OpenText pitches big data service, the first in a planned series for analytics

Its built-in columnar database is up to 1,000 times faster than traditional relational databases, the company claims

Analytics and the cloud increasingly go hand in hand, and OpenText has provided the latest example with its Big Data Analytics service announced on Wednesday.

Early this year, the Canadian company acquired analytics-focused Actuate and pledged to embed the company's technology within its own offerings. Now, promising high-performance data storage, prebuilt algorithms and tailored professional services, OpenText's new cloud service aims to provide an all-in-one analytics tool to help business users access, blend, explore and analyze their big data without having to rely on IT for help.

Key features include a built-in, high-speed analytics columnar database that provides performance as much as a thousand times faster than that of traditional relational databases, according to OpenText.

Also included are built-in statistical algorithms for profiling, mapping, clustering, forecasting, and decision trees without needing to program. And as a managed cloud service, it offers faster implementation and reduced investment in infrastructure and operations, the company said.

OpenText Big Data Analytics is the first in a planned series of analytics-as-a-service offerings from the company. It's available now, with prices ranging from US$18,000 per year for 50 million rows of data to $300,000 a year for up to a billion rows of data; unlimited-usage pricing is also available.

Read more: OpenText CMO claims role of marketing technologist will be shortlived

The offering stands out for its focus on high performance and its inclusion of consulting services, said Martha Bennett, an analyst with Forrester.

"While many vendors offer an element of training as part of the base package, or the offer of consulting services, having it bundled like this is an interesting proposition," she said.

Another potential advantage is that the service runs in OpenText's global data centers, which could allow it to meet data sovereignty requirements at a lower price than competitors who have to negotiate new data center or hosting deals when they need to run software in another country, Bennett noted.

Factors working against it are that it's a crowded market and the service doesn't support a hybrid cloud or on-premises model, she said.

"In other words, all data has to be loaded into the cloud before it can be queried," Bennett said. "This obviously doesn't matter to everybody, but it's worth noting."

In addition, "the company doesn't yet take a cloud-first approach to development and roll-out of new features," she said. "This matters, as companies are increasingly associating cloud delivery with continuous delivery of new features."

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