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Giving China the big data edge

By Zheng Yiran | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-09 10:05
Victor L. Lund, president and CEO of Teradata Corp, delivers a speech at the Teradata Universe Beijing 2018, a big data summit that was held in May. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Victor L. Lund drives Teradata's efforts to empower firms in the mainland with cloud-based analytics

"When a company has focus on the customer, a solid strategy and a team that can execute the strategy, its customers, shareholders and employees always succeed," said Victor L. Lund, 71, president and CEO of Teradata Corp.

The US-based big data and analytics company is seeking to extend its footprint in China, which is already its second-largest and fastest-growing market.

In the first quarter of this year, Teradata exceeded its global target with a revenue of more than $506 million, up by $15 million from the same period last year.

Teradata plans to customize its offerings to the Chinese market, which Lund believes offers "significant growth opportunities".

According to a report from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, sales revenue of China's big data industry will reach 620 billion yuan ($96.68 billion) by the end of this year, surging 32 percent year-on-year. It is estimated to surpass 1.01 trillion yuan by 2020.

"Our next step in China would be to increase our investment so that companies operating here may benefit from our software and cloud services for advanced analytics," Lund said.

Teradata's products are used by well-known local corporates such as China Telecom, China Mobile, China Post, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Lenovo Group, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China.

Aaron Hsin, president of Teradata China, said the company, too, will benefit from meeting the stiff challenges arising from the local expansion. The experience will enable Teradata's human resources to grow and evolve professionally. "Teradata cherishes its talents."

In turn, the company's clients cherish Teradata, Lund said. Last year, a carmaker faced problems in sourcing its logo from external suppliers. It had to fly to different locations to firm up deals with alternative logo suppliers globally.

To this end, the carmaker needed air and road transportation. It ended up spending an extra $200 million in all in that year. Later, it started using Teradata's solution, which helped configure the most efficient route of transportation and planning, and reduced costs by 75 percent, he said.

Lund further said, "Our flexible approach lets customers move forward with confidence knowing that their investments are protected as their needs evolve."

Analytics is critical, but it is services that make the difference, he said. "Our consulting organization is focused on helping customers achieve high-impact business outcomes. We employ industry experts to help drive data and analytics strategy and thought leadership.

"Our services organization combines business and technical skills to understand customer needs first, and only then, they define the technology solution to deliver the business outcomes."

His management philosophy is "to build a team that is self-motivated, give focused, clear direction and then get out of the way and let the team do their job".

Prior to his joining Teradata, Lund served as the member of the board of Service Corp International, a listed American provider of funeral goods and services.

Before that, he served as chairman of three companies: Mariner Healthcare, a long-term healthcare services company; analytics company DemandTec; and retail giant American Stores.

He also served on several publicly traded company boards, including Del Monte Foods and Delta Airlines.

Lund's career graph spans industries like retail, aviation, healthcare and technology. His versatility has also helped him to understand "the value of customer", he said. "I've always enjoyed learning about new businesses, and while there are great differences in each industry, at their core, they all have key common traits."

He has progressed through a number of roles and companies by applying his talent where he can make a difference.

"I've been very fortunate to have opportunities come my way and have engaged with those that seemed to be a good fit. The key to opportunity is doing a great job and having a passion for what you do."

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