Having recently abandoned its Neoview offering, HP today revealed its plans in the data warehouse market by purchasing Vertica. Vertica is one of a clutch of data warehouse vendors that has apeared in recent years, employing MPP architecture and usually a specialist database structure in order to achieve fast analytic performance on large volumes of data. In Vertica’s case it uses a columnar database (of the style pioneered by Sybase), but in this case combined with MPP. This combination works well for many analytic use cases, and a well executed sales strategy based around this has meant that Vertica has achieved consderable market momentum compared to many of its competitors, building up a solid roster of customers such as Comcast, Verizon and Twitter.
In principle HP’s vast sales channel should be very beneficial to spreading the Vertica technology further. Nervous buyers need no longer be anxious about buying from a start-up, and HP clearly has a vast marketing channel. Yet success is far from guaranteed, as HP’s previous debacle with its Neoview data warehouse offering showed. Now at least HP has a proven modern data warehouse offering with traction in the market. It remains to be seen whether it can exploit this advantage.
It has long been a theme of my writing that MDM is something that goes beyond customer and product data, and after making that point publicly at a conference in 2006 (to much ridicule from a VP of a well known MDM vendor in the audience) it seems as if the tide of opinion has definitely switched in the multi-domian direction in the last couple of years. A good example of this was shown today. Orchestra Networks is a French MDM vendor with a multi-domain MDM product. In their latest release of their EBX product they announced specific solutions for MDM in Finance and Accounting, MDM in HR and MDM in sales and marketing.
This business line orientation seems a sensible mmove to me. Most vendors talk about almost entirely about customer and product data as that has been their heritage and comfort zone, but there are plenty of opportunities fro MDM solutions to be applied outside these two domains. Indeed I recall that the very first MDM deployment of Kalido MDM, in 2002, was actually for finance and accounting data (general ledger etc) at a Dutch bank. Given the vast scale of an enterprise-wide MDM solution it seems to me wise to pick off specific domain areas where there is “low hanging fruit”, and at present most of the industry has been ignoring these other domains, at least in their marketing.