SAP and Teradata deepen data warehousing ties

NetWeaver Business Warehouse software will soon run natively on Teradata's database for high-end data warehousing and BI

SAP's NetWeaver Business Warehouse software will soon run natively on Teradata's database for high-end data warehousing and BI (business intelligence), the vendors announced Monday.

SAP and its BusinessObjects BI subsidiary already had partnerships and product integrations with Teradata. But the vendors' many joint customers have been clamoring for more, and native Business Warehouse support is the answer, said Tim Lang, vice president of product management for Business Objects.

SAP expects the new capability to enter beta testing in the fourth quarter of this year, with general availability in the first quarter of 2010, according to a spokesman.

Under the partnership, SAP will be handling first-line support, according to Lang. Pricing was not available.

The announcement drew a skeptical response from analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research, who questioned how deeply SAP will be committed to selling its customers on Teradata versus rival platforms.

"Business Objects has long been an extremely important partner for Teradata. But SAP's most important DBMS partner is and will long be IBM, simply because [IBM] DB2 is not Oracle," Monash said.

However, another observer said the move makes sense for both the vendors and users.

While SAP has its own database, MaxDB, most SAP customers are using DB2, Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server for data warehousing, said Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus.

Adding Teradata support provides customers with yet another database to choose from, in an extension of SAP's existing strategy, he said. "They are one of the few vendors that allows you to do [data warehousing] on your database of choice," Kobielus said.

In addition, Teradata features multi-petabyte scalability for those customers who may require it, he said.

In turn, Teradata customers who have SAP applications may now look to round out their data-warehousing implementation with SAP and Business Objects software, Kobielus added.

Meanwhile, the partnership could also give new life to long-standing rumors that SAP may buy Teradata. SAP and Teradata declined to comment on the prospect.

But there are other potential acquisition targets for SAP in the market, such as Dataupia and Aster Data Systems, and SAP is probably not ready to pull the trigger on any deal, Kobielus said. "It's not clear to me that SAP has thought their strategy through [yet]," he said.

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