IBM Smart Analytics system to bring the power of analytics to clients in just days

Delivers Faster Time to Value at Lower Cost, while Requiring Less IT Expertise

ARMONK, N.Y., 28 Jul 2009 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced the Smart Analytics System, the industry's first comprehensive offering that brings the power of analytics to clients in just a matter of days. With today's news, IBM is taking advantage of its unique combination of software and hardware technology, industry knowledge, Research math sciences and services expertise to help clients make more informed decisions faster than ever before -- accelerating the pace of building a smarter planet.

The Smart Analytics System is a single, fine-tuned system optimized with the right balance of software, systems and storage capabilities for deep analytics computing workloads. It can uncover insights and hidden relationships among massive amounts of data -- not just structured information found in databases, but unstructured and incompatible data from such diverse sources as videos, emails, Web sites, podcasts, blogs, wikis, archival data and more. This makes it well-suited to tackle some of the most complex problems associated with areas targeted for stimulus investments, such as financial risk management, smart grids, electronic medical records and management of healthcare costs, education, identity theft and fraud, and food safety.

The Smart Analytics System can harness the power of analytics to solve complex business problems as much as three times faster than other systems, while requiring up to 50 percent less storage -- saving both floor space and energy. A powerful analytics system that would have required the time of half a dozen or more technical experts to set up can now be deployed by as few as one, or none at all for smaller configurations. For most configurations, the system can be "analytics ready" in as few as 12 days. "Our clients are operating in a competitive environment. In addition to acting fast, they have to be right," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager for IBM Information Management. "With the Smart Analytics System, we are helping clients take advantage of analytics faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost, helping them achieve better business results and accelerate their return on investment."

The IBM Smart Analytics System delivers a comprehensive and flexible set of capabilities, including business intelligence reporting, analysis, dashboards, and scorecards, data mining, cubing services, text analytics, data warehouse management, storage and server platform. It can also be used by clients or cloud service providers to deliver the power of analytics to private or public cloud services.

Analytics in Action - Improving Lives and Profits

Organizations around the globe are embracing analytics technology to gain business advantage and better serving their clients. For example: Chicago, IL-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), a national federation of 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance companies, is analyzing claim records of tens of millions of members to detect demographic trends. The resulting insights will be used to help employers improve workforce health while better managing costs for the members.

"This has the potential to revolutionize the way we deliver healthcare," said Shirley Lady, Vice President, Business Informatics/BHI for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. "Analytics is giving us faster access to the type of information we didn't have before." For example: analytics has made it much easier and faster to survey large populations and then quickly analyze the prevalence of a chronic diseases, as well as treatment patterns.

Headquartered in Little Rock, AR, Dillard's Inc. is a fashion apparel and home furnishings retailer with more than 300 stores. Analytics plays a key role in the company's strategy to combat the tough economic climate. Using analytics, Dillard's is able to obtain valuable insights into inventory management, vendor relationship management and customer spending patterns, which has resulted in increased efficiencies for the company.

Rooms to Go, a furniture retailer based in Seffner, FL, is also using analytics to also detect buying patterns of customers, such as which furniture pieces and categories are the best sellers, by state and customer type. With these insights, Rooms To Go is able to target repeat customers more effectively by predicting which products consumers prefer and would likely buy next.

Sterling Savings Bank, headquartered in Spokane, Wash., serves more than 25,000 businesses and 175,000 consumers in five states. As a leading community bank in the Pacific Northwest and the largest commercial bank in the state of Washington, Sterling uses business analytics to better understand and serve its clients - providing a better banking experience by anticipating their needs at different stages of their lives.

Analytics technology holds tremendous promise for companies of all sizes to make more intelligent decisions and gain a competitive advantage. However, until now, acquiring, configuring and fine-tuning an analytics solution to solve specific problems and uncover breakthrough insights has required not only specific technical skills, but experts in applying analytics software for specific vertical industry applications. This has put analytics out of reach for many companies. With the new Smart Analytics System, IBM is responding to this need by not only providing its technical expertise, but also by delivering a comprehensive system that offers a streamlined assessment and the consulting expertise necessary to bring the power of analytics to clients quickly, at an affordable price.

With this announcement, IBM is expanding its portfolio to meet the needs of the high-growth analytics market. Earlier this year, IBM established Business Analytics and Optimization Services, an organization of more than 4,000 consultants teamed with IBM Research's world renowned laboratories and its 200 mathematicians and advanced analytics experts. IBM is also establishing a network of Analytics Solution Centers around the world to help clients solve their most complex challenges using analytics. IBM also plans to extend the strengths of the System z platform to analytic warehousing workloads.

The IBM Smart Analytics System will be available in September. For more information, visit

Follow developments on IBM Business Analytics at: IBM Business Analytics & Optimization Online Press Kit

An IBM video, "Analytics: How it Works," is available on YouTube at

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