New Teradata CEO Takes Aim at Government Market

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2005-03-23 Email Print this article Print

Leslee Gault, new president and CEO of NCR Government Systems, Teradata Division, plans to focus on entering the government market through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

With clear mandates for data sharing and tracking of complex requirements, it would make sense for Teradata, with its legendary data warehousing capabilities, to be everywhere in the federal government. But that assumption is wrong.

In fact, except for a few installations in the Air Force, Navy and the U.S. Postal Service, the company is most notable by its absence.

That's something that Leslee Gault—who took over as president and CEO of NCR Government Systems, Teradata Division, in November—plans to change.

First on the agenda is the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), a natural home for Teradata's active data warehousing and predictive modeling capabilities.

Gault has already started to refocus her group's efforts on entering the government market.

"We're marketing to the DHS," Gault said in an interview Tuesday.

The first thing Gault had to do, however, was reorganize her company so it could better respond to its customers.

That meant setting up separate teams for civilian agencies, the Defense Department, intelligence agencies and other potential customers.

"We've done a really good job of growing over the last three years," Gault said. "I want to get out and be strategic."

Gault also said she wants to make better use of existing efforts.

"We have some great implementations for the Air Force," she said. "I want to leverage these elsewhere in DoD."

But the big prize these days is in security, especially at Homeland Security.

That agency, however, is frequently hamstrung by its own budget.

"When that agency was formed, they really didn't get any new money," Gault explained. "Each of the 22 agencies retained their own budget. It's not until 2006 that we'll see DHS stand up with their own procurements."

In addition to marketing to the federal government on its own, Gault wants to develop relationships with other companies that sell to the federal government.

"We're putting together a focused effort to form relationships with major systems integrators," Gault said.

Lou Agosta, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, said part of the reason for Teradata's lack of penetration is due to foot-dragging on the part of the government.

"The government has been a lagging adopter of technology," Agosta said.

He said he thinks recent attempts by the Homeland Security department and other agencies to catch up with more modern IT hold a lot of promise for Teradata's products.

Teradata's advantage.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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