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IBM's $1.7B Netezza 'Get' a Clear Message to EMC, Oracle

There's no question that IBM is sending a message to both Oracle and EMC with its $1.7 billion acquisition of data warehousing appliance maker Netezza announced Sept. 20.

If they actually had to write it down, that message would go something like this: "OK, EMC, you've got Greenplum. Oracle, you've got all that existing in-house IP. Now we've got Netezza, along with about 22 other data analytics companies that we've swallowed since the mid-zero-zeroes. We're just going to keeping buying up every BI company in sight. Challenge us!"

Another way to look at this is that IBM really needed the data warehousing expertise of Netezza as much as its data analytics.

Data analytics (notice that the word starts out as "anal"), and better management thereof, is where it's at in IT. In fact, wringing data from IT systems and using it for business purposes from all those new virtual and physical machines popping up like so many prairie dogs in Kansas is becoming more integral, almost by the day, for enterprises.

Why? For one thing, you cannot have too much knowledge at your fingertips when it comes to daily business and competition within a market space.

Analysts jumped on this topic. Shawn Rogers, vice president of Research/Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates, pointed out that Netezza has a list of advantages that IBM obviously covets.

"Netezza is a pioneer in the data warehouse and analytic appliance space and is serving over 350 clients worldwide. IBM is buying the leader in the space," Rogers told eWEEK. "Netezza is already highly integrated with InfoSphere, Cognos, SPSS and most recently IBM System X hardware (last year).

"It provides IBM with a very competitive solution to compete with Oracle and the Exadata platform. And lastly it aligns perfectly with IBM's Smarter Planet initiatives and their focus on broadening the reach of business intelligence, performance management and advanced analytics. It a great 'get' for IBM."

In his blog, Forrester Research's Jim Kobielus said: "IBM's acquisition of Netezza was a must for both vendors if they wish to grow their shares of the data warehousing market. They have a common arch rival, Oracle, that is fielding an increasingly formidable appliance-based product portfolio, threatening both vendors' long-term positions in this dynamic market."

More to come on this.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...