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HP officially discontinues Neoview data warehouse platform

HP has officially axed its Neoview data warehouse product line and existing users have three years until support runs out.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is no longer selling its Neoview data warehouse platform and the hardware giant will stop supporting existing Neoview customers in 2014, sources have confirmed.

Look, there’s really no way to describe [Neoview] other than to say that it was a failure.

Merv Adrian, vice president and information management analyst, Gartner Inc.

The company decided to ax the once-hyped platform after slower-than-expected sales and increasingly stiff competition forced company decision makers to realize that Neoview was the wrong product for the time, according to two sources within HP who are close to the situation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Data warehouse technology allows users to centrally store, analyze and share data that is commonly used for reporting on business trends and operations.

HP is now squarely focused on delivering multiple data warehouse appliances through partnerships with major software vendors, the sources said. The company unveiled a handful of such appliances in conjunction with Microsoft last Thursday.

“After assessing the state of competitive offerings in the market and the expanding needs of our Neoview customers, we have concluded that [those] customers would be better served through a variety of new offerings from HP ranging in scale, speed and focus,” said the first source. “To that effect, we are no longer going to actively sell Neoview to customers.”

HP will also work closely with current Neoview users to help guide their migrations away from the product.

“This is not a quick exit,” said the second source. “We are going to continue to support the Neoview product through 2014 as we work [with customers] to jointly define the best [alternative] solutions.”

Neoview was first released in 2007 but failed to gain significant traction in the marketplace. That prompted some industry analysts to suggest that HP suffered from a lack of vision around its business intelligence (BI) and data warehouse appliance strategy. More recently, reports surfaced on the Internet stating that HP planned to kill off Neoview. But HP sources had not confirmed the end of Neoview until now. An HP representative also sent a statement which says that the company has decided to stop selling Neoview.

What now? Expert advice for Neoview data warehouse users

Existing Neoview data warehouse users need to start thinking about their exit strategy right away because it may take a long time to find a replacement, according to Mike Cleary, director of IT architecture and operations at The Red Wing Shoe Company Inc. in Red Wing, Minn.

“You don’t have to rush for a solution,” said Cleary, a longtime HP hardware user. “But you should at least start the process.”

This is also a good time for Neoview users to revisit the reasons they purchased the product in the first place to see if requirements have changed, Cleary said.

“My advice would be not to wait until the end of those three years because the product will start losing focus [in terms of] security patches and things like that,” he said. “You’re simply putting yourself in a precarious position the longer you wait.”

Neoview users will definitely want to stay on top of HP about bug fixes and any technical support issues that might arise in the next three years, said James Kobielus, a senior data management technology analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc.

“Users have to think about quick bug fixes and technical support issues and the ability to add capacity, like additional storage units, to existing Neoview deployments,” Kobielus said. “HP [also needs to provide] them with a migration plan or strategy.”

The HP Neoview data warehouse: What went wrong?

The decision to take Neoview off the market isn’t very surprising because HP took several missteps in its efforts to develop and market the product, according to Merv Adrian, a vice president and information management analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.

“Look, there’s really no way to describe it other than to say that it was a failure,” Adrian said. “The fact is they came into a market that had some established successful players and for some reason believed they could compete with a product that had effectively been in their portfolio for a number of years.”

HP also did very little to promote and market the product broadly and win mindshare with prospective clients, Adrian explained. 

“They did not have anywhere near the recognition in the marketplace that Oracle, IBM and Teradata had,” he said.

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