A Quick Look Back at Partners 2008

October 30, 2008
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“They sure do pack a lot into these few days!” – that’s one blogger on Teradata’s recent Partners Conference (its 23rd overall and second since achieving its independence from NCR). About 3,000 attendees from 300 companies and 50 countries descended on Las Vegas for the five-day event.
The formal opening was a keynote address that included the triple threat of Michael F. Koehler, Teradata president and CEO; Stephen Brobst, Teradata CTO; and Dan A

“They sure do pack a lot into these few days!” – that’s one blogger on Teradata’s recent Partners Conference (its 23rd overall and second since achieving its independence from NCR). About 3,000 attendees from 300 companies and 50 countries descended on Las Vegas for the five-day event.
The formal opening was a keynote address that included the triple threat of Michael F. Koehler, Teradata president and CEO; Stephen Brobst, Teradata CTO; and Dan Airely, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Koehler’s theme: “With our new platform family strategy, we are taking our leading Teradata technology and consulting capabilities to the broader market, making Teradata available to everyone, everywhere.”     
Brobst stated that Teradata had “delivered more innovation and more major products in the last year since spin off than ever before.” He sees the road ahead filled with sensor technology, pervasive BI, in-database processing, and the growth of non-traditional data types.  
Ariely, author of New York Time’s best-seller “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decision,” offered caution on the limitations of human decision-making. In several examples, he explored how irrational we all are – and the fact that we’re largely unaware of it. He suggested that in the business world, basing decisions less on intuition and more on experimenting might pay dividends.     
Much of the conference, of course, was given over to a wide range of technical and business sessions, several of which focused on the results of Teradata’s year-long strategic partnership with SAS (the event’s Diamond sponsor) designed to “empower customers with the best of both companies’ core strengths.”  
Among announcements at the conference: the “Petabyte Power Players” – five Teradata customers that now have data warehousing environments exceeding one petabyte, a fact that underscores the global growth of data across industries and indicates the enormity, power and complexity of the world’s largest commercial enterprise data warehouses.
Some blogger observations:
Mark Madsen: “While not a stated theme, I noticed an increase in Web data as the subject of analysis, or married to internal transactional and customer data. There was even a session on analyzing social networks based on cellular call data — not exactly Web, yet a topic most commonly associated with Web businesses.”
Dan Power: “I have attended 6 Teradata Partners conferences in the past 7 years and I continue to learn and meet interesting people. The conference was not as glitzy as in earlier years, but the case study testimony suggests the technology possibilities are expanding. In 2002, a multi-terabyte data warehouse was still exciting. Today a multi-petabyte data warehouse is almost ‘we knew it would happen’.”
Jill Dyche: “I’ve been to umpteen Teradata Partners conferences and there’s one sure thing: the raving fans. Teradata has the most loyal group of customers of any data warehouse vendor. These people are doing strategic and differentiating work with their data warehouses, and they’re smitten. Complementary CRM and supply chain solutions, industry data models, and BI partnerships enrich the Teradata product set and entrench the customer base.”
Richard Hackathorn: “The BI network surrounding Teradata (and other key vendors) is awesome! It is an exciting time for the BI community.” On a different note, he said: “We now have more power than we know how to manage… The issues surrounding the proper application of BI technology are deep and largely undiscussed. Is it ethical to do deep data mining on our customers? Is that not the same as an X-ray machine that reveals our intimate body parts at the public airport?”
Hmmmm.
Next year’s Partners Conference: October 18–22, Washington, D.C.

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