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Data is in: Hortonworks shaves several mill off operating losses

But Tableau, Teradata grapple with transition to subscriptions

It's results time again, and Hadoop-flinger Hortonworks has reported a positive quarter, with revenues up and a slight shrinkage in its operating losses.

The firm posted revenues of $69.0m in the quarter ending September 30 - up 45 per cent from $47.5m in Q3 2016. That’s similar to the boost it saw in Q2, when there was a 42 per cent year-on-year increase in revenues to $61.8m.

But the biz, which went public in 2014, has been burning through cash and coming under increasing pressure to get its spending under control.

This quarter’s results show some progress towards this, cutting operating losses to $44.2m - a 31.6 per cent decrease, compared with the same period in 2016. Operating losses in Q2 were $56.1m, and $54.4m in Q1 this year.

However, it still burnt through $15.4m operating cash in this quarter - although that’s about half that used in Q3 2016, it’s not quite the “low teens” CEO Rob Bearden said he was aiming for.


Data viz biz Tableau, meanwhile, has had a less successful quarter. It reported a 4.3 per cent growth in revenues year-on-year, to $214.9m for the three months ended September 30 2017.

Its net losses have also increased, reaching $46.6m in Q3 2017, up from $30.3m in the same period for 2016. ®

However, CEO Adam Seplipsky emphasised that the company’s transition to a subscription-based model “can impact quarter-to-quarter results” but that it was “in the best interest of our customers”.

He added that the move had “added a layer of consideration” for US enterprise customers - the majority of their existing perpetual licenses - that had extended the timelines for their larger deals.

Pushed on why this was the case in the analysts' Q&A - given the move to a subscription model was supposed to reduce friction for customers - Seplinsky said a “significant” part of the “size and depth of deployment”.

It was “natural” for such customers to take longer, he said, because there are more security, governance and compliance matters to consider.


Another firm grappling with the switch from perpetual licenses to subscriptions is Teradata, which has overhauled its business as part of a wider strategy change.

The data warehouse biz has posted a 5 per cent drop in revenue for the three months ended September 30, down from $552m to $526m.

But - perhaps because it follows two previous quarters with bigger declines in revenues - Q2 saw a 14 per cent drop, year-on-year, and Q1, a 10 per cent - boss Vic Lund said Teradata “has turned the corner”.

Lund told analysts that Teradata was “starting to feel its stride” with the new strategy, as staff were “moving from fearing change to embracing it”.

He added that there were “several large transactions that are on track for Q4” that are still in active negotiation. ®

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