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IBM Unveils Software to Gain Control of Data Middleware Portfolio

    Online News published in DMReview.com
November 17, 2005

 IBM announced new software developed to help companies free data throughout their organization and turn it into consistent and trusted information that reduces complexity, increases insight and transforms business operations.

Customers in every industry are faced with the challenge of dealing with the complexity of information stored across their enterprises, while they attempt to use it to address changing compliance requirements, deal with mergers and acquisitions, and work to leverage an avalanche of new data sources for competitive advantage.

To help clients overcome this growing challenge, IBM is unveiling a comprehensive lineup of new information integration and master data management software, services and solutions that represent the culmination of a multiyear investment in strategic acquisitions, internally developed technologies and alliances with partners and ISVs.

The new IBM middleware includes software tools and capabilities designed to accelerate the adoption of service oriented architectures and to help customers remove the traditional barriers to information sharing. The expanded portfolio has been deployed, tested and validated by customers who are already experiencing the benefits of a unified view of information across their entire organization.

IBM's enhanced software lineup features a portfolio of master data management solutions, including product information management and customer data integration software products designed to give companies a single view of their customers, products and related data. In addition, IBM is announcing software to enable a metadata services infrastructure, which allows data to be more easily managed, accessed and shared by those who need it by defining where information comes from, when and how it is derived, and how it is related to other information.

New Master Data Management Platform

IBM's master data management offerings are designed to help companies deal with the challenge of maintaining a single view of information about their products, customers, suppliers, employees and more.

Inaccurate, incomplete and misaligned master data leads to a wide range of problems. It prevents companies from understanding their customers. It makes it harder and slower to introduce new products to market and makes it impossible to streamline supply chains and optimize trading partner relationships. Inaccurate master data also makes it difficult or impossible to comply with a wide range of industry and compliance initiatives like RFID, consumer privacy protection and Sarbanes-Oxley.

The goal of master data management is to ensure all stakeholders across a company such as people, applications, systems and even trading partners have access to complete, timely and accurate information about structured and unstructured master information so it can be located, updated, retrieved, understood and leveraged in a consistent way across an entire business.

Master data management has been identified as a critical component for all companies that intend to move to a service oriented architecture.

IDC estimates that the Master Data Management market will be a $10 billion software and services opportunity by 2009.*

IBM is introducing IBM WebSphere Customer Center Version 6, software designed to help organizations gain a single view of each of their customers, as well as what relationships they have with the business. This major new release features increased performance, enhanced functionality, improved integration and streamlined implementation and includes more than 480 pre-built services that can be consumed by other software to manage and access customer data.

Also unveiled today is an enhanced version of IBM WebSphere Product Center - middleware that helps companies develop and manage a central, accurate and comprehensive repository of product information. This helps companies improve business user productivity by allowing them to seamlessly edit product information using enterprise portals such as IBM WebSphere Portal and provides retailers more flexibility when synchronizing product and trading partner information with suppliers. With these enhancements, customers can improve workload management, resolve bottlenecks, increase productivity and speed new product introductions.

IBM's new services offerings include a roadmap for customers to follow in order to effectively assess and implement a master data integration plan. Master data integration is the foundation of a successful master data management project, and includes software that provides the ability to discover, cleanse, transform and integrate disparate data sources.

Understanding and Managing Information

Many important business initiatives like regulatory compliance, risk management and business intelligence require organizations to define where information comes from, how it relates to other information, and when and how it is derived. This has raised the importance of metadata, the attributes that define the content, context, relationships and structure of information. IBM's new metadata services infrastructure is designed to allow metadata to be more easily managed, accessed by those who need it, and shared across heterogeneous technologies through a service oriented architecture.

To enable this capability, IBM is announcing the IBM WebSphere Metadata Server, which provides metadata management as a service to products within the IBM WebSphere Information Integration Platform. Part of IBM's previously-announced "Project Hawk" initiative, this new product will be available along with the newest version of IBM WebSphere DataStage and other IBM Information Integration products in the spring of 2006. The Metadata Server will also be leveraged by other IBM Business Intelligence, Master Data Management and WebSphere portfolio products in the future.

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For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Master Data Management and Reference Data.

This piece has been brought to you by the DM Review Editorial staff.



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