Sand Technology Releases New BI/DW Product

With the release of a new version of its Nucleus data-warehousing and business intelligence suite, Sand Technology, Inc. (Montreal) hopes to bring a new kind of data-mining – dubbed “exploration” data-warehousing -- to the AS/400 platform.

Nucleus can also be deployed as an analytical processing tool for data mart and data warehousing users.
Nucleus is a business intelligence suite that Sand Technology says provides fast, relatively straightforward data acquisition, assimilation, and validation – all of which are said to be important in CRM implementations, in particular. Moreover, representatives from Sand Technology claim, IT organizations can use Nucleus to build analytical CRM departments within weeks rather than months.

Nucleus can also be deployed as an analytical processing tool for data mart and data warehouse users, and can perform iterative, forensic and ad hoc queries. Nucleus is also designed to allow employees, customers, distributors or suppliers to access information over the Internet or by means of a corporate intranet through a standard Web browser.

Because of its ability to support many different types of queries, and because of the strength of its business intelligence underpinnings, Nucleus is said to be an ideal platform for so-called corporate “explorers”: Power business users who operate in non-repetitive modes, sift through enormous amounts of data, and analyze data in unconventional ways.

"Nucleus is the right tool set for power users, including top management and business analysts, who need to formulate and refine complex, ad hoc queries against large amounts of data,” comments Jerry Shattner, president of Sand Technology North America.

And while IBM Corp. announced its own analytic and business intelligence tools for the AS/400 in March of this year -- DB2 OLAP Server for AS/400 and Query Management Facility (QMF) for AS/400 – Sand Technology’s Shattner says Nucleus’ exploration data warehousing capabilities can actually work to augment the features and performance of DB2.

"Nucleus adds a whole new BI concept, that of exploration data warehousing, while complementing DB2 UDB for the AS/400 and extending existing BI applications," he says.

Nucleus has previously been available for Unix platforms and for Windows NT. Sand Technology chose to port it to the AS/400 because it recognized that most companies were keeping their AS/400s – and terabytes upon terabytes of mission critical data – rather than migrating to other platforms. Industry analysts have long pointed out that greater than 70 percent of corporate data still resides on VSAM data stores attached to mainframe and to AS/400 systems.

"We ported Nucleus to the AS/400 because, with an installed base of 700,000+ systems worldwide, it is the repository for much of today's business data," Shattner maintains.

And far from setting the stage for a possible showdown with its own business intelligence and OLAP offerings for the AS/400, Big Blue has enthusiastically received Sand Technology and Nucleus thus far.

"Sand has a unique product that is ideally suited for power users who need to find answers to questions they don't yet know how to frame,” concludes Leamon Hall, AS/400 Business Intelligence Segment Manager with IBM.

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