IBM rolled out new software this week that it says will lower the cost of managing all the disparate data sources residing in enterprise IT departments and speed the deployment of applications that deliver real-time business information from multiple sources.
If the new applications are as good as advertised, customers will be able to, for example, make personalized sales offers to customers at the point-of-sale to increase sales and evaluate the impact of various sales and marketing campaigns in real time.
Big Blue unveiled the new data warehouse, master data management and content management software Monday, the opening of its Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas. As large companies continue to gather enormous chunks of data though their existing software systems, IBM and other leading software vendors are scrambling to develop applications that put this critical information in the hands of the people who need it most.
"Too much of IT spending is tied up in operational runtime," Steve Mills, senior vice president of IBM's software group, said during a conference call announcing the new software. "What's driving customers is great technology that can be focused on achieving a specific business goal or operational efficiency. And we know that not everything is in IBM hardware or IBM databases. We want to create an information infrastructure for our customers because they know it's not a one-size-fits-all world."
One of the new products, the Master Data Management Server, allows companies to manage different types of master datasuch as customers, products and account informationthat defines, accessing and uses that data as a strategic business asset. It's now in beta testing and will be available in early 2008, IBM says.
IBM also released DB2 Warehouse 9.5 that provides a real-time analysis of structured and unstructured information in various databases and incorporates the new DB2 9.5 Viper 2 data server to manage extreme workloads.
"We have focused on database and data management," Mills said. "We're taking it to another level, more than simply having the ability to store data away. It's about taking advantage of different kinds of data and how you federate it to make it seem local even if it's distributed."
Its Information Server software enables users to search key business terms and taxonomies from applications like Excel as well as modeling or reporting software to understand how those terms are used within their information integration environments. It also includes real-time change data capture and replication technology that makes it possible to integrate, cleanse and analyze high volumes of production data without impacting performance.