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IBM masters data management with $1-billion investment

IBM is aligning its software and consulting arms to address an emerging business opportunity. The idea is to help companies--driven by globalization, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory compliance--to master their growing data and information management issues. The company plans to make a $1-billion investment over the next 3 years to expand its development of information management software. IBM is also beefing up its consulting services by dedicating 15,000 consultants globally and committing to growing this base by 65 percent over the next 3 years.

"For most companies, isolated business process reengineering is no longer enough," says Ginni Rometty, senior VP at 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."

Additionally, IBM is rolling out six solution portfolios and software to help clients transform their businesses from an outdated model, in which data is managed as an afterthought from within apps, to an environment in which information is set free and managed as a strategic asset. The model is designed to drive better decision making as well. 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.

The company announced the IBM WebSphere Information Server to address the need for a unified information integration solution. The 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 allows companies to quickly understand and integrate the large amounts of heterogeneous information stored within their enterprises. It also ensures the quality of that information over time--delivering it as needed to any app, process or individual user, according to IBM. This software is already being used by beta customers and is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2006. For more information, visit IBM.

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