Learning how small fish can eat big fish

08:34, November 15, 2010      

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"Impressive strides" is the message given by Mike Koehler when talking about his company's earnings this year at its annual conference in the harbor city, where the famous USS Midway Aircraft Carrier lies permanently berthed off Harbor Drive following the end of World War II. Nearby stands the Victory Kiss sculpture of a sailor and a winsome nurse.

Koehler, president and chief executive o)fficer of Teradata, explained the quintessence of his management is something like the city - "open, friendly, passionate and persistent" - that ensures his team keeps a down-to-earth attitude toward business with customers. His company has dealt with just one product - data warehousing - for decades and has never considered branching into any other sector.

On Nov 4, the enterprise data warehousing solutions provider reported total third-quarter revenue grew 15 percent to $489 million from $425 million in the previous year's corresponding quarter, beating eight Wall Street analysts' consensus estimates of $464.16 million. This was in spite of ongoing economic uncertainty, according to RTTNews, the global financial newswire agency.

The video wall at the opening of the 25th Teradata Partner Conference and Expo on Oct 25 showed where the company's action is: Global revenue is expected to rise by a two-digit percentage this year; further tapping the potential in newly emerging markets including China and other Asian economies. In addition it will expand its customer portfolio from banking and services to manufacturing and transportation.

Members of staff at Teradata Corporation, the world's leading company solely focusing on data warehousing and enterprise analytics, like to tell the story how its analysis led an American super mall to place diaper and beer products together on shelves - a decision that eventually saw fat profits. Koehler also enjoys telling his Chinese customers Teradata's solutions can enable "small fish to eat big fish". By using Teradata's data processing products, he says, small companies can quickly make intelligent decisions that lead to the acquisition of bigger businesses.

Aaron Hsin, vice-president of Teradata, Greater China Area, who is responsible for business on the Chinese mainland, took up his post six months ago. He said what impressed him most and made him decide to join the company occurred during his interview for the post with Koehler. The boss told him that Teradata is a company that has focused on one business and will continue to do so. "Teradata's attitude toward business and management suits me well," said Hsin, the former general manager of Enterprise Consulting Group at Microsoft Greater China Region.

Koehler is now heading a $1.7 billion company with 7,000 employees worldwide. Before the Teradata division was formed in January 2000, he was vice-president of NCR's retail division. Because Koehler believed a small fish could do big things, he led the spinning off of Teradata from NCR three years ago and has since navigated the company to a continuing record of strong financial performance and technology innovation.

The global CEO of Teradata flies to China at least once a year because he knows the country has huge business potential for him. "China is the top two or three growth markets for Teradata and one of the top countries in terms of revenue," Koehler said.

Although Teradata witnessed flat year-on-year growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, its revenue increased 28 percent year-on-year to $88 million in the Asia-Pacific/Japan region, according to its third-quarter financial report to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

"The NYSE-listed Teradata delivered another strong quarter in terms of revenue and operating income growth, and we've raised our guidance for the full year the explosion of new and big data, and the need to integrate it with traditional data for best-in-class analytics, will benefit Teradata and our customers going forward," Koehler said.

Hsin said in China, Teradata will seek new customers in industries such as automobile production, manufacturing, civil aviation, securities and subways, while further developing its existing cooperation with current customers in the financial and service industries. So far, it has more than 100 customers in China with major partners including the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, China Post, China Telecom and Air China.

"Our strategy will focus on very high-end data warehousing products, particularly targeting the China market place, and with a capability designed and chosen for the China market. We don't compete with the low-end market players. In China, a small banking institution is much larger than that in other countries such as India for example," said Stephen Brobst, chief technology officer at Teradata.

"China is the perfect market place for Teradata, and the most important growth market."

Many of Teradata's data warehousing products were developed at its research and development facility in Beijing, according to Koehler. Now his China business employs more than 500 people, of which 300 are involved in consulting services. As Teradata's business expands in the country, the American company is planning to further increase its local payroll.

Teradata has implemented long-term training for its local staff members and customers, carried out by cooperating with academic institutions locally or in a long-distance way, he said. "We have cooperated with as least 10 universities in China."

Three weeks ago, the Bank of Tianjin announced it had selected the Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse as the foundation for its enterprise-wide real-time business intelligence system. Teradata will help the bank provide real-time analytics to support operational and strategic decision-making.

A project manager at the Bank of Tianjin said, "Teradata is highly-regarded in China for its first-class products and it professional service. We are confident that the bank will significantly strengthen its business management with the deployment of enterprise data warehousing that can grow as the bank grows."

The bank now needs better, faster answers to its business challenges, which the previous reporting systems couldn't support. In addition, the old system couldn't manage the unprecedented growth of data from its operations.

Another new customer of Teradata in China is the Bank of Wenzhou, which announced on Oct 22 that it will cooperate with Teradata to build and power its new enterprise intelligence system. The enterprise data warehouse from Teradata will create a comprehensive and transparent view of the bank's operations to support better, more agile decision-making, which contributes to profitable growth and the ability to outpace the competition.

"There is a growing demand by local commercial banks for business intelligence to support and help strengthen decision-making. The powerful analytical capability provided by enterprise data warehouses plays an important role in creating that enterprise intelligence," said Aaron Hsin.

"In all aspects, Teradata had an outstanding year," said Bruce Langos, Teradata's chief operations officer. "Teradata was named one of the world's most ethical companies. It introduced its purpose-built platform of products, saving customers 60 percent on energy. It instituted internal energy reduction initiatives sufficient to power more than 200 US homes. It also supported employee volunteer projects that made a positive difference in local communities worldwide," Langos said.

"We are proud that the US Environmental Protection Agency climate leaders' program has officially approved Teradata's aggressive five-year goal to reduce its worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent," Langos added.

Attending Teradata Partners Conference and Expo, which took place in San Diego between Oct 24 and 29, were at least 3,000 representatives of companies from 45 economies across the world. Matthew Boos, director of sales performance, planning, and analytics for AT&T, told the participants at the event that his company is using Teradata's products, describing the data warehousing solution provider as one of the world's top strategic vendors of information technology products.

Source:China Daily


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