Teradata to acquire cloud digital marketing provider eCircle

Teradata announces yet another acquisition in the digital marketing space, going all-in on value-added Big Data for the CMO.
Written by Andrew Brust, Contributor

Teradata, and its Aprimo division, both of whom I've written about here before, have announced they have signed an agreement to acquire Munich-based email marketing and social media software provider eCircle.  eCircle is the largest provider of its kind in Europe and bringing in its 1000 customers will nearly double Teradata's customer base.

Teradata's on a bit of a tear.  After decades of even keeled existence in the data warehouse appliance space (a portion of which it spent as a divison of NCR before again becoming independent), it is embarking on its 3rd large acquisition in as many years.  In January, 2011, Teradata completed its acquisition of Aprimo, maker of marketing management software.  In March, 2011, Teradata completed its acquisition of Aster Data, a company focused on Big Data and its intersection with SQL-based database management systems.  And don't forget that just last week, Teradata announced an analytics-focused partnership with SAS Institute.

It's fair to say that Teradata has been busy growing through alliances and acquisitions.

All part of the plan I spoke with Darryl McDonald, Teradata's Executive Vice President Applications, Business Development & CMO, and Stephanie Miller, Teradata Aprimo's Vice President of Email & Digital Services. Both execs told me that, historically, about 60-70% of Teradata's customer base has been in the marketing space.  With that in mind, the company has established a growth strategy around bringing Big Data analytics to its customers by embedding it into, and surrounding it with, tools of the marketer trade. 

Looks like this strategy is turning out well.  With the intended acquisition of eCircle, Teradata gets an end-to-end solution that goes well beyond a raw roll-out of Hadoop.  Instead, customers get what they need to take online and social data, marry that with their enterprise data warehouse data, analyze all of it together and then build out corresponding campaigns.  This makes it possible to generate ad placements, deploy email communications or create promotions tailored to particular customer segments.  More important, these customer segments can be codified and their preferences and buying habits be well known.

Forward-looking Some might ask whether Teradata is a BI company or a Big Data company.  Meanwhile, Teradata seems to be saying it's a solutions company for the CMO and the marketing organization.  Teradata uses various BI and Big Data technology as a means to a customer-focused end.

They're smart to do that.  The Big Data industry is going to have to move past mere development and deployment of infrastructure and assignment of data science professionals. That's a good start, but if that's all there is, then things will hit boondoggle status fairly quickly.

Instead, fully applied, vertical Big Data solutions are what part of the market is already asking for, and eventually will be what the market as a whole demands.

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