Ingres, the company, is:
- Changing its name to Actian.
- Deemphasizing Ingres, the product.
- Emphasizing a set of products that don’t exist yet (or at least aren’t shipping), namely lightweight mobile apps that are business-intelligence-plus-an-action, and technology for building them. These are called “Action Apps”, and are discussed on the Actian company blog.
- Positioning all this as something to do with “big data” (what a shock).
It turns out that Actian was the name of an ancient athletic competition commemorating Augustus’ defeat of Anthony at Actium, a battle that was more recently memorialized in the movie Cleopatra. Frankly, I think Cleopatra Software might have been a more interesting company name, although that could mean execs would have to arrive at sales calls rolled up in a carpet.
One article said:
Greg Wood, chief financial officer for Actian, told V3 that while the firm would continue to develop and maintain the Ingres database platform, its would be placing the spotlight on its Cloud Action Platform and its line of Action Apps.
“The Ingres database is well-recognised and we will continue to support it, but at the same time that brand was more associated with an older-generation technology,” Wood said.
“We think Actian better reflects where we are going as a company, particularly the application strategy.”
Wood explained that the platform would look to expand on the emerging field of big data applications by adding functionality for end users. The small, specialised applications would link up with data analytics tools, providing alerts and actions when various conditions are spotted within a database.
So what about VectorWise? Notwithstanding Actian’s stated focus on “big data”, I think VectorWise’s chances for market success are slim.* Reasons include:
- The market for shared-disk columnar analytic DBMS is crowded (Sybase IQ, Infobright, SAND). Those vendors also have to compete with MPP columnar analytic DBMS offerings from Vertica and ParAccel.
- I’ve never heard anything to make me believe VectorWise is getting significant market traction.
- Indeed, Daniel Abadi’s well-known flirtation with the idea of using VectorWise in HadoopDB/Hadapt excepted, I don’t recall any marketplace mention of VectorWise at all.
*The possibility of some kind of Action App synergy leads me to elevate them to “slim” from “none”.
The Action App idea actually sounds cool, but it’s quite a change from Ingres’ previous positioning and technology, and I have no basis for judging it as likely to succeed. On the other hand, companies have occasionally made successful transitions into business intelligence from relatively unrelated businesses before, most notably Cognos in the mid-1990s.