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IBM helps customers convert to E-business

This article appears in the issue November 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 12]

Leveraging information and knowledge is a key part of transforming businesses to e-businesses, and IBM is committed to helping businesses make this transformation. The year has seen a torrent of activity and achievement for IBM and our customers in the many realms of e-business transformation. Here are some of our major news and views on document management, business intelligence and knowledge management--all key elements of the transformation to E-business.

Integrated document management

IBM EDMSuite is a leader in the knowledge marketplace and a key element of IBM's data management portfolio built on the DB2 Universal Database foundation. Since announcing ImagePlus in 1988, IBM has had a worldwide record of leading software for integrated document management and workflow. Over the years we added software for computer output archiving (OnDemand), collaborative document management (Lotus Domino.Doc) and enterprise workflow (MQSeries Workflow), and evolved into Enterprise Document Management Suite, winner of a 1996 award for Best New Architecture. EDMSuite was designed to help customers easily access, integrate and manage business content spread across the enterprise, in all types of electronic documents.

This year we announced ContentConnect and turned the concept of a unified infrastructure built on disparate systems--across IBM and non-IBM document repositories--into reality. One analyst, Bruce Silver, reported, "ContentConnect raises the bar for integrated document management ... by leveraging existing repositories and directories, rather than demanding that the customer rewrite applications to take advantage of cross-repository search and retrieval."

And, EDMSuite isn't just for the largest enterprises. Our client-server and host software supports multiple platforms and environments--from low-volume departmental to high-volume enterprise. For example, Doculabs analysts Dan Chan and Kelley West recently wrote, "OnDemand from IBM is a great fit for any COLD environment." In fact, OnDemand made this another award-winning year for EDMSuite with its coveted "Function Label Certificate" from Yphise consulting firm.

Business intelligence

Companies are leveraging all kinds of data to make better decisions. Leveraging the Web to deliver access to data in an easy-to-use format, along with powerful, but easy-to-use analysis tools helps users create the knowledge to make business-critical decisions. This is the target of IBM's business intelligence initiative.

This year, IBM released new versions of our business intelligence portfolio--Visual Warehouse, DB2 OLAP Server, Intelligent Miner and DecisionEdge. We announced new versions of DB2 Universal Database with significant business intelligence capabilities and introduced industry-specific data mart bundles aimed at making warehousing easy for small and medium businesses in specific industries. And we refreshed our entire portfolio to extend our leadership in cross-platform, end-to-end business intelligence.

Early on, IDC and Standish Group identified IBM as the leading vendor in this segment and most recently DM Review magazine put IBM on the top of its "Datawarehouse 100" evaluation. But, most importantly, our customers' great acceptance in 1998 told us we hit the target. Small and large companies alike are turning to IBM and DB2 for business intelligence solutions.

Knowledge management

Whether searching and analyzing structured transaction data or repositories of unstructured document data inside the company and across networks, companies are driven to get competitive advantages from their information assets. Ultimately, they strive to harvest knowledge assets--the wealth of knowledge created through experience and learning--and then repeatedly and effectively apply solutions to key business problems. With our integrated document management, business intelligence and text mining solutions, IBM is already recognized by analysts as #1 among leaders in the knowledge marketplace.

This year, IBM/LOTUS continued to strengthen its investment in knowledge management with the announcement of IBM KnowledgeX--a tool to help customers manage their knowledge assets. From online services and Internet, to E-mail and corporate databases, information sources have limited value unless they can be seen in context, categorized and applied to a business need. By establishing logical links between known and available information, KnowledgeX sifts through mounds of acquired data and puts information into context. Users can then focus rapidly on the desired concept and follow links to the relevant knowledge sources.

Knowledge management leverages the investment that corporations are making in business intelligence and document management. The combined foundation of Lotus' collaboration and messaging platform and IBM's DB2 Universal Database offers advanced functionality, security, reliability and extensibility for companies building their knowledge management infrastructure.

These are just a few highlights. We will continue to build advanced information and knowledge tools on our core database foundation to deliver solutions for customer relationship management, e-business, competitive intelligence and other business needs.


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