Information gathered from Intuit's hosted software products such as Quickbooks Online can be probed for insights about which product features are and are not getting used by customers, right down to a single button element on a given screen, Ray said. This helps Intuit's development teams figure out which features should stay, go or be improved.
While Netezza is apparently making some customers happy, its products are fighting in an increasingly competitive market with the likes of Oracle, EMC, Teradata and Hewlett-Packard, which recently purchased data warehousing vendor Vertica.
Netezza CEO Jim Baum conceded the point in an interview, but not without dishing a little trash talk, particularly in HP's direction. "The competitive dynamic is very real," he said. "[But] I honestly feel like HP has completely missed the boat on the whole opportunity around warehousing and analytics."
The Vertica acquisition was "interesting," but HP doesn't have enough of an identity as a provider of analytic software, Baum said. "It's not like, here's a database, and I'm going to bundle this database with my hardware, and here's an appliance. It's just not that simple."
While Netezza competes with Oracle "day in and day out," Exadata "does work well for some workloads but not the analytic workloads we target," he said.
"But that said, they are a competitive force to be reckoned with, there is no doubt about it, which is one of the great advantages we have now as part of IBM," Baum added. "We just have a lot more muscle behind us."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com