IBM (NYSE:IBM) today unveiled a comprehensive strategy to enable dynamic warehousing, a new generation of business intelligence capabilities that enable organizations to gain real-time insight and value from their business information. Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in IBM’s industry-leading pursuit of the global Information on Demand growth opportunity, which is helping customers transform their businesses by using information as a strategic asset.
With today’s announcement, IBM, the world’s second largest software company, is delivering capabilities that extend beyond traditional business intelligence and data warehousing techniques to allow global businesses and organizations of all sizes to streamline business processes, transform customer service, increase employee productivity, reduce business risks and generate new revenue opportunities.
IBM’s new Dynamic Warehousing strategy enables customers to use advanced analytics as part of a real-time business process and to unlock knowledge buried in both structured and unstructured information (free form text, e-mail, audio files, Web pages, etc.). This approach will also provide instant access to reliable and trusted business information in the context of activities being performed, whether it is supporting a customer, processing a claim or handling a transaction.
IBM is providing a set of integrated offerings for Dynamic Warehousing that use a combination of technologies from internal R&D and strategic Information on Demand acquisitions, including search and text analytics, information integration, process management, enterprise data modeling, master data management and industry-specific business models.
“Customers of all sizes in all industries are looking for new ways to maximize their information in order to gain a competitive advantage,” said Karen Parrish, vice president of Business Intelligence Solutions for IBM, who unveiled the initiative today at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Chicago. “Dynamic Warehousing provides a new approach to companies who want the ability to rapidly analyze and act upon the hidden benefits of their business information.”
Traditional data warehousing efforts were focused on query and reporting to understand what happened. The second wave focused on technologies such as online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining for historical analysis to understand why and recommend future action — strategic and tactical planning. IBM’s new approach is about making available and analyzing information on demand to help customers optimize each transaction, such as in the call center, in the field, when helping customers, or when taking orders.
For example Dynamic Warehousing is helping law enforcement agencies identify related incidents upon receiving an emergency call and deliver a list of potential suspects in real-time to detectives before they arrive at the crime scene. Likewise, insurance companies can identify potentially fraudulent claims prior to approval and payment. While retailers can rapidly leverage buying patterns and changes in consumer behavior to identify the most effective cross sell and up sell opportunities at the point of sale.
IBM customers such as Omnium are already discovering the benefits of Dynamic Warehousing. Omnium is an accounts receivable management and cost containment company that contracts with Medical Insurance firms to analyze monthly receipts of data for potential client overpayments.
IBM DB2 Warehouse increases our efficiency to mine data and develop predictive models which can produce exceptionally quick results for tracking mis-paid and overpaid insurance claims, said Duffy Boyle, CIO of Omnium Worldwide. “Our clients require rapid evaluation and response so the new IBM solution is ideal for our needs.”
New Offerings Enable Dynamic Warehousing from SMBs to the Enterprise
The foundation of IBM’s dynamic warehousing initiative is a new, enhanced version of the DB2 Warehouse — based on the DB2 9 “Viper” data server — which includes a unique set of features and capabilities that support growing customer demand for analytics and Information on Demand.
DB2 Warehouse provides data movement and transformation capabilities to reduce the complexity and lower the costs typically associated with loading data into the warehouse and preparing that data so that it can be leveraged more effectively. It also offers performance optimization capabilities that enable the warehouse to address broad enterprise warehousing requirements, such as advanced data partitioning and workload management to ensure that the most critical applications are serviced accordingly. Additionally, DB2 Warehouse takes advantage of Viper’s deep compression technology to increase performance and efficiency, while reducing storage costs.
A new and enhanced set of DB2 Warehouse offerings is being introduced to address the growing demand for real-time information insight in all organizations. This end-to-end approach is aimed at making warehousing solutions easier to deploy, while ensuring that customers can maintain the flexibility required by challenging business conditions and IT infrastructure demands, without sacrificing system performance. The new IBM warehousing lineup includes Starter, Intermediate and Advanced Editions of DB2 Warehouse, in addition to the existing Base and Enterprise Editions.
Introducing the IBM Balanced Warehouse
IBM is also introducing the IBM Balanced Warehouse, the next evolution of the Balanced Configuration Unit (BCU), to provide complete warehousing solutions with pre-configured software, hardware and storage, enabling faster implementation times with lower risk. IBM is now providing three classes of IBM Balanced Warehouse offerings, making it the first vendor to provide solutions optimized to meet the entire spectrum of warehousing requirements — from large enterprises to small- and medium-sized businesses to departmental data marts. These include the C-Class for application solutions, the D-Class for growth solutions, and the E-Class for enterprise solutions. The C-Class provides out-of-the-box solutions bundled with popular third-party reporting tools, such as the new IBM Balanced Warehouse C1000, which includes affordable hardware and storage that has been pre-configured with DB2 Warehouse Starter Edition and Crystal Reports Server from Business Objects for simplified creation and delivery of business reports.
“Mid-sized companies want to tap into the power of their data to stand out in their markets,” said Todd Rowe, vice president and general manager of mid-market business at Business Objects. “Both IBM and Business Objects are focused on meeting the needs of these important customers. The combination of DB2 Warehouse for data integration and Crystal Reports Server for report creation, management, and delivery makes IBM Balanced Warehouse C1000 a powerful solution for mid-sized companies that want to use their data to help drive business growth. Further, Business Objects Crystal Decisions, our new mid-market business intelligence platform, is an excellent compliment to IBM Balanced Warehouse C3000 — which is well suited for mid-sized companies that have more demanding data warehousing requirements and need the deeper insights and dashboards afforded by more traditional business intelligence tools.”
The DB2 Warehouse Starter and Intermediate Editions, along with the C-Class Balanced Warehouses, are targeted at the SMB market and will be made available through IBM business partners. More than 30 business partners have already signed up to make these simplified channel offerings available to smaller to mid-size organizations seeking to take advantage of affordable warehousing solutions.
Also newly available is the IBM Balanced Warehouse D-Class, providing an integrated growth solution designed to reduce the complexity, cost and risk of creating, implementing and maintaining large departmental data marts and mid-size data warehouses on Linux.
To provide a rich interface for extracting additional business insights from unstructured information, IBM has combined a set of search, content analytics and visualization capabilities into the new OmniFind Analytics Edition. OmniFind Analytics Edition extracts meaningful information, identifies valuable patterns, trends and issues that can be used for important business initiatives such as improving customer care, delivering quality insight reporting and enhancing research and intelligence. By dynamically consolidating and analyzing data from unstructured and structured information sources, valuable insight can be delivered from all information, regardless of its source or format. OmniFind Analytics Edition is based on more than a decade of experience in text analytics from IBM Research and client engagements by IBM Global Business Services.
In response to a growing demand for more operational intelligence from the several thousand companies using the mainframe for their warehousing needs, IBM also introduced several enhancements for the recently announced DB2 9 Viper for z/OS. The new capabilities include SQL enhancements for real-time query and reporting and new graphical analytics and reporting tools for use on System z.
In addition, IBM is offering a new set of services and new and enhanced industry data models to help organizations get started with dynamic warehousing more quickly and leverage best practices. This includes a new Health Plan data model for claims, medical management and provider and network care; an enhanced Insurance data model with added focus on compliance and risk management; strategic planning and design from IBM Global Business Services; and implementation assistance from IBM Global Technology Services.