"Many Fortune 500 firms are dependent upon us for mission-critical apps. I don't foresee how Oracle or IBM would not want to continue to certify and port their products onto Teradata," McDonald said.
Teradata also faces competition from a fleet of startups and smaller companies offering specialized data warehousing appliances, often sporting extremely low prices.
Michael Koehler, CEO of Teradata since its spinoff in fall 2007 and the senior vice president for the division since 2003 under NCR, said Teradata can match those firms on price-per-terabyte with appliances such as its Extreme Data Appliance 1550, which today sells for about $15,000 per TB.
At the same time, he decried the overemphasis on this metric, which he said fails to capture real-world performance problems, such as the number of concurrent users or queries companies can run.
Teradata opened its annual conference Monday by announcing that it is bringing its data warehousing technology to private corporate clouds as well as public ones, such as Amazon.com Inc.'s EC2.
Despite the move, Teradata remains ambivalent about the cloud. Like another on-premises player, Microsoft, which has crafted a " software plus services" strategy, Teradata argues that its move is simply to broaden its offerings, rather than to push customers in a direction they don't want to go.
"We think it's going to be a number of years before the Fortune 1000 leverage public clouds in a big way," McDonald said.