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News Briefs

  Online News published in DM Direct Newsletter
February 22, 2002 Issue
  By DM Review Editorial Staff

Legato Makes a Big Move on the Data Management Market

Legato Systems Inc., a developer of enterprise storage management software, is acquiring OTG Software in a deal valued at $403 million. OTG develops data storage, data access and e-mail management applications. The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the second quarter.

"This acquisition will improve our current ability to provide our customers with scalable and secure management applications solutions available in the market today," says David B. Wright, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Legato. "OTG gives us additional software assets and intellectual capital required to address the growing demand for open, integrated solutions from one source."


Walter B. Hewlett Attacks H-P Management in Print Campaign

Walter B. Hewlett has been anything but silent about his adamant displeasure of the proposed merger of Hewlett-Packard and Comaq. Now he is taking his public discourse to a new level. In a series of newspaper ads appearing February 22 in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and other major dailies, Hewlett charges that "HP management has a track record of being overly optimistic and sometimes wrong." The ad also criticizes H-P CEO Carly Fiorina for having "never led a transaction of this scale or complexity, but does have a record of failed integration and acquisitions attempts." Hewlett is using the ad to pressure H-P employees to use their stock to veto the deal. H-P still expects its $87 billion merger with Compaq to be approved by shareholders.


The End of More Bang for the Buck?

Although there are exceptions in markets such as financial services where the demand for information keeps growing exponentially, the day of committing $10 million to $15 million to developing large-scale data warehouses may soon be over. "Big projects these days are ver boten," Mike Amble, Knightsbridge practice area leader for telecommunications mentioned tells DMReview.com during an interview at The Data Warehousing Institute World Conference - Winter 2002 in New Orleans. "Most new project requests we see are coming in around $1 million as companies look for a better return on their investment in data warehousing," he says.

Companies are also reengineering their data warehouses to provide a more integrated view of customer activity. "Moving to a customer-centric view requires a big change in the way data warehouses collect, store and disseminate information," Amble says. "Enterprises have to integrate their proliferating data sources and adequately handle data quality issues so that customers are represented accurately across all systems."


Building a Data Quality Dream Team

Getting rid of dirty data and improving the quality of information is becoming a top corporate priority. But companies won't accomplish their goals and objectives unless they build - and maintain - a data quality implementation team with the interest and backing of senior management. "To implement a data quality plan, organizations must assign or hire individuals to create the plan, perform initial assessment, scrub the data and set up monitoring systems to maintain data quality," according to a new report - Data Quality and the Bottom Line - from The Data Warehousing Institute.

According to the report, a corporate data quality team should consist of these titles and job descriptions:

  • Chief Quality Officer. A business executive who oversees the organization's data stewardship, data administration and data quality programs.
  • Data Steward. A business person who is accountable for the quality of data in a given subject matter.
  • Subject Matter Expert. A business analyst whose knowledge of the business and systems is critical to understand data, define rules, identify errors and set thresholds for acceptable levels of data quality.
  • Data Quality Leader. Oversees a data quality program that involves building awareness, developing assessments, establishing service level agreements, cleaning and monitoring data and training technical staff.
  • Data Quality Analyst. Responsible for auditing, monitoring and measuring data quality on a daily basis and recommending actions for correcting and preventing errors and defects.
  • Tool Specialist. Individual who understands either ETL or data quality tools or both and can translate business requirements into rules that these systems implement.
  • Process Improvement Facilitator. Coordinates efforts to analyze and reengineer business processes to streamline data collection, exchange/management and improve data quality.
  • Data Quality Trainer. Develops and delivers data quality education, training and awareness programs.


Prediction: A Rapid Pace of Firewall Market Expansion

The worldwide firewall market is set for rapid expansion. Revenues, which totaled $1.7 billion in 2001, will reach $3.8 billion in 2002, reports Infonetics Research Inc. Virtual private network revenues, meanwhile, which totaled $1.3 billion last year, will increase to $2.9 billion in 2005, Infonetics projects. Infonetics says the firewall and VPN markets are rapidly merging into a single sector, with hardware-based applications beginning to dominate.

"Commodity vendors like D-Link Systems Inc. and Linksys Group Inc. are beginning to ship VPN products and stateful firewalls in volume," says Jeff Wilson, Infonetics Research executive director. "Innovations in silicon and software will make it possible for the average business customer to buy a T1 router with VPN and stateful firewall capability for less than $200 sometime in 2002."

This drop in prices will affect the entire market, with low-end tools expected to do better than high end, Wilson notes.


A Big Global Appetite for Storage Services

The worldwide storage services market will expand over the next few years as demand grows for storage capacity and managed storage opportunities increase, says Dataquest Inc., a Stamford, Connecticut-based research firm and a unit of Gartner Inc.

Global revenues will jump from $25 billion in 2001, to $26 billion this year and reach $41 billion in 2005, Dataquest projects. Hardware support will be the largest storage services component as users work to extend the life of their storage infrastructures and avoid new hardware purchases, the firm notes.

Remote server and database backup services also have strong growth potential as enterprises emphasize business continuity strategies in light of the events of September 11, Dataquest says. "One of the primary managed service provider value statements is that they can help customers save money by increasing storage device utilization rates, thus temporarily avoiding new storage hardware purchases," notes Adam Couture, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's IT services program.

Deliveries of storage software, meanwhile, also are expected to increase. That will trigger demand for hardware support as storage management and virtualization software can help users increase their per-device utilization rates, thus allowing them to use storage hardware longer, Dataquest says.


Survey Says: Portal Spending is Trending Upward

The market for enterprise portals increased from $455 million in 2001 to $705 million in 2002, says new research from Plumtree Software. "Corporate portals will eventually constitute the main window through which users will be able to access heterogeneous software applications and relevant content and analytics," the report says. Plumtree's research says most companies take less than six months to deploy an enterprise portal.


Getting a Jump on the Web-Enabled BI Tool Market

In a move to get a jump on the emerging market for Web-based business intelligence initiatives, Crystal Decisions is rolling out Business Intelligence Web Services. The product, announced on February 11, is built on Microsoft .Net and provides a flexible enterprise architecture for sharing reports over the Web via standard Internet technologies. Analysts say the combination of Microsoft and Crystal Decisions's technology should help Crystal Decision make an impact in the market. "Their long standing relationship with Microsoft puts them at the forefront of Web services technology," says Dan Vesset, an IDC research analyst.


Wireless CRM Still in Its Infancy

Wireless customer relationship management is still an infant technology with early adopters mainly gaining experience and competitive advantage, says analyst Warren Wilson. "It's early enough that there is probably no penalty yet for companies that are early adopters," Wilson, practice director for Boston-based market strategy and consulting firm Summit Strategies Inc., told a keynote session Thursday of the DCI's Mobile Business for the Enterprise conference and Exposition in Chicago.

Wilson notes that only a quarter to a third of companies are underway with some type of wired CRM project - with many reports of difficult implementations - and that even fewer wireless CRM projects are in progress. But he says the latter include "examples of companies that are receiving advantage." Wireless implementations in areas of the enterprise other than CRM have achieved notable returns on investment, Wilson says, citing examples that include cargo handling at airports by American Airlines, field force automation at Northeast Utilities and a consolidation of wireless platforms from 18 devices and multiple operating systems into a single platform at United Parcel Service.


Dicut Acquires DataAssure

Dicut Inc. is acquiring DataAssure Systems Inc., an Atlanta data management, replication and backup services company. "We believe that this acquisition will begin our long- range business plan which is to provide secure data backup and vaulting services to the South Eastern United States," says Dicut President Pierre Quilliam.

Terms of the deal weren't released.


Check out DMReview.com's resource portals for additional related content, white papers, books and other resources.

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