Software // Information Management
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10/16/2007
03:37 PM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
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IBM's Info On Demand Strategy: Complex, Evolutionary, Important

In the second annual IBM Information On Demand Conference this week, a series of new advancements were brought forward in information management. IBM has been on a multi-year transformation of its content, data and information focus through a number of technology supplier acquisitions over the last three years. These deals have been slowly advancing the IBM software product portfolio for a broader range of capabilities.

In the second annual IBM Information On Demand Conference this week, a series of new advancements were brought forward in information management. Now with an even more solid and robust portfolio of products, there is great momentum in the company's focus on Information Management. IBM has been on a multi-year transformation of its content, data and information focus with process and integration technologies through acquisitions of a large number of technology suppliers over the last three years. These technologies have been slowly but progressively advancing the IBM software product portfolio for a broader range of information management capabilities.IBM is now shipping its first integrated MDM product that unifies its acquisitions of CDI and PIM technologies and can support a broader enterprise set of requirements. At the core of IBM data management strategy is DB2 release 9.5, which advances the XML processing and data compression of the database. IBM announced a new product called IBM Data Studio, leveraging its work with Rational, that provides data life-cycle capabilities. IBM is working on being the focal point for simplifying management of data and the complexity of a wide array of information management products. IBM hopes to become your key information management technology supplier. Of course it's important to discuss IBM's technology partner ecosystem, which offers a larger portfolio of capabilities, from complimentary data discovery technologies from the likes of Silver Creek Systems, to data warehouse and analytic-ready MDM from Kalido, to real-time performance and scalability improvement from Appfluent. Organizations looking to drive a large blueprint and enterprise architecture of information management will find IBM is fostering partners that address their gaps. In what it calls its vision of information management, IBM tried to explain its initiative called Info 2.0, but articulation of this direction was less than effective. I visited demonstrations in the exhibit floor that cleared up the confusion, with real-world examples of information mashups and use of Web 2.0 technologies for improving communication and collaboration. Despite the lack of a clear roadmap and vision on how Info 2.0 becomes technology for purchase by organizations, IBM is driving a direction that is inevitably what organizations will require to collaborate and improve. IBM also has not been progressive in explaining plans for the various search and collaborative technologies it has in different divisions, but there will be plenty of opportunity to grow these markets in the years ahead. IBM has remained on the sidelines of the consolidation of BI technology suppliers. IBM has stated that it does not want to be part of the BI platform and tools and technologies market but leverage synergies with partners. Unfortunately, previous IBM partners like Hyperion, now a part of Oracle, and BusinessObjects, soon to become a part of SAP, are now competitors with their own information management strategies. This means IBM may miss out on an opportunity to provide guidance on deeper technology and data integration needs in BI deployments that span the company's entire Information On Demand portfolio. IBM remains a technology vendor with a strong focus on information management. The company's portfolio can seem complex, but it's clear that IBM understands the evolutionary focus of information technology in organizations. Not pushing too far ahead of what most organizations need, IBM is infusing the company with new technology and people through acquisitions, forcing them to look at the market in a different light. The future is bright, but IBM will need to simplify to ensure that the company is not seen as too complex to engage with for information management technologies.

Let me know your thoughts.

Mark Smith is CEO And Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research. Write to him at mark.smith@ventanaresearch.com.In the second annual IBM Information On Demand Conference this week, a series of new advancements were brought forward in information management. IBM has been on a multi-year transformation of its content, data and information focus through a number of technology supplier acquisitions over the last three years. These deals have been slowly advancing the IBM software product portfolio for a broader range of capabilities.

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