NCR opened its Partners conference with a swathe of product and strategy announcements in San Diego.
As expected, the company launched its Teradata data warehousing solution for Windows NT, now available around the world.
Bill Eisenman, senior vice president, NCR's computer systems group, said: "We are making Teradata available in the Windows NT environment in a truly open and portable fashion."
NCR hopes this new offering will take the data warehousing solutions to mid-market and smaller clients with Eisenman saying the move would enable businesses of differing sizes and budgets to implement Teradata. The NT version of Teradata will run on both NCR, and non-NCR, Intel-based hardware platforms.
NCR acknowledges that NT is not yet robust enough to support very large mission-critical databases. Dan Harrington, vice president, data warehouse marketing, computer systems group, NCR, estimated that the new NT data warehousing offering was currently suitable for a data warehouse of up to around 200GB.
NCR officials predict that sales of Teradata for NT could outpace sales of the Teradata for Unix offering within three to four years.
The company also announced its new consumer data privacy initiative. The aim of the initiative is to assist NCR customers to comply with, or exceed, consumer data privacy initiatives in the US, Europe and around the world.
Later this year, NCR plans to offer Teradata relational databases which will enable NCR customers' clients to opt in or out of personal data gathering.
The databases will also be able to create reports for customers detailing information held on them, how that information is being used, and enabling them to correct errors in the data.
NCR's privacy initiative will also encompass a range of data privacy consulting services, to be launched throughout the first half of 1999.
Lars Nyberg, chairman and CEO of NCR, said: "Businesses, consumers, journalists and policy makers around the world are watching closely to see how well the private sector fulfills its commitment to create a credible system of self-regulation that protects consumer privacy. We intend to be a leader and to educate our customers about how to use our products to ensure adequate data privacy protection measures are in place for their consumers."
NCR has also announced a shift in sales strategy to a model using the channel in conjunction with its direct sales force. The new model will be rolled out globally over coming months and will see NCR partnering with systems integrators, consultants, non-NCR Windows NT platform vendors and application channels.
Meanwhile, in his opening address to conference delegates, Nyberg emphasised NCR's commitment to expanding its data warehousing and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
"The key is using customer data for mass customisation," Nyberg said, adding that companies can use data warehousing solutions to decide which customers they do, and do not want to keep.
He outlined NCR's intention to take its Teradata data warehousing solution beyond the company's traditional markets -- banking, retail and communications -- to insurance, transport, utilities, healthcare, manufacturing and government. Nyberg outlined a variety of initiatives NCR is pursuing including piloting ATMs which use iris recognition as an alternative to personal identification numbers.