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NCR Spins Off Teradata To Face An Aggressive HP

NCR's former CEO and Teradata's former top customer give Hewlett-Packard added fire power.

NCR disclosed plans Monday to spin off its Teradata data warehousing business as a separate company. The decision comes only a few months after Hewlett-Packard, under CEO Mark Hurd, entered the data warehousing market, putting HP in direct competition with Teradata. Hurd is former CEO of NCR and managed Teradata while at NCR.

NCR, in a statement, said the spinoff will allow NCR and Teradata to better focus on their respective customers, strategies, and operational needs. Going forward, NCR will continue to develop and sell automatic teller machines, retail self-checkout systems, kiosks, and other point-of-sale technologies. Teradata will concentrate on the data warehousing market, where it competes with IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAS Institute, and increasingly, HP.

Late in 2006, HP introduced a data warehousing system called Neoview that's based on HP's NonStop database and Integrity servers. (See "Inside Hewlett-Packard's Data Warehouse Gamble." ) HP sells Neoview in configurations of 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 nodes, each with two Intel-manufactured Itanium processors.

HP is using Neoview as the foundation for an internal data warehouse that went into operation last May under the direction of CIO Randy Mott. Significantly, Mott was one of Teradata's most high-profile customers before joining HP in July 2005. Mott managed one of the largest commercial Teradata systems as CIO of Wal-Mart in the 1990s, then another as CIO at Dell after leaving Wal-Mart.

Now Hurd and Mott are both at HP, giving HP a well-informed view of Teradata's strategy and technical capabilities. Teradata VP Randy Lea claimed in a recent interview that Hurd and Mott have been approaching Teradata customers.

An HP spokeswoman last week confirmed that Hurd has met customers who use Teradata and talked to them about Neoview, but described those discussions as being part of broader, routine customer meetings. Teradata accounts "certainly aren't being targeted," the spokeswoman said.

John Foley is director, strategic communications, for Oracle Corp. and a former editor of InformationWeek Government. View Full Bio

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