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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!

Recently in 200810-IBM Category

IOD-Gold%20logo.jpgIt is Monday, Day Three of nonstop briefings. Here is a candid stream-of-conscience of my experience at the keynote. . .

Big three screen flash video with very hard bass-driven sounds and lasers darting around. What is the point, other than to wake us up? Blue robots dancing (Phoenix Fire). Is this the IBM sales team? Star wars! I could lose my hearing after this! What is the message? I think that this is considered entertainment. Oh, now a rock band (LA All Stars), louder than the dance routine. Now regretting this VIP seat in front! FREEDOM! . . .from what? Martin Short, a seasoned IT professional - NOT! Hey, he knows how to spell IBM and IOD. Does IOD really mean Injured on Duty? He is funny. This intro flash was entertaining but so far, the first 22 minutes for 7,000 attendees is content free.

IBM-KN%20Ambuj%20.JPGAmbuj Goyal, GM of Info Mgt Software, started with IOD is Information-Obsession-Dedication. Locking in the value of information. In the past, the answer to all business problems has been "you need a data warehouse". Ovum stated, "IBM has deliberately and doggedly constructed an unparalleled portfolio of software." It is about: consistent client success, accelerated value delivery, and industry-based value.

Steve Mills, Senior VP and group executive SWG, noted an interesting fact: If you printed out all the information in the world, it would weigh 6 tons for every person in the world, about an elephant for each person. What is the name of this decade of IT? It is a era of business optimization. It is all about Information Agenda (IA). Steve mused about whether, if financial institutions have had effective analytics, they might have avoided this financial crisis. We are moving from business automation (5% CGR) to business optimization (11%). Investing in diverse portfolio of software tools and systems. Things that were not economic are now quite economic. Your key technologies are: time series/cluster/pattern-mining, linear programming/scheduling, natural language test analysis, entity analytics, social analytics, and streaming analytics.

Martin Short interlude. . . He did the three amigos routine, for which three random IT folks were dragged onto the stage. Ouch!

John Iwata, SVP of Marketing/Communications, outline the perception of senior executives. 80% anticipate turbulent change, but 39% feel unprepared. The world is increasingly more instrumented, interconnected, and therefore intelligent. Really? By 2010 there will be one billion transistors per human, for no cost. In two years, there will be 30 billion RFID tags. Businesses in the world are operating in a dumb way. Message: IBM is enabling businesses throughout the world to operate smarter.

Panel of three IT executives: Shay Reid of AmerisourceBergen, Peter Keukert of Commerce Bank, Karmal Bherwani of NYC. Snapshots of innovative technology innovations in pharma, city government, and banking. Final comment from Peter about the global financial crisis was concise and challenging. We need to have the courage to ask the right questions, to have the right information, and to take the right action.

IBM-KN%20Martin2.jpgMartin Short back again. . . A hot BBQ of political candidates. At least, he dishes out bards evenly.

Ambuj circled back and summarized the key points of the three panelists. [Good style!] The HHS-Connect system is a single view of NYC services from a citizen perspective. They started with regulatory compliance, the investment was extended to citizen services. In a large global bank, technology can get into trouble if each project is evaluated and funded on the value of individual projects. You can not leverage the synergism. Not enable for reuse. Avoiding the rip-and-replace strategy.

Video from several IBM executives giving sketches of issues and solutions: Rob Ashe, Ron Ercanbrack, Jim Welch, Arvind Krishna. Technologies were viewed individually. But we are shifted to a holistic view. New announcements on InfoSphere tools, Dognos 8, InfoSphere streams, enterprise content Manager.

American Express receives the customer innovation award. enChoice receives the CTO Innovation Award. Sky Solution receives the Best of IOD Showcase.

Yet another Martin Short interlude. . . We are too marvelous for words! Finis

Afternote #1: RFID is working in masse. I wonder how data mining will be used by IBM on this data. There is an opt-out in the fine print of conference materials.

Afternote #2: A nice surprise was a 66-page pamphlet passed out as we exited: IOD For Dummies by Judith Hurwitz and colleagues at Hurwitz & Associates. It is a tangible take-away. It is too bad that its content was not emphasized in the keynote.

My take on this. . . Business-oriented message to a technical audience, delivered with low signal-to-noise ratio. I am bias having heard the message previously in the Gold sessions.

The basic problem is that this audience is mainly people who are piecemeal specialists in technology hearing a message calling for them to be holistic generalists in business. They may be sympathetic to the message but totally unable to embrace it. Unfortunately, the keynote may be perceived by them as two hours of entertainment delaying the start of the good technical stuff.

[Blog stream from IBM IOD/Gold October 2008 is here]

Posted October 27, 2008 12:45 PM
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IOD-Gold%20logo.jpgThere is a old adage about IBM. Their product strategy is to throw 'it' on the wall and see what sticks. For years I have cautioned IBM against such a strategy because it puts the burden back on the customer to figure out what does what and what works with what.

This week I am getting a glimpse inside the new social mechanisms driving global technology evolution. All of this is scary, especially for the old-line control-oriented IT managers. I think that, for IBM and other leading IT vendors, we are moving from a strategy of stick-to-the-wall to a full food fight! In the video, is IBM like Robin Williams?

Yesterday I heard a talk on the Mashup Center by Guylaine Cantin. My one criticism is that there are several other mashup products (from Lotus and WebSphere) from IBM. Further, if you add up all the various country initiatives, professional services engagements, and research projects, there are probably 20 mashup efforts within IBM. How is a poor customer to know which mashup direction to go? You certainly do not want to get smash with mashups in your enterprise architecture! (sorry, had to write that!)

Late in the afternoon I heard about the Data Champion program and the XML Challenge. That challenge is either the smartest or dumbest program. Now, I am leaning toward smart. What a way (at a low low cost) to marshal 47,000 young professionals in India to learn XML. . .the IBM way!

Smart is what smart does. An innovative and viable company in our turbulent global economy has to discard lots of old paradigms. Like Robin Williams, maybe IBM is finding its inner Peter Pan.

[Blog stream from IBM IOD/Gold October 2008 is here]

Posted October 27, 2008 7:24 AM
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IOD-Gold%20logo.jpgMy absolute favorite in the exhibit hall is the IBM Advanced Technology booths. The best and brightest from the research labs present their creations, motivated by real business situations. Over the years, I have gotten into the deep and intense discussions about cutting-edge issues.

IBM-Gold%20AdvTech.JPGLast night was no exception. David Gotz and Tong Levas of the Watson Lab demonstrated their work with high-bandwidth analytics (bad label) and UDAT (Unified Domain Adaptation Tool to create semantic templates). The metaphor is hiking a trail from your raw data to an insightful analytic. Being from Colorado, I naturally like this metaphor, simple and brilliant! It stuck me that, not since the days of IFPS from Execucom, have we had a useful way to track our analysis path through the data.

Mark Feblowitz of the Hawthorne Lab demonstrated Stream Processing Application Declarative Engine (SPADE) for Stream Computing. In the spirit of Jeff Jonas, the demo of SPADE showed the incremental progression of Hurricane Dean and its predicted impacts on oil rigs and refiners. The purpose was to understand the dynamics of commodity markets.

[Blog stream from IBM IOD/Gold October 2008 is here]

Posted October 26, 2008 8:00 PM
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IOD-Gold%20logo.jpgThe session dealt with the WebSphere Business Process Management (BPM) by Eric Herness, IBM Distinguished Engineer and BPM Chief Architect. He started with BPM intro and strategy, along with the BPM product portfolio, ending with BPM futures. The product family includes: business modeler, business modeler, business monitor, WPS, WID, WBSF

Eric said that they strive for consistency across products and a unified open programming model (like BPEL). They build upon the functionality of the WebSphere ecosystem. Business motivation is based on agility enablers.

For More Information, see http://www.ibm.com/software/info/bpm/.

[Blog stream from IBM IOD/Gold October 2008 is here]

Posted October 26, 2008 3:27 PM
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IOD-Gold%20logo.jpgAfter lunch, the next session was on the IBM Mashup Center - Update and Directions by Guylaine Cantin, Senior Development Manager, Infosphere Mashup Hub. She started with a YouTube video that was an excellent introduction to mashups from a corporate perspective. There are a dozen other videos available from ItsMashtastic.

The next section involved the IBM Maskup Center v1.0, supporting the functions of: create, unlock, develop, discover, transform. It is a joint product from Lotus and InfoSphere. She launched into a demo. She tripped up at a couple of spots, which highlighted the issue of usability among normal business people. Finished with planned features in future releases and possible directions.

Further information at the Mix-and-Mash site.

My take on this. . . Excellent informative talk on a difficult cultural-changing topic for traditional IT. Good use cases to motivate the business justification for mashups. Demo was refreshing. Need to consolidate all the various mashup efforts within IBM to minimize customer confusion and to concentrate resources. Need to focus on usability to make it an effective tool for normal folks.

[Blog stream from IBM IOD/Gold October 2008 is here]

Posted October 26, 2008 2:35 PM
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