Content Manager

By eweek  |  Posted 2004-04-02 Print this article Print

Does that mean IBMs Content Manager gains importance because that is one place where you can take all sorts of data and manage it? There for sure is information that is going to be stored in content repositories. There is already a boatload that is stored not only in IBM repositories, but in [repositories from] many other companies, and in e-mail systems from IBM and others. When you start looking at customer problems associated with doing this, you have a growing amount of information about clients. Second, [the information] is in all different formats and in all different places, its not all in IBM stores or in any one vendors stores, so thats a challenge.
The third [challenge] is compliance. There are over a hundred compliance regulations that companies will have to implement over the next 12 months. Not every company is going to implement 100, but if you go industry by industry, they each have their own compliance regulations. And most of these regulations have to do with information. HIPAA is about information. Sarbanes-Oxley is about supporting processes with information—this is how you say youre doing something, how youre really doing it, what is really the source of the information youre losing, and the traceability of it. Basel-II is really about traceability and accounting information.
Theres a tremendous focus now on information, quality of information, location of information, traceability of information that companies have to deal with over the next couple of years. So when you look at what were doing with information management within IBM, its really providing infrastructure to help companies deal with these challenges of massive amount of information, complying with regulations, and really being able to better leverage that information to drive operational efficiency and provide better customer service. What areas are you investing in to do this? Things were continuing to invest in—of course, DB2. DB2 is the centerpiece of our information management capability and offerings. DB2 for strong, not only structured, record-oriented information, but DB2 for storing other forms of content. That leads to [IBMs] Content Manager [for storing] images, documents, digital media and e-mail. Then weve made a couple of acquisitions over the last couple of years. One is in electronic records management so we have the DB2 Records Manager, we have the DB2 Documents Manager, and … content management [that] has been branded a Lotus product, Lotus Workplace, where content is stored in a DB2 content repository. Were embedding analytics into the DB2 engine, things like data mining algorithms [and] OLAP capabilities into the database engine. The reason were doing that is to be able to provide real-time analytics of information. How much easier does data mining become with the analytics embedded into DB2? You still have to use a modeling tool to build the models. The thing that is important here, you have a class of applications weve talked about for years, which is OLTP. Now what were seeing happen is a new wave of applications around analytics. What companies want to do now is really leverage information. How do they optimize the end-to-end business process? It really is about starting with the customer … [going] back out through the supply chain, being able to determine in real time where are the bottlenecks in the process, what do you have to do to really optimize the process. In order to do that, you need to provide real-time information and real-time analytics over that connection as its occurring. This is one area that has begun to be talked about as business process management. This whole area is about now the optimization across all these silos of information. Its much different than what weve talked about in the past and what weve delivered in the past. DB2 Information Integrator plays a key role in this vision [by providing] the ability to federate information, to replicate it, to federate a Web service or information coming though a Web service, the ability now once I have that information coming into a database to be able to do analytics in real time on it—real-time scoring of customers, predicative analysis based on transactions coming in—things like that are important to have and support within this infrastructure. Oracle has applications and want more. Microsoft has applications. Even Sybase has mobile applications. Why isnt IBM getting into the applications game? Our decision was made a few years ago that we were going to exit the application business. One of the big reasons we did that was you begin to alienate the application partners, and weve seen that through Oracles actions [and] Microsoft has alienated application companies. We really believe that if you look at IBMs core competency, where our strengths are and what our clients see as the value of IBM, it really is delivering this infrastructure of storage, servers, middleware and consulting services and partnering with the application providers that really provide them a level of choice on the application level. Who are you trying to address with Stinger? What is its timeframe? If you look at any new version of DB2 there are design objectives, One is continuing to make life easier for [database administrators]. It really is around reducing total cost of ownership, that is around autonomic capabilities, high availability, performance, and ease of application development. In the industry, when you talk about business intelligence, they think of tools [from vendors] like Cognos, Business Objects and MicroStrategy. Im thinking about a broad set of analytical applications and analytics that are going to be embedded in every application. You see it already. You see Siebel analytics in a Siebel environment. You have the same with PeopleSoft, SAP. Every application in order to do this real-time optimization of the business process will have to have analytics embedded in the application. Its not going to be this tool sitting out there. Its going to be having a platform that allows you to do that real-time analytical processes. So the thing were building is that infrastructure and reference architecture for this analytical platform, which is really built on DB2 as the underlying data store. Information Integrator, partner capabilities are part of that, and cube views. When will we see enterprises managing structured and unstructured data in the same database? It will eventually come together, but it will not be in the next two or three years. Where IBM is uniquely advantaged here, if you look at FileNet they dont have a relational database. Oracle doesnt have the content stores so they have no way of storing very large collections. 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