NCR shipped its Teradata Database V2R4.1 on Thursday, with the offering set to serve as the primary piece of the vendor's data warehousing puzzle. The product comes to market just one day after IBM detailed a program to help companies migrate from NCR's software to IBM's DB2 database.
NCR's latest database was enhanced to improve speed and accuracy and simplify management, NCR officials said. Furthermore, the enhancements are intended to better enable businesses to centralize their data for a single view of the business, including demand chain management, CRM (customer relationship management), data mining, customer profitability analysis, and e-business offerings, to name a few.
Both NCR and IBM claim that, moving forward, data warehouses will no longer be inactive data stores.
"We think 10 years of one paradigm is evolving," said Dan Graham, Armonk, New York-based IBM's business intelligence solutions executive in DB2 group.
Instead of data being locked in the warehouse and analysis running overnight or at specified times, the information will be more accessible in a fashion closer to real time, Graham said. He added that Web services make data warehouses more active by providing easier access to that data which, in turn, makes business intelligence more effective on the front end.
Mike Schiff, an analyst at Current Analysis, in Sterling, Virginia, said that the idea of an active warehouse is not entirely new, but the Internet is creating a need for it, and all the database vendors are working on essentially the same thing.
"A Web store never closes. It's always noon somewhere in the world. So a data warehouse doesn't have the luxury of shutting down," Schiff said.
Schiff continued that the Web and e-commerce also mean that companies want to be able to analyze their data and react to those findings much faster than in the past.
"You've got to able to react quickly, instead of having to run analysis overnight," he said.
Schiff said that IBM's program to snag Teradata customers is not likely to succeed, because Teradata resides at the scalability summit for data warehouses.
"People who have Teradata are typically happy with it," he said.