Teradata Cuts Ties With The Marketing Stack

BlockWhile many tech companies are entering the marketing cloud business, Teradata is saying sayonara.

Although it acquired Dutch data management platform FLXOne in October and shortly after rolled out an Integrated Marketing Cloud, Teradata revealed late last week it would sell its marketing applications line of business to focus on its data and analytics offering.

Though its marketing cloud grew 22% YoY in Q3, revenue remained a flat $49 million. By comparison, its core data and analytics business made $557 million last quarter.

“Teradata seems to have made a quick decision driven by the Street,” said Martin Kihn, a research director at Gartner. “They’re sending the signal that they’re focusing on their core and monetizing an asset that could be better used by someone else.”

It remains to be seen who that “someone else” could be.

Some speculate private equity investors will step in and divest key marketing assets, similar to the path eBay Enterprise took. Others suggest any number of enterprise companies could serve as potential acquirers.

“Aprimo [a campaign manager Teradata bought for $525 million in 2010] was a good acquisition for them and they’ve done a lot with the marketing piece,” said Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research. “If you’re a company that wants to build out marketing apps on top of a database and analytics, it would make sense for that.”

Teradata’s various other acquisitions included email marketing system eCircle and social marketing solution Argyle Social.

But word on the street is Teradata struggled to swiftly integrate those tools and it didn’t invest in media execution capabilities like other marketing clouds.

Although some of Teradata’s database and on-premise marketing deployments are unaffected, by selling its marketing-focused applications, there could be a “business blind spot” now in Teradata’s existing services, said Rusty Warner, a principal analyst at Forrester.

“Teradata’s lack of customer information leaves the company out of the data economy … at the same time other vendors are buying into the data economy,” Warner noted.

He pointed to Oracle’s rollout of a Data Cloud last year and IBM’s recent acquisition of The Weather Company’s cloud-based assets and subsequent launch of Insight Cloud Services in partnership with Twitter.

Teradata’s investment in a cloud-based digital marketing tech stack seemed promising (Gartner consistently named it a leader in multichannel campaign management), which makes its pullout perplexing.

In addition to its DMP investment, Teradata bought mobile marketing platform Appoxee in January, a tool designed to drive user engagement for publishers and app developers.

Bolting on acquired solutions as add-ons, however, doesn’t meet the rigorous demands of cross-channel marketing, a core business focus in and of itself.

As Forrester pointed out in its first enterprise marketing cloud Wave, the biggest question was whether Teradata could successfully translate its marketing resource management and data chops to the digital marketing realm.

“A lot of their R&D was being consumed by the core Teradata product competing in a NoSQL and Hadoop database world,” added Wang. “They hadn’t been investing enough on the apps side.”

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