The University of Texas-Pan American receives technology grant from Wal-Mart
By Julia Benitez Sullivan, Director of University Rel
Posted: 02/18/2000
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EDINBURG – The University of Texas-Pan American today announced the institution is one of six colleges and universities chosen to receive a donation of computer hardware and software to help students gain practical experience in data warehouse technology. New systems with this capability carry a current list price of approximately $7 million.

The grant, provided by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and NCR Corporation, includes an NCR WorldMark massively parallel computer system equipped with approximately 1.7 terabytes of storage. A terabyte of information equals 250 million pages of text, meaning this system can store 425 million pages. The systems run NCR’s Teradata Warehouse — the core software component of Wal-Mart’s data warehouse. The two companies also are providing training, consultation and enabling software utilities.

“We’re proud to have been one of only six universities in the country to receive this donation,” said UTPA President, Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez. “The equipment and software will put us on the leading curve of the technological age by allowing our students to work hands-on with this $7 million Teradata warehousing system.”

This is the second computer-related donation to university in as many weeks. Last week, Microsoft announced UTPA was one of 11 universities serving African-American or Hispanic students nationwide to receive a grant of $200,000 over a five-year period to enhance its Computer Science program.

By operating these systems, UTPA students will see firsthand the opportunities and challenges associated with very large databases. A system of this size is larger than 88% of the Teradata systems installed worldwide and, in many cases, larger than those used by major corporations. Programming and maintaining a very large database system will allow students to obtain hands-on education in a data-warehousing environment and to enter the job market with real-world experience

“We are confident that resource technology issues can be solved through universities and corporations working together,” said Randy Mott, chief information officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “This combined effort was designed to create more qualified entries into the IT job market, and by offering a system large enough for Fortune 500 business needs, we are helping prepare tomorrow’s leaders. Wal-Mart and The University of Texas-Pan American have had a strong and productive relationship, which will only be strengthened through the incorporation of this technology into their Information Technology program.”

The university’s system will utilize the same Teradata database software currently installed at Wal-Mart.

With more than 101 terabytes, Wal-Mart’s data warehouse is believed to be the largest commercial database in the world. Wal-Mart uses this technology to help buyers and product suppliers merchandise stores to the specific needs of a particular community.

NCR, the industry leader in data warehousing, has nearly 150 customer installations with warehouses of 1 terabyte or more and has built nearly 1,000 data warehouses globally. Data warehousing allows buyers, suppliers and other knowledge workers to answer complex questions about merchandise sales and assists Wal-Mart in stocking merchandise its customers want.

“NCR is happy to partner with Wal-Mart to help improve data warehousing education in America’s colleges and universities,” said Tony Fano, senior vice-president of the Retail Solutions Group at NCR. “Our goal is to help today’s students better understand how data warehousing, e-commerce and other technology trends are enabling key business processes such as supply chain management and Web-enabled collaboration between companies and their suppliers. Data warehousing, which is at the core of ‘relationship technologies,’ allows businesses to build and maintain relationships with their customers.”

The other universities selected to receive systems are Cameron University (Lawton, Okla.), Kansas State University (Manhattan), Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.), University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), and the University of South Carolina (Columbia).

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,400 stores and 450 Sam’s Clubs in the United States.

Internationally, the company operates more than 720 units. Wal-Mart employs more than 815,000 associates in the United States and 220,000 internationally. In 1998, the company raised and donated more than $127 million for charitable organizations.

NCR Corporation is a recognized world leader in providing Relationship TechnologyÔ solutions for the retail, financial, telecommunications, airline and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include data warehousing, ATMs and point-of-sale systems.

The company’s business solutions are built on the foundation of its long-established industry knowledge and consulting expertise, value-adding software, global customer support services, a complete line of consumable and media products, and world-leading hardware technology.

More information about NCR and its products may be found at