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Teradata, SAS announce strategic partnership, respond to market news

Teradata announced an alliance with SAS at a recent event and executives responded to the SAP-BOBJ news and questions about its own acquisition plans.

LAS VEGAS -- With the news of SAP's plans to acquire Business Objects as a backdrop, Teradata Corp. chose yesterday to announce a strategic alliance with Cary, N.C.-based SAS Institute Inc.

At the keynote of its Partners Conference here, Mike Koehler, president and chief executive officer of data warehouse vendor Teradata Corp., based in Dayton, Ohio, made the announcement on stage with Jim Goodnight, chief executive officer of business intelligence (BI) vendor SAS Institute Inc, based in Cary, N.C.

The executives said that this partnership of two competitors is driven by user demand. The companies share customers who run SAS applications against Teradata databases. The partnership will allow those customers to "run key aspects of SAS solutions and analytic processes within the Teradata database engine," according to the announcement. To put that more succinctly, those customers will get the power of SAS's analytics and BI with the speed of Teradata's data warehouse.

"This new strategic partnership offers an exciting future for our mutual customers because they will benefit from the combined power of the leading BI and analytics provider and the leader in enterprise data warehousing," Koehler said. "Together, SAS and Teradata offer companies the ability to more effectively leverage their data as a strategic corporate asset for better, faster decision making throughout the enterprise. We clearly see the customer demand to optimize the processing and use of data throughout the enterprise."

"As data volumes continue to grow exponentially, leading companies are making major investments in analytic solutions across the enterprise — from customer information, marketing, supply chain and risk to finance, IT and operations — to gain competitive advantages," Goodnight said. "This announcement with Teradata marks our first relational database partnership — one that will open up new opportunities for existing and future customers interested in utilizing the power of SAS' award-winning solutions and analytics within Teradata's industry-leading database engine."

Inevitably at the press conference afterwards, reporters brought up the SAP and Business Objects news. Bob Fair, executive vice president of global field operations with Teradata, said, in his experience, companies which merged in the BI world were keener to develop and maintain their relationships with other vendors than before. Teradata currently has great relationships with both SAP and Business Objects, he said, adding that he didn't expect that to change.

And, when asked the more direct question "When is Teradata going to buy Cognos?" the collected Teradata executives gave an elegant, comprehensive and complete answer. It boiled down to "no comment."

About the author: Mark Whitehorn specializes in the areas of data analysis, data modeling, data warehousing and business intelligence (BI). Based in the U.K., he works as a consultant for a number of national and international companies, designing databases and BI systems. In addition to his consultancy practice, he is a well-recognized technology writer, commentator, instructor and author of nine books.

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