s interesting. About 24 months ago, we went through a major transformation. If you think about Teradata historically, there was a bit of friction to do business with us. You would have to sit down with a salesperson. You would get an architect and go through all the technical detail about how many nodes and how many IOPs were needed. We’d design the perfect system, and then we would deliver it to you in a couple of months, get it installed, and it would be up and running behind your firewall. Then if you needed to scale it, we would start that process all over again.
But with our Teradata Everywhere strategy, we’ve evolved from being just a descriptive analytics environment to being descriptive and prescriptive with all the advanced analytics as core components. But also it now can be deployed anywhere – public cloud, commodity hardware, our own optimized hardware but also software only. In addition, we're enabling companies to move anytime to really de-risk their solution. It’s been a great strategy for us.
But that strategy was built as a baseline, and we’ve launched the new Teradata with a whole new set of products in Teradata Vantage, a whole new strategy, a whole new look and feel with even a new logo.
I really like the fact that the Teradata platform is the same code base in the cloud, hybrid or on premises.
Chris Twogood: Absolutely. In fact, the benefit of what that gives to our customers is that they can easily move from one environment to another. So we’ve had environments where people have been on premises. They have a certain workload, and they want to move into the cloud. No problem. We’ve had people that have been on one of the public cloud platforms and then, frankly, they didn’t like the way the public cloud platform was treating them, so they moved over to another platform. So it gives them a lot of flexibility to move around based upon what their desires are to move into a hybrid cloud architecture.
Chris, one thing that really confuses me is that you’re telling people to stop buying analytics. Help me there.
Chris Twogood: Well, think about it. Analytics today is almost a $200 billion global market. People are buying analytics, but they’re not solving problems. In fact, we did a recent study where 79% said that the employees that they have still need more data to do their jobs effectively. Another 75% said that analytics is just too complex.
Although people are buying analytics, they’re just delivering point solutions. They’re not really solving problems. So what we’re saying is stop buying analytics. Start investing in answers.
Teradata has the expertise – the software and the people – to help companies really drive to get answers out of their data and analytics to meet their toughest challenges.
We will get answers with the new Teradata.
Chris Twogood: Absolutely.
I have also heard you use the term pervasive intelligence. How is Teradata uniquely positioned to deliver pervasive intelligence?
Chris Twogood: So pervasive data intelligence is really at the core of what customers strive for. One thing that’s really cool about it is data is at the center, but data itself is not enough. You have to be able to extract intelligence from data, and then you have to be able to make that pervasive. For example, we don't even think about electricity, yet more than eighty-seven percent of the world’s population has it. It's pervasive. Our focus is making data that pervasive so that when you need it, it’s available. It’s omnipresent, frictionless and scalable so that people have it at their fingertips to make decisions when they need it most.
Looking at artificial intellilgence (AI), machine learning, everything that we’re doing from a data science perspective, do you see it just coming down to machines telling us what to do and providing us the answers without us having to worry about how it got there?
You know, I think sometimes people get scared or they think that AI
is going to take over the world. The problem today is that for most decision making, humans are spending 90% of their time moving data, duplicating data, trying to make sense of messy data, or trying to build out data sets. They’re only spending 10% of their time putting human intellect on top of it.
From the Teradata perspective, we want to flip that. We want to have the machines do 90% of the processing so that the data is readily accessible to make decisions from it. We want humans to spend more time looking at data and making decisions rather than just manipulating data. That manipulation has no value.
A big concern I about AI is transparency and compliance. If something is derived by AI through a model, we must be able to get back to the original data. I know Teradata is very concerned about that as well.
Chris Twogood: Some of the AI technology is really a bit of a black box. When you have regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and GDPR, you’re going to have to be able to articulate what drove each decision and what data you used against it. At Teradata, we’re really taking AI and hardening it. We make it scalable, easy to use and leverageable. We’re also enabling you to create models that are easily understood. And, you can even build-in analytic ops to score all of it. So our value proposition around AI is to enable transparency, provide a scalable environment and have humans be more interactive with data and with artificial intelligence.
You’ve just launched Teradata Vantage. What does that mean for Teradata customers?
Chris Twogood: Teradata Vantage is the only hybrid cloud software of its kind that provides a foundation for being able to leverage and analyze all the data, all the time. You can deploy it anywhere on premises, hybrid cloud, public cloud or our own Teradata Cloud. Fundamentally, it delivers analytics that matter because we’re able to not only analyze the data, but also put it into action to drive real production. It’s a single platform for driving predictive, prescriptive and descriptive analytics all in a single core environment.
There are three key components to Teradata Vantage. The first one is a foundation of delivering the best analytic functions and engines at scale – an SQL engine, a machine learning engine and a graph engine. And, those engines enable our customers, in Vantage specifically, to see things that other systems cannot.
The second component is around delivering preferred tools and languages that our customers want to use. It is really delivering your tools your way. So whether that is Jupiter, R or SQL, it enables that in a very easy-to-use manner.
The third component is about all of your data any way you need it. It’s about support for multiple, flexible data types, formats and even heterogeneous data stores. You can have a relational store for high performance processing, and a native object store, coming next year, to be able to process large volumes of data in raw format in a single workflow along with your production data. Teradata Vantage delivers a comprehensive analytics foundation and platform.
Teradata not only provides an analytics foundation with Teradata Vantage, but you also have industry consultants that can help companies become data driven.
Chris Twogood: Absolutely. In fact, Teradata has more than 5,000 consultants around the globe that have worked with some of the most complex and sophisticated industries in the world to really enable them to get value from data and then deliver pervasive data intelligence. Because we have that expertise and background, we can help our customers get it done faster, cheaper and at scale.
What are you seeing from a cloud perspective?
Chris Twogood: Cloud is quite interesting, and it has been phenomenal. We have customers that are moving full production workloads to the cloud. We have brand new customers that never would have considered Teradata who are now enjoying Teradata because they can spin stuff up in a matter of weeks. We also have a number of customers that are using Teradata in a hybrid cloud environment where they might have the production on site, and then they have sandboxes, their disaster recovery environment or their scoring engines up in the cloud. It has been a great move for us. Our Teradata Everywhere strategy has really enabled all of that.
A new Teradata. Looks good.
SOURCE: The New Teradata: Stop Buying Analytics and Start Investing in Answers
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