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Teradata and H2O.ai partner on multi-cloud platform

The partnership between the open source AI vendor and veteran data service provider demonstrates the emphasis enterprises are now placing on the data in their AI systems.

Data warehouse pioneer Teradata and AI cloud vendor H2O.ai made generally available to their customers the integration of H2O.ai Hybrid Cloud with Teradata Vantage, the vendor's multi-cloud data platform.

They said the integration, unveiled Oct. 25, will enable enterprises to make, deploy and operate AI projects faster for their businesses regardless of whether they have data on one cloud, multiple clouds or in hybrid platforms.

"There are two very strong trends," said Svetlana Sicular, an analyst at Gartner. "One is the move to multi-cloud, and another is the shift ... in AI overall from algorithms to data."

More enterprises are seeing the need to move from a single cloud platform to a multi-cloud platform, with a focus on using data for analytics and business intelligence.

Teradata, a 42-year-old tech company, has expanded beyond its data warehouse roots in recent years to provide more enterprise applications. Teradata now refers to itself as a "multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics company."

Enterprises go multi-cloud

Meanwhile, Gartner research has found that many enterprises are using a multi-cloud strategy.

"They are looking for some sort of portability or figuring out how to not be locked in with a single vendor, or … a big or large cloud provider," Sicular said.

There are two very strong trends. One is the move to multi-cloud, and another is the shift … in AI overall from algorithms to data.
Svetlana SicularAnalyst, Gartner

Teradata Vantage enables data engineers and data scientists to process and prepare data for machine learning, while the H2O.ai hybrid cloud is aimed at data scientists who are building AI and machine learning models.

The integration of the vendors' technologies also comes at a time when the AI sector is shifting from a model-centric to a data-centric approach, Sicular added. The model-centric approach was popular several years ago when AI and machine learning were becoming popular among enterprises, and customers were figuring out the full lifecycle of AI.

Now, algorithms are being commoditized, and are more widely available to many organizations.

"Many companies have figured out that they can buy off-the-shelf algorithms … but the algorithm is not everything," Sicular continued. "They need to figure out: What is the high-value data that they use for the algorithm?"

Sicular said Teradata has proven itself over the years with its various data management systems and  understands how to optimize large and complex workloads. For its part, H20.ai is a prominent name in open source AI and machine learning.

"It's a partnership not only with the H2O commercial offering, but it also probably will attract a lot of companies who have H2O as an open source [technology], and that's pretty much everyone," she said.

Open source AI

H2O.ai's open source stance has sparked a wave of AI innovation with data, said CEO and co-founder Sri Ambati.

With the Teradata deal, the AI vendor now is able to give its customers access to multi-cloud.

"Open source breeds freedom, and customers needs freedom to innovate," Ambati said. "Having that go between any cloud gives the customer the choice."

With the integration, H2O.ai users can employ data Teradata has gathered to help customers predict what their next course of action should be, according to the vendors.

In banking, the integration can help optimize customer relations and detect and prevent fraud. In manufacturing, companies can use it to predict when a machine is going to malfunction and the best maintenance options to prevent it.

"The point is to be able to predict these things before they happen," said Stephen Brobst, Teradata CTO. "You can intervene so you're being proactive rather than reactive in your business decision-making."

Teradata said there isn't an extra cost for customers already using their system.

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