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Teradata CEO: We’ve Got Our ‘Swagger’ Back

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

Teradata CEO salutes re-energised company with new customer-centric focus

Teradata CEO Victor Lund believes the company has got its focus and “swagger” back in his first year in charge after stagnating as a company and forgetting to put customers first.

Speaking at Teradata Universe 2017 in Nice, Lund has been keen to emphasise the internal cultural transformation that has taken place at Teradata over the last 12 months, with a new focus on the customer and solving business problems.

“We had lost the focus that we were really here to help our customers succeed and not just sell technology,” he said. “Technology is core to what Teradata does, but we had forgotten that we had to change and move the way our customers want us to.

“Our customers wanted to deploy Teradata in ways that we simply weren’t making available. We were shying away from new technologies like open source and cloud and we weren’t being as aggressive as we should have been in moving forwards to drive our offering to the point where our customers wanted it.”

Teradata Victor and Peter

New focus

Peter Mikkelsen, head of Teradata’s international business agreed, saying that “we probably lost our way a little bit in becoming too IT focused in the 90s” but has now transitioned to being business and customer driven. “The last year has brought more change than the proceeding 10 years” he added.

Lund’s main priority since taking over as CEO in May of last year has been getting the company “up to the speed that’s going to be the pace of Teradata forever to make sure that we stay in touch with what our customers want” and ensuring that it can keep pace with today’s rapidly changing business environment.

And all of this change is ultimately pointing towards Teradata’s goal of becoming a “trusted advisor” to its customers. To do this is will focus on helping customers understand how technology can be used to solve specific business problems.

This will involve taking a holistic view of both business and technology, taking the time to really understand a customer’s business and understanding that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer possible.

“It’s really simple,” Lund said, speaking about the direction in which Teradata is heading. “We want to be a trusted advisor and partner to the great companies we have and the great companies we’re going to have in the future.

“That means we’re going to be customer focused, centred around their outcomes and their wins and we think because of what we bring to the table that will drag us along.”

Quiz: The world of big data analytics