This Past Year and the One Ahead of Us
Our annual reports were mailed out last week. Writing the letter for the report gave me a good opportunity to reflect on this past year and the one ahead of us.
Fiscal year 2010 was a defining moment for Netezza. Against a challenging economic backdrop, we successfully launched the Netezza® TwinFin™ appliance – our most significant product line introduction to date. We dramatically extended our price/performance and simplicity advantage, reminding the industry of the impact we’ve had in our brief history. We developed significant new distribution channels, including NEC in the fast-growing Asian markets, and we held our largest user conference ever. Unlike many companies in our space, we continued to invest in our products and our people to strongly position Netezza for the anticipated economic recovery. We ended the fiscal year better positioned than ever and while we remain cautious about the economy, we can’t help but be excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.
Our transition away from our proprietary hardware platform to the TwinFin platform – a daunting prospect for any appliance vendor – occurred seamlessly and with no negative disruption to our business. Today, there are many deployments of the TwinFin system being used by our customers for production purposes in each of our vertical and geographic markets, and we are seeing an encouragingly strong demand for this newest version of our data warehouse appliance. Our new platform allows us to quickly come to market with new products that broaden our market reach – a fact proven by the launch of our Skimmer™ platform, hot on the heels of the TwinFin appliance introduction. More recently, we announced the TwinFin i-Class™ appliance – a revolutionary step in data warehousing that supports BI and analytics in a single platform and helps organizations reduce costs, simplify analytics and make better decisions.
Undaunted by the recession, we took our annual user conference (Enzee Universe) on the road. Over 1,500 people – the vast majority of whom are either customers or prospects, and three times the number attending our previous user conference – saw us demonstrate the TwinFin system and outline our new N-Sight vision. N-Sight explains how we will broaden our product portfolio, extend analytics, embrace business applications and do so through a high-performance, cost-effective, easy to manage and unified enterprise-wide platform.
Fiscal year 2010 produced major advancements in our channel operations, which we believe will show results in coming fiscal periods. An agreement with NEC puts Netezza’s streaming architecture and analytical database software inside NEC hardware, giving us a dramatic increase in our coverage in North Asia and a significant foothold in the China market. We also delivered a Retail Analytic Appliance™ that combines the TwinFin appliance and a merchandising optimization solution, extending our value proposition beyond IT and into the retail business buyers.
As I look forward to fiscal year 2011, I cannot help but be excited by the opportunity that is unfolding before us. A significant technological transformation is taking place that is enabled by high-performance analytics. Data-driven intelligent enterprises are becoming increasingly interconnected with their customers through local data collection devices, such as smart meters. Consumers are revealing buying intentions in digital conversations on the social web and are in turn interconnected through digital devices. New business models – such as remote patient monitoring – are being built on top of these technology evolutions. A new “intelligent economy” is emerging. The organizations that rise to the top of this new food chain will be those that can farm the wealth of data being generated; can extrapolate profitable actions from this analysis; and can do so in a time frame that leapfrogs their competition. We uniquely provide the underpinnings of technology that will enable this massive shift to create game-changing value for our industry, customers and partners.