It is Monday, October 26, 2009, and the annual IBM Information on Demand (IOD2009) conference is officially underway. Well, actually it kicked off with a bang on Sunday. The exhibition hall opened at 6:00 pm and the early goers traipsed through the vendor hall sharing stories, checking out the vnedor's wares, and looking for the latest tschotskes (the favorites seem to be a mini-book light being given out by SPSS and the nifty DB2 t-shirts being given out by SEGUS, Inc.).
But the event really does not get started (at least as far as I'm concerned) until the big Monday morning kickoff, which this year was emceed by Terry Fator (the ventriloquist impersonator who won America's Got Talent) last year. He did a very nice job, and his mimicry and ventriloquism skills are great... but I think ventriloquism works better in a more intimate setting.
Before Terry came on an IBMer shared several tidbits of data from research and from polls they have been taking at IOD. For example, did you know that 15 petabytes of data are created every day? Regarding the even, they shared that there are more overall attendees here than there were at last year's event (6,000+) and that the average distance folks traveled to attend #IOD2009 is 2500 miles. You can actually participate in the daily IOD polls at http://iodpoll.com.
In between the entertainment respites, we got to hear from several IBM folks, including Ambuj Goyal, Arvind Krishna, and Frank Kern. According to Mr. Goyal, IBM is building an information on demand software stack to deliver trusted information. This can solve a very real problem that organizations are experiencing today. You see, it seems that one in three business leaders frequently make critical decisions based on inaccurate or non-existing information. Business executives don't just need data, but trusted information that can be relied upon for analysis to make accurate business decisions.
Again, according to Goyal, he sees IBM's Information Agenda doing for trusted information what ERP did for enterprise resource processes. IBM will help move its customers from information projects to information-based architecture and operations, moving organizations from information on demand to information transformation.
Then Frank Kern hosted three IBM customers as he asked each of them to explain how they benefited from IBM's Information Management solutions. The representative from BlueCross BlueShield talked about their data warehouse with 54 millions records, which happens to be the largest healthcare data warehouse in the world. Their analytical data is made available thru a portal. Offering integrated healthcare details helps improve healthcare. And the Chevron representative spoke about how IBM has helped Chevron improve its supply chain operations using integrated information.
And Arvind Krishna, GM of the Information Management group at IBM, told about IBM's on-going investments in research and development for IOD. So far, IBM has invested over $12 billion in R+D and acquisitions.
IBM also unveiled some announcements today at IOD including several new offerings to provide organizations with analytics capabilities to make better use of their archived information and improve business processes. These offerings are part of IBM's unified archiving strategy called IBM Smart Archive. Most intriguing to me is the preview of a SaaS offering called IBM Information Archive Cloud Services. The entire press release can be read here, if you're interested in the topic.
I also attended a presentation on DB2 X which was quite interesting, too. Delivered by Jeff Josten, there was much good news for mainframe DB2 folks including improved performance, temporal support, improved utility operations, hashed data and access paths, and more. I tweeted about this quite extensively on Twitter.
In fact, if you want to follow my tweets all week (well, thru Wednesday) be sure to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/craigmullins... even when I'm not at a conference like IOD, I regularly tweet on DB2, database, and information management topics.