Rob Strechay and Rebecca Knight, Teradata Possible, October 3

Three insights you might have missed from the ‘Teradata Possible’ event

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AI madness has created an overwhelming amount of choices for today’s IT decision makers.

In August, Teradata Corp. sponsored an August IDC survey that suggested executives at large enterprises globally are facing “unprecedented pressures” when it comes to adopting generative artificial intelligence, data complexity, and a growing skills gap. Two in three top business leaders worry about generative AI’s consequences moving forward, according to the survey.

Those executives may understand generative AI’s value, the survey said, but don’t likely yet feel comfortable employing it. With that in mind, the Teradata Possible event on October 3 sought to examine the road ahead.

Analysts for theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, handled the exclusive coverage during the event, talking with thought leaders at the forefront of enterprise computing. They discussed how the Teradata ecosystem is looking to build data-driven solutions and how the company is seeking to maximize AI opportunities for the enterprise. (* Disclosure below.) 

Here are three key insights you may have missed:

1. Teradata has sought evolution in the age of AI.

As Teradata Possible was set to kick off, there were several areas that theCUBE analyst Rob Strechay (pictured, left) said he was watching. Namely, he was excited to hear more about how to simplify data teams and how to simplify the jobs of data scientists.

“A lot of what Teradata is aimed at is really bringing that knowledge that they have for making bulletproof systems for almost 30 years at this point,” Strechay said. “There’s also a lot that they’re going to be talking about — simplifying open source and open-source communication, between them being a commercial product and the open source you can use with them.”

During that same event preview, fellow analyst Rebecca Knight (right) noted that the event came amid an international conversation surrounding how best to utilize AI moving forward. It was likely that the event would provide context around the potential but also the peril of AI, according to Knight.

“While there is so much excitement, and while executives, by and large, research shows that they are very excited and bullish about the future that AI will have on their products and services, on their workforces, there’s also a lot of concern and even fear about data privacy, data security, compliance,” Knight said.

During an insight panel held later in the day, Strechay said what struck him was the evolution of Teradata. The company, of course, has been around for 40 years and may be viewed in an old-fashioned way.

“When people look at Teradata, they’re like, oh, they’re the old company that retailers used, or healthcare or something like that,” he said. “I think what they’ve proven in this series of events with Possible is, they’re embracing innovation.”

That’s embodied in Teradata’s collaborations with Microsoft Corp. and Amazon Web Services Inc. and its participation in AI projects, such as, done in conjunction with Microsoft and OpenAI. It’s in such initiatives that Teradata has challenged its prior perceptions, according to Knight.

“The ideas that we’ve heard bandied around at this table, but also on the main stage, of how companies are leveraging AI for everyday tasks. Then also to really revolutionize their businesses and even their entire industry,” Knight said.

Here’s the complete insight panel with Rob Strechay and Rebecca Knight, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Possible 2023:

2. The company sees Gen AI through three tiers.

Teradata President and Chief Executive Officer Steve McMillan joined the organization three years ago. One of the reasons he did so was because the data and analytics marketplace was so exciting, according to McMillan.

“Data and analytics is right at the core, the epicenter of so much that’s going on. I think there’s a recent survey that showed if you look at the top three areas of investment for any CIO, it’s cybersecurity — probably not a surprise — data and analytics, and cloud,” McMillan said. “When you put all of those three things together, I think you get some fantastic solutions, fantastic use cases that a lot of our customers here are starting to deploy.”

The launch of ChatGPT has also acted as an accelerant in terms of putting a focus on AI. There isn’t a company board in the world today that isn’t challenging a leadership team with a question regarding what it is doing with generative AI, according to McMillan.

“I think the important thing is to look at it from a proof-of-concept perspective. There’s lots and lots of different areas where Gen AI can impact your organization,” McMillan said. “Thinking about it from three tiers is super important.”

That three-tier perspective starts with transforming customer operations. That affects sales, marketing, R&D and product engineering. Next, it’s the integration of Gen AI into products and services, while reinventing them using innovative technologies. But it really starts to kick in when considering how Gen AI has the potential to revolutionize entire industries.

As McMillan noted, one of the top three areas of investment for any CIO is cybersecurity. The rise of AI has also prompted concerns in regards to security, privacy and governance, and addressing those concerns is paramount, according to Billy Spears, chief information security officer of Teradata.

“The first [thing we want to do at Teradata] is we want to continue to build trust with our customers,” Spears said. “We want to grow that trust so they’ll continue to expand their use of our platform and get all the goodness as a result. The second thing we want to do is we want to think about resiliency right from the start.”

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Steve McMillan, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Possible 2023:

3. Preparing enterprise and working with partners are key focuses.

Before the kickoff of Teradata Possible, it was clear that one of the main focuses was on maximizing AI opportunities for the enterprise. The event saw Teradata explain how it was focused on making AI accessible to a wide range of stakeholders while ensuring it can be trusted.

“As practitioners, we have to be very responsible in approaching how we use data for AI and machine learning models. Teradata has strong governance in place [with] model ops that will monitor the performance and make sure that the data is well-governed and protected,” said Vedat Akgun, vice president of data science and AI at Teradata.

The goal of making AI responsible is shared by Teradata and its partner Accenture PLC. The partnership is deeply rooted in a shared vision, according to Sriram Anand, North America market lead for data and AI and global practice head of delivery and operations for data and analytics at Accenture.

“A lot of the conversations now are educational, helping customers understand where can they do it in a reliable way and really getting them to reality on what their capabilities are and what it’s going to take for them to get there,” Anand said.

Meanwhile, Teradata has sought to advance its vision along with its key partners. Along with Microsoft, Teradata’s for VantageCloud Lake allows users to query data in a large language model from OpenAI that runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

In partnership with AWS, the company has also sought to enable fast and reliable data migrations to the cloud. Teradata’s Vantage platform is optimized to run on AWS for any kind of workload, noted Nimit Jain, head of AI at AWS.

“For customers who want deeper insights to unlock from their data sets, we have ClearScape integrated with AWS SageMaker for deeper insights, and we also have plans to integrate with Amazon Bedrock, which is our new generative AI offering, which is an API-driven service,” Jain said.

Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Vedat Akgun, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Possible 2023:

To watch more of theCUBE’s coverage of the Teradata Possible event, here’s our complete event video playlist:

(* Disclosure: This is an unsponsored editorial segment. However, theCUBE is a paid media partner for Possible 2023. Teradata Corp. and other sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage do not have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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