Surfing in Hawaii

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Kalido has announced the Kalido KONA Information Appliance. Of course, as you will know, Kona is the word for capital in Hawaiian and, since the appliance is based on the Netezza TwinFin, the reference in the title of this article will be obvious!

The KONA appliance is an integrated analytic, MDM and data governance solution based on Netezza’s platform, with Kalido providing the relevant software for speeding up the implementation of the appliance, master data management and data governance; and QlikTech providing reporting and dashboards. There will be two specialised versions of the appliance available initially: one for pharmaceutical sales and marketing analytics and one for insurance sales and distribution analytics, each of will include pre-built analytics, data models and so forth. Kalido expects due to introduce further vertical appliances in due course. The price is pitched at $450,000 for a 10Tb system including professional services.

Although you can order the appliance now it will not be generally available until next year. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that Netezza plans to introduce further mixed query workload capabilities in this timeframe, which will be needed to support this combination of analytics and look-ups (which you will get in an MDM environment) and the second is that Kalido will be introducing new data governance capabilities at around the same time and, while the press release doesn’t mention either of these facts my guess is that both will be central to this new offering.

This is an interesting announcement for three reasons: first, it continues Netezza’s approach of encouraging partners to develop specialised application (so-called edge appliances though this is quite a way from the edge), thus broadening its approach to the market. Secondly, it strengthens the Netezza/Kalido relationship. This is important because joint users I have spoken to about this were extremely pleased when the initial partnership was announced (one referred to it as a marriage made in heaven) so this will no doubt please them even more as a demonstration of that relationship.

Thirdly, and perhaps more interestingly, it is potentially significant from a purely MDM perspective. As far as I know, this is the first such solution, certainly from one of the smaller vendors, to be offered within the MDM market. If it proves attractive to clients, and I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t do so, then how do Kalido’s competitors respond? With difficulty, would seem the most likely answer.

Of course, the one other question that it does raise about the Kalido/Netezza relationship is whether Netezza will acquire Kalido? I can’t answer that but there is a parallel: last year Netezza introduced a compliance appliance in conjunction with Tizor Systems (which was a spin-off from Bell Labs): this year they bought the company. Clearly it is in Netezza’s interest to broaden its offering, especially as the 800lb gorillas in the data warehousing market finally gear up to the challenge posed by Netezza and others. This will mean that the market is going to get tougher and broadening its portfolio is an obvious route for Netezza to go down.