IBM Rolls Out BI for Private Clouds

IBM on Monday launched a new cloud computing service that incorporates more than a petabyte of business-intelligence and analytics applications that will be first used by more than 200,000 of its own employees.

The service, which is geared to take on Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other vendors in the rapidly developing cloud-computing market, will let enterprise customers gather, analyze and distribute enormous quantities of data in real-time through a subscription-based offering hosted by IBM (NYSE: IBM).

IBM officials said its employees are already test-driving the service, which it calls Blue Insight. The service architecture, dubbed Smart Analytics Cloud, is now available for customers.

“This new model of cloud computing will provide our employees with a single place to access real business insights, improve standards compliance and create a repository of best practices throughout the company,” IBM CIO Pat Toole said in a statement.

This massive business-intelligence and analytics cloud service is just the latest product developed from the company’s $5 billion acquisition of BI software maker Cognos in late 2007.

“In addition to the business requirement, there were critical technology elements to underpinning this solution that will be supported by System z and Cognos,” Toole said. “I expect this first-of-its-kind approach will help drive both new growth opportunities as well as have a significant impact in cost savings, which is exactly what businesses are asking today of their cutting-edge IT organizations.”

IBM said the service will give employees immediate access to the type of information usually dispensed by on-premise customer-relationship management and BI applications suites, including demand trends, contact information, shipping times and individual and regional sales performances and trends.

The commercial product will be delivered on a System z mainframe, and will include business-intelligence tools from IBM Cognos 8 BI.

IBM said that 83 percent of respondents to its recent Global CIO study identified business intelligence and analytics as the primary tools for boosting their organizations’ competitiveness.

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