• September 1, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Acquisitions Pay Big Bounty for Big Blue

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IBM released two very different analytics offerings within weeks of each other. Both rely on technologies picked up during recent high-profile acquisitions.
The first was an appliance that lets organizations analyze as much as 10 petabytes of data in minutes. The technology, based on systems IBM gained in its acquisition of Netezza Corp. in November, is designed to help businesses uncover patterns and trends from large data sets while meeting compliance mandates.

The IBM Netezza High Capacity Appliance addresses a challenge posed by organizations amassing huge amounts of data. Banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and communications services providers are required by industry regulators to retain massive amounts of data, in some cases for as long as a decade.

“Companies need to keep years’ worth of data available, and in a majority of cases, it ends up in some cold storage where it is not easily accessible,” says Razi Raziuddin, senior director of product management at IBM Netezza. “As a result of not being able to access that data, companies lose the insight and details it could hold.”

Raziuddin notes that the High Capacity Appliance allows companies to archive, search, and mine all that data and “do some very complex analysis on it.”
The solution, which costs about $2,500 per terabyte (which is 1 trillion bytes), can handle up to 10 petabytes (or 1 quadrillion bytes) of data.

Then, IBM released a cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite to help automate online marketing across channels, including the Web, email, chat, social media, and mobile phones.

“Everyone wants to be more targeted in their marketing, but you need analytics to do that,” says Akin Arikan, multichannel marketing evangelist with IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Group. “It takes tight integration.”

The offering, called the IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite, combines technologies IBM gained in its summer 2010 acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine-tune marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real time.

The suite automates and simplifies a company’s ability to design and deliver a tailored online experience and marketing promotions via real-time personalized recommendations, email ad targeting, and more. It accomplishes the following:

• lets marketers perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including offline data sources;
• delivers real-time product recommendations for online channels, including social, mobile, email, and display ads;
• provides A/B testing capabilities to help search engine marketers compare pairs of search terms to find the most cost-effective terms and associated ads;
• incorporates best-practices key performance indicators and corresponding industry-specific benchmarks; and
• supports thorough analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is most effective.

In addition, this product will let businesses evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices.
The suite is also part of IBM’s larger Smarter Commerce initiative, which helps companies market, sell, and secure greater customer loyalty. With this initiative, IBM is defining a new market that it estimates will grow to $20 billion in software opportunities alone by 2015.

“It removes all the hurdles of achieving true CRM,” Arikan says.

News Editor Leonard Klie can be reached at lklie@infotoday.com.

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