IBM Readies Software for Real-Time Reports

Geared toward segments such as retail supply chain and financial risk management, Business Activity Monitoring aims to replace static data reports.

IBM is readying a new software product, known internally as BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), for use in supply chain management, risk management and other areas where customers want to generate real-time reports from either single or multiple sources of information.

Produced this summer through IBMs Extreme Blue college internship program, BAM will be marketed to financial firms this fall by IBMs field technical sales force.

BAM later will be sold to retail chains for back-end supply chain management, said Derick McGee, who participated this summer in the six-year-old IBM program. Beyond financial risk management and retail supply chain management, IBM expects to target BAM at other vertical market segments, too, IBM officials said.

BAM uses technology obtained in IBMs recent acquisition of Alphablox Corp., according to McGee, one of four student interns who worked on the BAM Project at IBMs lab facility in Almaden, Calif.

IBMs software will provide a dashboard designed for easy customizability by end-users, together with back-end connectivity in real time to multivendor object relational and flat file databases. Other features will include data drilldown, graphical charts and the ability to set thresholds for real-time alerts.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about IBMs purchase of Alphablox, click here.

BAM is geared to replacing static data warehouse reports—which companies often produce only once a day—with dynamic reports, McGee said during a demo session at an IBM media event Wednesday in New York. The software will be sold to financial firms as an aid to compliance with emerging Basel II regulations.

On the supply-chain side, retail chain managers will use BAM to stay up-to-date on pricing and inventory levels. Customers will be able to set up the software to alert them if distributor pricing for an item falls below a specified point, for example.

Student developers used IBMs Eclipse-based WebSphere Studio to create BAM. The software will support a number of different OSes, including Linux and Microsoft Windows. It will run on IBM middleware products such as WebSphere Portal, DB2 Universal Database and WebSphere MQ.

Aimed at promoting product innovation, IBMs Extreme Blue internship program culls "the best and the brightest" from a wide pool of student applicants, said David Barnes, one of several IBM execs also on hand at the event.

IBM offers jobs to about 90 percent of Extreme Blue participants upon graduation—and of those, about 90 percent accept, according to Barnes.

Other MBA and computer science students demoing projects Wednesday interned over the summer at IBM labs in Cambridge, Mass.; Raleigh, N.C.; Austin, Texas; and Toronto.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Supply Chain Management & Logistics Center for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.