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Analysis

Partnership of sequels
Andy Hayler By: Andy Hayler, CEO, The Information Difference
Published: 20th March 2009
Copyright The Information Difference © 2009
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Partnership announcements between software companies are usually things that one greets with something of a yawn. Presumably both companies have some capabilities that are vaguely complementary, and they see advantage in combining their names for marketing reasons, but their respective sales forces will most likely continue doing exactly what they were doing the day before the partnership press release. In the case of the recent partnership between Netezza and Kalido, there is at least some hope that something will transpire that is more significant than a footnote in the corner of the vendors' websites.

The reason is that both companies genuinely have something to gain from each other's technologies. Netezza established the warehouse appliance space with its relentless "cheaper, faster" story, offering with its Postgres-based database and highly parallel hardware architecture the ability to throw hardware at the problem of slow data warehouses. Kalido's data warehouse generation and management abilities enable rapid deployment, but above all dramatically easier responsiveness to business change than conventional custom-build data warehouse approaches. If Netezza can be characterised as simplifying warehouse maintenance at the schema-level and below, Kalido improves it at the schema-level and above. Yet Netezza takes time (and code) to deploy, and Kalido has some performance limitations in certain circumstances, so the combination of the two should be a genuine win-win.

For Netezza, the ability to more rapidly deploy a data warehouse in a new situation would give it a competitive edge over the numerous recently formed appliance vendors that are snapping at its heels; for Kalido, its (in principle) parallel load capability meets a genuinely scalable appliance that can take advantage of this ability. Another point in its favour is that the two companies have customers in common, who are likely to be interested in at least exploring the option of combining the strengths of these technologies. It is likely that the combined offering will appeal to industries that combine high data volumes with significant change, such as life sciences and financial services.

The main caveat is that at present the relationship is an announcement; the technical porting has been done and tested, for sure, but there is yet to be a live joint customer. Moreover, at present the companies will "co-sell" each other's products, suggesting that the relationship has yet to develop deep roots within the respective sales forces. Nonetheless, the genuine mutual benefit that these companies could get from a successful partnership means that this could be a situation where one plus one adds up to more than two, provided both commercial organisations grasp the nettle.

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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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