Armonk, N.Y. - IBM has launched a companywide initiative that combines its software and industry consulting expertise to help companies tie data together across disparate business processes"Next to people, information is a company's greatest asset, but it's value can't be realized if it's not effectively managed and delivered to the right people, business applications and processes," says Steve Mills, senior vice president, IBM software group. "While there's no shortage of individual piece-part products out there to help manage, search, secure and store information, companies drowning in data need a holistic approach if they have any hope of using their information for real business advantage. By combining our software and consulting expertise, IBM is helping clients unlock the real value of their business information."

To capture this business opportunity, IBM will make a $1 billion investment over the next three years to expand its information management software development. IBM will also expand its commitment to helping clients deliver more business value from innovative uses of information by dedicating 15,000 skilled practitioners globally to this opportunity and growing this base of expertise by 65 percent over the next three years.

IBM is further aligning its software and consulting arms to address an emerging business opportunity estimated to reach $69 billion by 2009 (18% CAGR), driven by a convergence of emerging challenges facing businesses today--including globalization, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory compliance.

Additionally, IBM is announcing six new solution portfolios and new software products to help clients transform their businesses from an outdated model in which data is managed as an afterthought from within applications, to an environment in which information is set free and managed as a strategic asset. IBM is also introducing step-by-step assessment tools and a new center of excellence to help clients quickly assess and tackle their individual information requirements.

"For most companies, isolated business process reengineering is no longer enough," says Ginni Rometty, senior vice president, IBM Enterprise Transformation Services. "They now realize the importance of tying together data across disparate business processes, because this provides a holistic view of enterprise operations, and enables the company to innovate at a business model level, whether it's linking price to demand and supply variables in real-time, or understanding risk as it is being incurred to drive customized insurance policies. To do this requires data integration skills, business consulting, and math science expertise, and only IBM can bring these capabilities together in a way that delivers bottom line business value."

IBM BCS has also established worldwide centers of excellence designed to help companies deliver business value through innovative uses of information. These centers are designed to provide clients with a quantitative summary of their current needs and prescriptive guidance on how and where to begin focusing their efforts. The centers of excellence will be staffed by solution architects, information architects, and researchers from across IBM BCS, IBM Software Group and IBM Research.

The six new solutions provide an integrated approach to managing information as a service and were created using the experience IBM consultants have amassed from hundreds of direct client engagements, as well as feedback from IBM researchers and internal software and systems deployments. They are designed to enable clients to exploit both existing information assets as well as proactively take advantage of emerging information sources to create a seamless flow of all forms of information, regardless of format, platform or location to improve business decision making for competitive advantage. The offerings address a range of specific business information challenges including risk and compliance, business analysis and discovery, business performance and process management, master data management, process innovation and workforce productivity.

For example, IBM's Master Data Management solution provides a complete set of services, technologies and solutions to create and maintain a "single version of truth" for enterprise data such as customer, product and supplier information for all stakeholders, across and beyond the enterprise.

IBM also unveiled the IBM WebSphere Information Server, software that addresses the need for a unified information integration solution. IBM WebSphere Information Server leverages a service-oriented architecture to ensure data quality, data transformation, data movement, federation and metadata management, enabling trusted information to be leveraged throughout an organization. This software is being used by beta customers and is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2006.

Source: IBM Corp.


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