The advent of the 21st century has witnessed an explosion in innovation most importantly the IT sector has taken the lead with futuristic designs, technologies and innovation that aim at integrating the world. With the world fast evolving, the creation of the computer has to be the single most important discovery after the wheel. And with the use of computers increasingly becoming a necessity, the demand for Data Warehousing and Enterprise analytics has also witnessed a massive increase. To understand more about Data Warehousing and Enterprise Analytics we talked to Teradata Managing Director, Khurram Rahat to find out in greater detail the industry dynamics and how Teradata as a leading provider of powerful, enterprise analytic technologies and services is foreseeing its business and scope in the near future.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your company? How has the response been for your organisation in Pakistan?
The man Presently I work as the Managing Director of Teradata in Pakistan. I did my MBA from IBA, Karachi which helped me launch my career in sales. I have had experience in various sales, project management and senior management positions at country and regional level comprising of 21 years, with NCR and after the divesture of NCR in 2007, with Teradata.
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The company Our company, Teradata is the world’s largest company focused on integrated data warehousing, big data analytics and business applications. Our powerful solutions portfolio and database are the foundation on which we’ve built our leadership position in business intelligence. Teradata, being originally a part of NCR, is operating in Pakistan as a multinational company since the early 1990s. In terms of corporate standing, Teradata contributes widely to the field of IT development in Pakistan – be it investing in education programs, recognising professionals through IT excellence awards or introducing emerging technologies in the country or setting up the first of its kind Global Consulting Center. In Pakistan we are bringing a technological cultural change in the IT industry by emphasising on customer service. We help our clients in transforming transactions into relationships. We’re a proven, trusted partner for businesses all across the globe. Our customers in Pakistan and globally are some of the leading organisations representing key sectors including government, telecommunications, financial, retail and airline industry.
The response in Pakistan
The response to Teradata within Pakistan, though initially slow, has been very encouraging. More and more organisations are embracing enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence solutions. In our portfolio we have clients, who are market leaders or, are challenging the market leaders. This fact alone speaks for itself about the value we help create for our customers.
Customer base and products
Q: Tell us about your customer base in the region? Who are they, and how do your products facilitate their businesses?
In Pakistan, we introduced the concept of Enterprise Data Warehousing and Enterprise Analytics in late 1990s. It was hard at first to create awareness and make our users realise the importance of deriving strategic information for decision making. But slowly, leading organizations in the country especially in the telecom sector, have understood the importance. Other than Telecom sector, leading companies in Finance, Retail, Airline and Government sectors are using our solutions for Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and Business Intelligence (BI). We have also deployed and maintained some of the largest Contact Centers for our clients.
Working out complex analysis
We have the technology, database and hardware that serve the task of answering complex questions and working out complex analysis. Also our hardware architecture allows the client to grow their processing power of storage rather than buying a bigger server and this ensures investment protection. Basically our solutions help in better strategic decision making and that has a positive impact on our client’s bottom line.
Q: Does increasing investment in the business in Pakistan ensure a competitive advantage for Teradata?
Faith in Pakistan
Teradata always has belief in the future of Pakistan and enhanced investments reaffirm our commitment to provide the best, competitive solutions.
Our competitive advantage relies on the latest technology we offer. Teradata is focused on a very high end specific niche which is Enterprise Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. The technology we offer, in both database and hardware, is the best for business intelligence. Also, our database technology is designed to handle complex queries very efficiently and provide information and analysis in the least possible time.
Credibility and data integrity
Q: Given that you cater to various industries, how do you maintain your credibility and ensure data integrity, especially when it comes to data warehouse where data integrity is of immense importance.
Emphasis on ethics
Teradata prides itself in maintaining resources of highest ethical values – our corporate values lay special emphasis on ethics and its compliance within the organization and also for its clients. It is true that we are solution providers and consultants to leading organisations within the same sector, but ensuring data integrity and business rules secrecy is our pride.
The marketing dimension
Q: How do you manage B2B marketing? How challenging is it compared to B2C marketing? Do you rely on print media for advertisements and marketing?
Marketing for Teradata is not as same as marketing for other industries. Our products and services are targeted towards a niche band of organisations who want to invest in information technology to devise efficient decision making criterion. Teradata conducts B2B marketing through global and regional conferences, roadshows, direct mail shots and interactive knowledge sharing sessions with our partners.
Q11: There are international cases of offensive marketing against you. If your competitor adopts offensive marketing in Pakistan as well, would you counter it?
Teradata does not indulge in unethical and offensive marketing. We believe in using marketing as a tool and vehicle to bring knowledge to the targeted audience and will continue to do so in an ethical and professional manner. We do encounter offensive marketing from time to time, however, we prefer to focus on our strengths and believe that market is intelligent enough to reject such negative attempts.
Dealing with competition
Q: How do you see your business faring against competitors in the region?
Teradata has been faring very strongly against competition due to the strength of our solutions, professional services and focus. Although there are some solutions that strive to provide a data warehousing solution to augment operational data store services, these often fall far short of the requirements of the organisations. I could go on to the details of it but then that would warrant a separate session.
Q: Some companies prefer single vendors. Does that impact you in any way? How do you provide a solution set for this?
You are right in saying that some organisations do have a preference for single vendor for all their IT needs. This trend is fading fast as organisations have come to realize that it is impossible for a single vendor to have best solution in all disciplines of Information Technology. While organisations can claim to have a ‘complete stack’ of solution to meet the IT needs of its customers, the whole stack, itself would not be the ‘best in breed’. Thus, customers cannot really benefit optimally from having one vendor to meet all its IT needs. The growing trend is to go for ‘best in breed’ solution to meet the varying IT needs. These days you will see that almost all customers who have standardised hardware or database platform for their operational systems are going for Teradata as their choice for a Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence foundation platform.
Q3: Given the current economic situation of Pakistan, how does Teradata foresee the future of its business in the country, given a deteriorating macroeconomic situation, with declining foreign direct investment, etc?
I am not at liberty to share the specific details, but we continue to see Pakistan as an emerging market with lot of potential and are looking forward to growth in the sector.
Q12: What is the company vision for 2012 in the region and, most importantly, Pakistan?
Pakistan has a lot of potential for growth and we need to utilise this potential. We aim to take a few positive actions including; investment in training development of human resources and focusing on quality assurance and standards.