IBM is trying to employ its heavyweight status to advantage as it weighs in with a series of business intelligence announcements that upgrade what can be done with its DB2 database system.
"Seventy percent of all data is on IBM mainframes," noted Janet Perna, IBM general manager of database tools, and the ability to scale both platforms and data querying systems "is clearly in demand" with the movement of commerce to the Web.
As a result, IBM is upgrading its Intelligent Miner core data-mining product to release 6.1, giving it enhanced statistical comparison capability and visual display of data-mining results, Perna said. It has also created a specialized version of the product, Intelligent Miner for Relationship Marketing 6.1, that delivers a suite of applications focused on analyzing customer behavior. The suite can segment customers according to purchasing patterns; it can also analyze customer turnover or "churn," profitability and share of customer wallet or purchasing power, Perna said.
IBM has upgraded DB2 Online Analytical Processing Server to release 1.1, which now includes the multidimensional analytical power of Hyperion Solutions' Essbase. There are about 50 tools and 60 application packages that work with Essbase, Perna said, that now work with DB2 OLAP Server.
"In the future, we will see more and more OLAP done online, rather than off in the corner someplace," Perna said.
IBM has also launched a Fast Start program for small and medium-sized companies that want to adopt their own business intelligence applications. For a price of $60,000, IBM's 23 business intelligence channel partners will build an analytical application within six to eight weeks that let's a business determine who its best customers are, find out why it is losing customers and how to attract new customers, Perna noted.
And in another move, IBM is upgrading its DataJoiner 2.1.1 product to give it the capability to access data in NCR's Teradata data warehouse product used by Wal-Mart Stores and other large retailers.