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Blog: Richard Hackathorn Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

ibm-iod logo.pngStarting second day of IBM Gold briefings. Doing well, running strong so far...

Business Analytics and Process Optimization.by Ambuj Goyal, General Manager of BA/PO, and Arvind Krishna, General Manager of Info Mgt Software. Ambuj began on the recent history of Information-On-Demand (IOD) theme since 2005. Since then, they have invested in $12 B in technology acquisitions. Next evolution stage for IBM is the "information-lead transformation" of the business. Ambuj asserted that this future market will be "bigger than ERP and CRM combined". 

Ambuj announced that IBM is splitting their organization into two parts: Arvind Krishna is now the new general manager of the Information Management Software group (for the core infrastructure), while Ambuj will focus on this new group for Information-Lead Transformation. The contrast is between technology infrastructure versus business strategy.

Arvind summarized his responsibilities as being "to make the sh$# run faster" and lead us on a rapid survey of various technologies, as shown here. Several tidbits are... Workload optimized systems as a new type of appliance. Smart Analytics System cuts deployment time from 6 months to 12 days for BI applications. DB2 pureScale allows unlimited capacity and incremental additions. I have observed linear scaling to a 128-box configuration, which can process 6,060 M transactions per minute.

An intriguing issue is whether IBM's new thrust is: (a) an incremental step in their traditional role as middleware infrastructure or (b) an radical step into enterprise application solutions. My initial hunch is that the answer will be BOTH.

IBM Cloud (and Data) Perspectives by Anant Jhingran. Anant now gets it about cloud. Cloud is defined as "flexible, resilient and cost-effective delivery platform for IT services. It is quick, simple and highly scalable."  Is it only old wine in new bottle? So what? Is it a disruptive technology? In any data center, management efforts and energy costs dominate.

There are two major factors: infrastructure leverage (virtualization of hardware, utilization) and labor leverage (automation of management, standardization of workloads). Anant continued with an excellent balanced overview of cloud and its business motivations. He suggested a spectrum of cloud deployments: private, yyy, consortium, public.

IBM Information Mgt Strategy by Andy Warzecha, VP of Info Mgt Strategy
. Andy started with a detailed estimate of market sizes compiled from IDC and other analysis firms. The first figure shows market size versus market growth by software category. Note that the growth segment is traditional BI into business analytics. The second figure shows market size versus market growth by industry. Government has moved into a commanding position. Also note the contrast from healthcare and automobile industries. There is a shift to 60% of IT decisions are driven by the business side rather than the IT side. Finally, the gap between current and desired capabilities for data latency stood out for me. Most companies desire data to be real-time but only a small percentage are currently doing real-time...implying a large gap.  

Andy shared a sobering story of a large Canadian company having an urgency to enable new business solutions. A LOB executive asked how to motivate their CIO to this urgency. She confided that the problem will probably be resolved by finding a new CIO or out-sourcing the entire IT group...impacting tens of thousand of employees.

Two hundred and fifty CIOs said that cost reduction (83%) and operation improvements (81%) is the most importance over next years. From IBM New Intelligence Customer Interviews with 104 IT professionals and 107 LOB managers in large enterprises, the top challenges were: integrating data for holistic view, continuous analysis of massive data, and real-time predictive analytics for end-users.

Bottom line is... The direction should not be creating and selling new technology. The direction should be making current technology work better for the business. The shift is to agile infrastructure that integrates information and optimizes processes.

Posted October 24, 2009 9:05 AM
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ibm-iod logo.pngWe started 4.5 solid days of briefings. My seat will be quite warm and my rear quite sore this week! The saving grace is that IBM's best and greatest will be in front of our group!

ibm-gold sign.pngIBM Optim by Al Smith, Director of Optim Engineering. Excellent informative update. Understanding the entire data management life cycle from design to create, classify, subset, mask, archive, access, migrate, and finally dispose...across all systems and applications in an enterprise architecture. Optim will be the heterogeneous solution from IBM to support all facets of data life cycle. Discussed future products and direction under NDA. One general (and insightful) diagram is the business value of information across its life cycle, as shown here.

IBM Software Strategy and Architecture by Jim Caldwell, Director of IBM Technical Strategy. Their objective is "to provide next generation open integration platform built on SOA" to "build a smarter planet". Jim focused on how IBM Software group supports industry solutions as a middleware platform vendor (as opposed to an application vendor). IBM refers to their offering as an "industry framework" consisting of data definitions, code for common scenarios, data adapters to move data among components (possibly from other vendors), foundational services like security, auditing, logging. Examples are: Service Provider Delivery Environment for telco, and Solution Architecture Framework for Energy for utilities. Out world is becoming Instrumented; our world is becoming interconnected; and all things becoming intelligent. Diagram shows what it means to be smarter, as shown here.

Nice reception afterward. A chance to renew old friendships...  Thus, ends Day One. Need rest for tomorrow.

Posted October 23, 2009 4:40 PM
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tdp logo.pngtd-xcel1.pngCurtis Kowalski, Chief Data Architect at Xcel Energy, talked consolidating multiple operational data systems (ODS) in an EDW.The goal is to retire all departmental ODSs and independent data marts into an EDW using Teradata, in 3NF. Xcel is doing this incrementally over time, starting with a 'lightly integrated' data warehouse. Hopefully this will enable the organization to the business value of integrated data.

Curtis presented a viable approach to move a traditional IT infrastructure into the new world of integrated data warehouse, especially when this integration involved low-latency data in ODS.

Posted October 21, 2009 8:57 AM
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tdp logo.pngFun romp through modern times! You had to listening carefully. Blink that you would miss a crucial twist of history. Best way to summarize Stein is with tidbits here and there...

 td-BenStein.png"Credit Default Bond is a cap pistol hooked to a nuclear bomb. We just do not know whether deficit spending, stimulus funding and the like is working. We just don't know... We just don't know... Ben paused to sip Throat Coat from Whole Foods. "What is the world going to be like when Iraq has a nuclear bomb? What is the world like for my son? Is global warming valid? We are not allowed to debate it? A serious serious serious problem in the collapse of education! I have observed the decline in our education. One fourth of high-graduate is able of only 'C' level college math. Let me tell you about a conversation I had with two young folks... about WWII, Germany, Russia, and where big trees grow! Sad! Our top economic advisers did us a huge disservice.

Ben finished with a tribute to our arm forces and police... "Where is salvation coming? The real stars are young people who are putting on body armor... I visit Walter Reed hospital and then national cemetery. A quote that I always remember... We asked God to bless this great country. In this world, God's work has to be our work.


Posted October 21, 2009 8:42 AM
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tdp logo.pngtd-wherescape log.pngI had a nice breakfast with the WhereScape folks this morning. The company sells tools to design and build data warehouses. That seems like a function already satisfied by many existing data modeling and ETL products. However, add the business requirement to build a data warehouse is a few days or even a few hours, and you have a different animal. We discussed industry directions and market strategy and did not have the time for a product demo... but will take time to see that demo on the exhibit floor. [will add more here later based on the demo]

Posted October 21, 2009 8:15 AM
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