IBM Releases Industry-First Master Data Management Software

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server Now Available

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ARMONK, NY - 30 Jan 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the availability of the IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management (MDM) Server, new software that allows businesses to centrally manage customer, product, and account data for use enterprise-wide.

Master data is the information upon which organizations' operations and critical business decisions are based. Many businesses today are faced with master data that is distributed across multiple front and back-office systems and cannot be shared enterprise-wide. This problem, which costs businesses millions of dollars in missed revenues and operational inefficiencies, is driving companies to seek more flexibility in how they maintain and use master data as a means of competing and capitalizing on emerging business opportunities.

IBM's approach to this challenge, which the company calls multiform master data management, supports the variety of ways companies define, create, and use master data in their daily operations.

IBM InfoSphere MDM Server is the first product to provide out-of-the-box capabilities for managing master data on customers, products, accounts, suppliers, citizens, employees, prospects, guests, agents, items, product bundles, parts, agreements, and more. It offers sophisticated functionality and security rules to create, view, and edit data. In addition, it contains built-in intelligence and insight from the data that can be injected into day-to-day business transactions for improved operations across sales, marketing, and finance.

"The IBM InfoSphere MDM Server goes beyond what traditional master data management products offer by providing superior functional requirements in one platform," said Paraic Sweeney, vice president, Information Platform & Solutions, IBM. "This helps businesses maintain the accuracy of a broad range of master data types and gives them the necessary tools and pre-built functions to use master data to achieve greater efficiency and better customer service."

The IBM InfoSphere MDM Server offers deployment options that give customers the flexibility to use it for both entry level MDM projects and high volume SOA MDM systems with one platform that allows for incremental, non-disruptive growth.

The product includes new capabilities that will help organizations manage value packages and product bundles. For example, a retail bank can manage a customer's savings, checking and credit card as a single managed account -- a task that banks continue to struggle with from a technical perspective. A bank can also use the MDM Server to tailor product bundles, provide consolidated billing, payments, and statements, and customize service for an account. Additionally companies will gain more flexibility in creating and adding new product data and managing product hierarchies in their daily operations.

IBM InfoSphere MDM Server also boosts an organization's ability to know and understand its customers better through enhanced event notification features that can be set up to flag new data concerning a customer's status, preferences, and identity. This release offers new capabilities to help organizations reduce the time and cost associated with managing compliance data and 'know your customer' regulation.

Finally, the IBM InfoSphere MDM Server provides powerful new data governance capabilities that help businesses respond to increasing needs for defined processes for maintaining data. The software includes new data stewardship task management functionality to manage high load volume for duplicate suspect processing and enhanced workload management tools and user interfaces.

IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server marks the launch of new and enhanced product family from IBM, which will be expanded during 2008. Among the planned offerings include a new version of IBM WebSphere Product Center, which will be available this summer. Aimed at companies in the retail, distribution, consumer packaged goods, and consumer electronics industries, WebSphere Product Center helps turn product information into a strategic business asset, powering enterprise-wide sales, marketing and supply chain initiatives including new product introduction, ecommerce, and multi-channel management. Data from WebSphere Product Center can be exported to and used by the MDM Server to bring product data into real-time business processes.

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