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Greenplum Sees BI as Sweet Market

It might just be that there are just as many business intelligence software solutions coming into the market as there are business intelligence definitions being bantered about.

One of the latest is Greenplum, a San Mateo-based startup that released the third version of what it's claiming is now "world's first Internet-scale" database.

An open source solution, Greenplum Database 3.0 supports petabye data warehousing at a rate of 10 to 100 times faster than traditional data warehouse tools, says the start-up, which boasts more than a slight friendship to Sun Microsystems and SAP, both company investors.

Greenplum's backers clearly aren't put off by the fact that there are already some formidable business intelligence software players on the playground.

Last March Oracle pushed forward into BI with its $3.3 billion buy of Hyperion Solutions. Later in the year SAP bought Business Objects for just about double what Oracle laid out for its latest solution.

Then of course there's IBM's gobbling up Cognos for $5 billion late in the year. Just last week IBM outlined its ambitious BI plans.

And don't forget Microsoft and its formidable hold in the Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), a big segment within BI applications.

None of that, however, seems to deter Greenplum President Scott Yara who views the data warehousing and BI market as "exploding." He says there's a huge need for his product as current datawarehouse offerings don't expand beyond transactional processing requirements. "We provide a plug-and-play solution with very little of the complexity of today's tools yet it scales easily."

"It [the market] is just massive. Just look at wireless with all the text messaging. The intersection of all that data presents a big opportunity, especially with Internet and networking companies and their data volumes," Yara told . Other market "sweet spots," adds Yara , are the telecommunications and financial services sectors. And then there's Sun's customer calling list; the Greenplum product powers the Sun Data Warehouse Appliance, which integrates servers, storage boxes and databases.

Greenplum says it's signed up over 40 new customers in the 18 months including Video Egg and Skype. Greenplum says VideoEgg is using the application to store and analyze user-generated data for better ad delivery. VoIP vendor Skype said in a release that it is using the product to ferret out network abuse.

Pricing for Greenplum Database 3.0 begins at $25,000 per terabyte on an annual subscription basis.