April 16, 2011

Unpacking the EMC Greenplum Q1 sales disaster rumors

A well-connected tipster believes:

In the past I might have called Greenplum for clarification, but they’re not knocking themselves out to inform me these days, nor to inspire me with confidence in what they say. 

*I’m in the large majority that refers to the EMC Data Computing Division as “Greenplum” or “EMC Greenplum.”

Let’s unpack that a bit.

First, it makes a huge difference whether we’re talking about:

Indeed, pre-EMC Greenplum got a considerable fraction of its revenue on a subscription basis. One implication is that “license revenue” and “new-sale license revenue” aren’t the same figure. Another is that the difference in immediate revenue between an appliance sale and a software-only subscription is drastic (8X alone for the difference between quarterly subscription and perpetual license fee, times another factor for the inclusion of hardware).

I’m also having a bit of trouble swallowing that supposed $35 million target. If we recall that the quota for the sum is always less than the sum of the quotas, we’re talking about perhaps a $5-600K quota per team. That could be reasonable or even low for a fully productive team that’s selling hardware and software together (even in a Q1). But if there really are anywhere near that many Greenplum sales teams, then a large majority are really new. And data warehouse appliances (more so than just analytic DBMS) have long sales cycles.

Bottom line: I haven’t heard anything that suggests EMC Greenplum’s storage-vs.-DBMS strategic war is going well. But I also wouldn’t assume things are quite as grim as rumors suggest.


3 Responses to “Unpacking the EMC Greenplum Q1 sales disaster rumors”

  1. High Performance Analytics « DECISION STATS on April 23rd, 2011 1:37 pm

    […] Unpacking the EMC Greenplum Q1 sales disaster rumors (dbms2.com) […]

  2. The Vertica story (with soundbites!) | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on June 21st, 2011 9:27 am

    […] honeymoon period at HP is likely to last for a while. (Edit: That said, not all is peachy at EMC/Greenplum.) Categories: Benchmarks and POCs, Columnar database management, ParAccel, Parallelization, […]

  3. Analytic trends in 2012: Q&A : DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on November 21st, 2011 6:04 am

    […] don’t think trying to force Vertica beyond its natural growth — the way EMC is with Greenplum — is necessarily a good idea. Natural growth in Vertica’s case is plenty fast […]

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