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Why We’re So Positive

Regular readers know that the Sybase IQ blog is one of the most upbeat industry sites you will find anywhere. There’s a simple reason for that — we who contribute share an impossible-to-conceal enthusiasm for Sybase IQ and the possibilities it opens up for data warehousing and analytics users in a wide variety of business settings around the world. Sybase IQ powers some of the most sophisticated and challenging analytics environments on earth, and delivers unprecedented (and often unexpected) business value to just about everyone who uses it.

So, yes, there’s plenty to be excited about.

I was pondering all the reasons we’re so positive this morning as I listened to Sybase Chairman, CEO, and President John Chen on his quarterly earnings webcast. If you’re tired of fear and worry and economic doldrums, and if you’d like a refreshing shot of good news, go ahead: give it a listen.

Let me just point out a few key items from the CEO’s report:

Q4 2009 was the best quarter in Sybase history
It was the company’s ninth consecutive record quarter
It completed Sybase’s third consecutive record year

Our overall database license revenue grew 22% in 2009. In Q4, database license revenue was up a “mere” 9% over Q4 2008 — only because we did so spectacularly well in that quarter that it was pretty hard to top it! Sybase IQ, along with Sybase RAP, combined to make analytics a major driver of database license revenue both for the quarter and the year. Mr. Chen reports that our analytics business enjoyed solid double-digit growth in 2009.

Sybase IQ signed on 66 new customers in Q4. They join the ranks of our more than 1700 customers worldwide, the largest customer base (by far) of any specialty analytics server.

Q4 also saw the beta release of a new analytic solution for the telecom space, designed to operate in a cloud computing environment. Built on Sybase IQ, this solution is designed to provide operators with deeper insight into out-of-network messaging traffic patterns and customer behavior, as well as overall network performance. Sybase is uniquely positioned to enter this market because we already have the raw data in our hubs — more than 97% of SMS data is currently handled by Sybase. Moreover, Sybase IQ is designed specifically for high-performance analytics applications like this.

The only hint of a dark cloud on the horizon is the reality-check question that the CEO raises himself: how long can Sybase sustain numbers like these? In response, he provides some impressive numbers from industry analysts. Their forecasts indicate continued double-digit growth for the overall analytics market for some time to come.

And when John Chen says he expects to continue to beat that rate of growth…well, it’s hard to argue with a track record like his.

To that analysis I would add these two salient facts, as reported on this site a couple of months ago:

According to a recent report from the Data Warehousing Institute, 38% of organizations surveyed are practicing advanced analytics today, and 85% say they’ll be practicing it within three years.

Over that same three years, 48% of those organizations plan to completely replace their current data warehouse platform.

So it looks like big changes are coming, and soon. I’ll leave predicting the future of the market to the industry analysts and our CEO, but there’s one prediction I’m perfectly comfortable making:

For the foreseeable future, the contributors to (and readers of) this blog are going to have plenty to smile about.

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