Teradata Moves HQ to San Diego in Global Rebranding Effort

Xconomy San Diego — 

Andrian Pawluk was living in San Diego when Teradata hired him this year and tasked him with transforming 65,000 square feet of offices into an alluring workspace for techies—but he had never previously heard of the data warehouse and business analytics company. And although Teradata has had an engineering R&D lab north of the city for years and reported $2.1 billion in revenue last year, that’s not particularly unusual, thanks to the company’s low profile.

Teradata, which has been known primarily for its systems that store huge amounts of diverse data, recently embarked on an effort to amplify the story of its in-progress reinvention as a software-focused California tech firm. The company threw a coming-out party of sorts Monday at its campus in Rancho Bernardo, a San Diego suburb that’s also home to the headquarters of Sony Electronics, Cymer Technologies, and Petco. Nearly 1,000 Teradata employees currently work from its Rancho Bernardo offices.

Company leaders served as walking billboards for the rebranding, dressed in shirts and sneakers emblazoned with the company’s new corporate logo (it’s in a different font than the previous logo, punctuated, and all letters are lowercase). CEO Vic Lund wore fluorescent orange shoes, the color of the dot that follows the company name in the new logo. Lund, a longtime Teradata director who is based in Salt Lake City, became Teradata’s chief executive in 2016.

Previously based in Dayton, OH, Teradata announced in June it would move its headquarters to San Diego by year’s end as part of a broader corporate consolidation.

On Monday, Teradata executives announced new details of its relocation plans to hundreds of its employees and visitors gathered on the grass quad in the complex’s center. The company revealed its new logo and gave tours of a building that it had previously leased to Virginia-based defense contractor Northrup Grumman (NYSE: NOC) but took back to accommodate its growing workforce. With the addition of that space—which has been overhauled, and features Silicon Valley-style accoutrements, including a swath of TV screens tracking the company’s social media interactions in real time and a ping-pong table that doubles as a whiteboard—Teradata now occupies about two-thirds of its 460,000-square-foot corporate campus.

Lund likened the company to an aged vineyard that has been pared back to its roots and grafted with new vines to improve the quality of the grapes it produces.

“We’re going to bring new things to our customers and new thinking, but it’s built here in San Diego on our rootstock, and we’ve added a lot of new vines to the top of this and we’ve come out with 100-(point) score wine,” he said.

The past two years have been a time of transition for Teradata (NYSE: TDC), which has publicly undergone a wholesale revamp of its business strategy. For years, the company’s business model involved clients making big, periodic purchases of Teradata systems, or paying a one-time fee to license its software. The company is shifting toward a software-as-a-service model, in which customers pay smaller, periodic fees based on services used. Last year the company debuted Teradata Everywhere, which provides customers with access to its software via subscription at a variety of price points.

As data proliferates, Teradata has also focused on bulking up its cloud capabilities, and enabling clients that license its software to move data between storage systems, whether on-premise or in the cloud.

Executives have acknowledged the impact of the business model changes on its earnings, but say they expect the pivot to increase recurring revenue as more companies adopt the SaaS purchasing model.

In its latest earnings report, Teradata reported $544 million in second-quarter revenue, beating analyst estimates by about $20 million. That included an 11 percent increase in recurring revenue, underlying a 6 percent increase in total revenue compared to the same period the year before. The results prompted the company to increase its estimate of the percentage of subscription-based transactions it would have in its booking mix in 2018 to 65 to 70 percent (up from 50 to 60 percent).

A leadership team that includes a number of relative newcomers is overseeing the corporate strategy overhaul. Last year the company added Mark Culhane as chief financial officer, Eric Tom as chief revenue officer, and Martyn Etherington as chief marketing officer. Oliver Ratzesberger, who was promoted to chief operating officer this year, has been with the company since 2013.

No matter how good its technology is, Teradata’s reinvention won’t be successful if prospective customers aren’t aware of it, Ratzesberger said in an interview Monday. Getting the world’s biggest analytics users to think of Teradata as a provider of innovative products and services was a major impetus for the rebranding, he said. Another, he said, was to attract and retain tech talent in an ever-tightening labor market.

Of its more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Teradata has roughly 3,500 based in the U.S. The Rancho Bernardo campus has added about 300 new hires so far this year, and plans to hire 200 more by early 2019.

Among the amenities Teradata revealed Monday was a new 8,621-square-foot employee gym. It’s three times the size of the previous gym, and its offerings include Peloton stationary spin bikes and a yoga studio. The company also unveiled gleaming new offices designed with collaboration and socializing in mind as well as work. The campus’s juice bar was still under construction.

Photo of an area within Teradata’s new 65,000-square-foot office space at its Rancho Bernardo campus, used with permission of the company