Interview with José Andrés García

"In Spain, technology moves faster than its specific applications"

“People has been working with Big Data for years in Spain. The change does not lie in analytics itself, but in the arrival of new types of data”

During the event, we had the opportunity to talk to José Andrés García, Teradata Iberia General Manager (Spain and Portugal), and José Manuel Viseras, Marketing Manager at Linde. They showcased the company presence in the Spanish and Portuguese markets and told us about new products and trends in data analysis in our territory, as well as market strategies.

SCAXC.- Which are the challenges faced in the Spanish market?

J.A.G.- Spain is somewhat particular as compared to other countries. For example, companies such as South California Edison are already working on projects where data collection requires analysis tools that make it possible to manage huge amounts of data. In Spain, solutions are adopted at a slower rate than in the United States. For instance, Teradata 15 is better for managing data in the Big Data context, but Teradata 14 is also capable of properly processing large amounts of data.

Q.- Let’s focus on Spain now. Knowing the special characteristics of the Spanish business ecosystem, is there any solution for small and medium enterprises that lack the investment capacity required by a Data Warehouse?

A.- From the very beginning, Teradata has focused on providing solutions for big companies. However, in the last four or five years there has been a change in direction. In the past, Teradata only had a single product available for analysis, which was equivalent to the current 6750. Today, prices range from around 100,000€ to the Active Warehouse. In between there are appliances with different performance levels.
Cloud solutions offering analytics as a service have already been launched in the USA, and we expect to launch them soon in Europe. At some point they should also be available in Spain, unless a partner decides to offer the solution on its own.

Q.- As for partners, in terms of data visualization, does Teradata intend to offer its own solutions?

A.- Other competitors’ strategy involves buying other companies in order to make up for the gaps in their solutions and products portfolio. By doing that, one may be good in some given areas but just average in others. As opposed to that, Teradata has exclusively focused on the Data Warehouse and data analytics business for 35 years. In order to reach the rest of the ecosystem, we chose to build alliances with the best players in the market at any given time. Sometimes we decided to tackle the acquisition of other companies: in the Marketing area, for example, Teradata bought Aprimo -a leader in its sector- for 525 million dollars in December 2010, when marketing and data analytics started to converge.

In Spain, other big players in this market have taken different, generalist approaches, that may be solved by outsourcing services, for example. Nevertheless, Teradata does not have a generalist approach, it focuses on certain areas such as data analytics, and it is the leader in the area.

Q.- Is Spain late for Big Data?

R.- It depends on what is meant by Big Data. If it means handling large amounts of data, Big Data has probably been used for many years before it became a phenomenon in itself. If you consider it to be the processing of data gathered from several sources, it is a different phenomenon. If I had to choose between the definitions put forward by Hermann Wimmer in his Keynote, I would pick the most philosophical one. I think it is a mistake to assume that Big Data is just a given technology, such as Hadoop. In one way or another, all data are somewhat structured. People have been working with Big Data for years in Spain, and the difference now is just that data are obtained from many different sources, such as social networks, the Internet of Things or sensors. The change does not lie in analytics itself, but in the arrival of new types of data.

Q.- Which is the current state of data analytics in Spain?

A.- In Spain, technology moves faster than its specific applications. Practical and to-the-point applications that make it possible to showcase value and monetize data are still in its infancy. Some applications clearly benefit from data analytics, such as those used in the Homeland Security department: they link data obtained from different sources, such as urban surveillance cameras or car traffic to those obtained from other sources in the context of National Security. Many possibilities are open in the fields of Utilities, Oil and Gas and Telcos. These are obvious sectors, but there is still much room for analytics.

Q.- Which adoption level is expected for new Teradata solutions such as those presented in this event?

R.- Our clients in Spain are already trying out and evaluating our solutions, but the final adoption will be progressive. The Teradata business involving Big Data will start around 20-30% in 2014, and it will reach about 50% in 2014. Migration to new systems in order to work with Big data is not really necessary. Teradata 15 may be installed in equipment belonging to series such as 6000, there is no need to migrate to the most recent ones such as the 6750. There will be a natural replacement as the initial investment is paid off.

In the last few months, it is already feasible, from a strategic point of view, to offer services involving Big Data to clients outside Teradata. One of the components of the UDA ecosystem (Unified Data Architecture) is the IDW (Integrated Data Warehouse), but there are also the Aster Discovery platform and Data Lake, which belongs to Hadoop. In the future, these two components will give the option to be displayed on other solutions besides those offered by Teradata.

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