Netezza CEO Speaks Big Data, Not Search

April 18, 2011

Xconomy Boston recently ran an interview with a former Endeca executive.  In the piece titled “Netezza Chief Talks About “Formative” PTC Days, IBM Deal History, and the Future of Big Data“, James Baum has much to discuss. We found this interesting because Endeca has been a player in moving search into business intelligence, and IBM now owns Netezza. Making the mix more interesting, IBM used Endeca technology for one of its Web sites.

The IBM purchase of Netezza late last year was valued at about $2.0 billion. Netezza had flirted with search vendors Attivio and Coveo, but the Endeca hook may alter the Netezza search landscape once again.

The former Endeca professional has, according to the article, played a role in building revenues in a number of companies. Now the Endeca executive is tackling a commercial business with some open source challenges. Mr. Baum asserted:

There’s some really interesting stuff going on with open-source analytics that has the opportunity to offset some of the dominance of the big analytics vendors. We’re seeing many customers beginning to use open-source tools like R [language for statistical computing]. There are startups around it, sort of following the Red Hat [Linux] model. There’s really interesting stuff going on in solid state—SSD [solid state drive] storage is becoming important to big data. It’s still expensive and hard to maintain, and hard to build around. But it’s a really important technology and one that you’ll see us taking advantage of. The other area in core technology that we’re seeing evolve is the use of GPUs [graphics chips] for some of the specific computational processing activities going on. There is opportunity there. Those are interesting spaces to watch.

While he is certainly knowledgeable and successful, whether or not he is a prophet as well remains to be seen.  Trends, like polls and reviews of just about anything, tend to be a touch subjective. With IBM and its resources anything is possible.

Sarah Rogers, April 18, 2011

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