IBM Leads in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence

Earlier this year, a report by World Research Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) named IBM the 1998 worldwide revenue and market share leader in the business intelligence and data warehousing fields. IBM shows no signs of relinquishing that lead this year, as a recent study by the Meta Group (Stamford, Conn.), "1999 Data Warehousing Marketing Trends/Opportunities," indicates IBM is still the dominant choice of customers building data warehouses.

"IBM has been at data warehousing longer than anyone," says Wayne Eckerson, a senior consultant with Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based consulting firm. "They have a ton of warehousing tools; their tools are robust and more importantly, they have about 1,300 consultants in the business intelligence and data warehousing markets who know the field very well."

The Meta Group's study revealed a huge surge in demand for data warehouses, and the firm predicts that customer growth rates will lead to 30 percent of data warehouses exceeding one terabyte of data by the end of the year.

According to Dr. Harry Kolar, manager of strategy and emerging technologies with IBM Global Business Intelligence Solutions, one of the main reasons IBM is leading the market in both fields is, "we're providing solutions that are very scalable and also have granularity."

Data warehousing and business intelligence solutions that typically large corporations used are now available for small- and medium-sized businesses. IBM has lowered the price point of entry on these solutions, allowing companies to purchase specific solutions. "We partitioned the models so that companies can afford them," Kolar says. "Now companies can start with a scaled down version to support a specific area and then purchase added components if they want to later on."

As IBM markets these solutions for mid-sized companies, the AS/400 is growing in popularity. "We've seen a significant growth in data marts, data warehousing and business intelligence implementations on the AS/400," Kolar says.

Guy Creese, also a senior analyst with Aberdeen Group, says the AS/400 is increasing in percentage growth in business intelligence. "IBM has done a great job of recognizing how good the AS/400 is. It's a lot more powerful than it was five years ago," he says. "The AS/400 is great for decentralized companies, who don't have a lot of time and money to manage their system."

-- J. Martin