Please Send More Product Brochures!
It was an odd email exchange. Only 30-minutes earlier, at approximately 3:04pm US-PDT, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, head of one of the most powerful database technology companies on Earth, had publicly launched Oracle's entrée into the Data Warehouse Appliance marketplace: "the HP Oracle Database Machine and the Oracle Exadata Data Storage Server" - while simultaneously "sporting a curiously Romanesque hair style".
Larry Ellison & Julius Caesar - separated at birth? (Wikipedia: Julius Caesar)
Perhaps we should have been cowered by such a goliathan announcement? Perhaps we should have quivered? Well that's when the email showed up. You see, Netezza had a booth (or "stand" - as I'm writing this from London tonight) in the exposition area of Oracle's big OpenWorld show in San Francisco. Within minutes of Larry's presentation, in which Netezza figured prominently albeit with substantially erroneous information across Mr. Ellison's charts, the Netezza stand was completely deluged with people saying things like, "I had never talked to your company about data warehousing before, but if Larry is going to spend 10 minutes talking about you, I need to know more." And the Netezza product brochures starting flowing - not in a trickle like a leaky pipe, but like water through a burst dam.
Larry hadn't just brought up Netezza but had spent some "quality time" extolling the strengths of the Netezza architecture - moving query processing horsepower as close as possible to the storage elements of the system, and his commentary had marked Netezza as the leader in the Data Warehouse Appliance (DWA) approach. Within the hour, our team's supply had run out. Undeterred by the lack of the product brochures - the team had moved on to distributing our glossy fold out "BI Emergency Survival Guide".
But what this anecdote from the floor of a 50,000-person trade show really meant was that a sea-change had happened in the industry. No less than Larry Ellison had put his imprimatur on the DWA industry segment and in so-doing had also summarily marked Netezza as the industry's leading vendor in the segment.
Since then, phones have rung off the hook and email exchanges have approached the immediacy of Instant Messaging, with in-bound requests for more information about the Netezza Performance Server®. Whatever doubt that existed in the market that DWAs were a force in the marketplace was eradicated yesterday... at approximately 3:04 pm US-PDT.
"Please send more product brochures," indeed! Thanks for all the sales leads, Larry! We'll get around to correcting all your misconceptions about our product shortly.