From Bartok the Magnficent to In-database Analytics

VP product marketing, Acunu

It seems a lifetime ago now, but since this is my first post of the new year i will allow myself a little backward look to the best bit of Christmas: watching 3 family films on Christmas day (with family):  Bartok the Magnificent, Cabaret & A Night in Casablanca.

You’re supposed to enter the new year serene, focused, positive, filled with plans and schemes. Well that’s all very well but first to purge a little irritant from 2010. Now far be it from me to describe Oracle as a little irritant, but a thought did occur to me when i read about Oracle’s $10m challenge. (it’s expired now so don’t bother following the onward link). It expired pretty quickly after it was launched; maybe people were getting close to succeeding.

But i’m not one to decry the making of bold statements in marketing.  We Netezza folk like to make bold statements too. In fact we’ve been making a bold statement about on-site proof of concept (POC) projects for a while now (it hasn’t expired so feel free to follow the link). An on-site POC doesn’t risk us $10m but it does cost us significant dollars in manufacturing, shipping, resources (minimal of course, but not zero). And we risk most of that every time we do an on-site POC. But we are prepared to take a box on site and benchmark customers’ real applications with production data, and we’ll do it for any suitably qualified project, and we do it round the world.

Now i’m not going to boast about our win-rate in POCs but i’ll just say this. If we didn’t win the vast majority we wouldn’t keep on doing them, we couldn’t afford to keep on doing them – but we do keep doing them because we do keep winning them. So it isn’t a $10 m challenge, but it’s a smaller challenge we make month in month out. 

Right, that’s the backward looking and the bitching done. It’s very exciting times ahead for me, as we spread the word about Netezza technology.  I was pleased to see the Information Difference published their Data Warehouse Landscape update for 2010 this week.  It showed most of the major players pretty static, compared to last year, but Netezza had shot up on the technology axis from last year.  I guess this reflects our latest software version with even better performance and particularly the in-database analytics our customers are now using for all sorts of demanding applications (link requires registration to download ), from social network analysis of mobile phone call records to (genuinely) individualized offers from retailers.

But before i can spend more time on the cutting edge of our products there’s a whole bunch of IBM folk i have to teach what i know already. Shame i have to got to such places as Nice, Prague and Johannesburg to do it.