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IBM Accelerates Information on Demand by Helping Clients Create an Information Agenda

Launches Open Software Tools and Services to Convert Information into a Strategic Asset

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Sydney - 02 Sep 2008: IBM today introduced open software tools, industry-specific data models and blueprints, and consulting services to help clients use information as a strategic asset across their businesses. This is the industry's first complete set of offerings to manage information across an enterprise — independent of the specific software applications or business processes used to create it.

With the increasing pace of business driven by trends such as globalization and mergers and acquisitions, clients are recognizing that information has become one of their most important assets for sustaining a competitive advantage. Using IBM's new open software tools, industry-specific data models, blueprints and consulting services, they can establish a cross-company strategy for using their information more effectively — creating an "information agenda" that drives business performance.

By creating and following an Information Agenda for their business, clients can better manage, integrate and draw insight from increasing volumes of business data to improve overall performance. The new IBM offerings help businesses transform their existing information into a trusted asset that can be used across all applications and processes in their company. Taking this first step can create a more unified approach to accessing and using information on demand.

While most businesses today have a strategy to guide their business processes and applications, the information that supports their processes is often not shared across their organization. Access to information has been restricted because data has been tightly associated with the applications for which it was created, leading to a lack of new insights for better decision making and business performance. In effect, businesses don't have a cohesive, industry-specific strategy to take advantage of their information.

To address this, IBM's new software tools, industry-based assets and business consulting services focus on 18 key industries. Key components include:

An open set of new IBM Foundation software tools to help clients discover and understand the information they have and govern it over time.
Industry-specific Information Agenda guides and workshops to help create an information strategy and roadmap for better business performance.
Industry Accelerators such as data models and assets to improve business performance, reduce risk and deliver results more quickly.
Information on Demand Competency Centers to help clients build internal expertise and skills to facilitate business transformation.

“In order for businesses to take their information to the next level and accelerate the journey to using information on demand, they need a cross-company information strategy," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager, Information Management, IBM. “IBM is responding to this need by helping businesses create an Information Agenda for their specific industry. This will allow them to transform data into a strategic asset that can be used across applications and processes to enable better decisions for sustained competitive advantage.”

IBM Open Tools, Models and Blueprints Help Eliminate Information Barriers
IBM has created new open tools that help businesses identify which information is important; how to make information available to the people and applications that need it; the technology required to manage information; and the governance and processes needed to put an information management plan into action. For each industry, IBM is providing a suite of consulting services, software and industry guides to address that sector's critical business challenges.

Irish Life and Permanent, a leading provider of financial services in the Irish market, faced the challenge of integrating several acquired businesses into its portfolio and expanding its growth in a market in which it already had leadership. To help improve its business performance, the company decided to make a strategic shift away from a product focus to growth based on customer service and loyalty. Among the first steps it took was to establish an Information Agenda, which brought together leaders from business and IT to determine how to best use company information to service clients and create new business opportunities.
Starting with a series of incremental projects, each which addressed its Information Agenda, Irish Life and Permanent moved toward a single view of all its customer information. As a result, it can now tailor products and services for clients across multiple touch points such as the Internet, call-centers and various sales channels; create more effective targeted sales campaigns; improve customer self-service; and maintain continuous records of customer transactions and service satisfaction across the business.
“Now that we manage our customer information as an asset, the opportunities for innovation and optimization are endless,” said Noel Garry, executive manager, Irish Life. “We can respond to the dynamics of our business twice as fast.”

The 18 industries IBM is covering with its new offerings are aerospace and defense; automotive; banking; chemical and petroleum; consumer products; electronics; energy and utilities; federal government; health care payers; healthcare providers; industrial products; insurance; media and entertainment; pharmaceuticals; retail; state and local government; telecommunications and travel and transportation.

Managing an Information Agenda
To help clients establish an Information Agenda, IBM has invested in tools, assets and industry-based data models to help them understand and accelerate enterprise access to information; govern it as a strategic business asset; and design information structures to improve business performance. These tools and techniques work with any server, database and infrastructure to make business information easier to manage and use.

As part of today's announcement, IBM Global Business Services is unveiling an Enterprise Information Strategy and Roadmap offering that combines deep industry expertise with analytical solutions to provide a comprehensive set of services to help clients manage information as a strategic asset. Using proven approaches that address information strategy, governance and infrastructure, IBM Global Business Services helps companies assess their needs and accelerate development and deployment of their enterprise information strategies.

IBM has also developed proven methods, workshops and materials tailored for each of the 18 focus industries. Drawing on its industry expertise, IBM is providing a structured approach for helping clients engage with IBM experts to develop an information management roadmap that addresses their most important and complex information-based business challenges.

Finally, IBM is providing Information On Demand Competency Services to help clients develop their own expertise in areas such as business analysis and information governance to further support their information agendas.

The IBM Information Agenda extends IBM's cross-company Information on Demand initiative, which closely aligns its software and consulting expertise to help clients unlock the value of information and use it in innovative ways across an enterprise.

For more information, visit www.ibm.com/software/data/information-agenda

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