IBM set to launch 'Smart Analytics' systems

The new products will combine hardware, BI software and services

IBM preparing a new series of BI (business intelligence) products dubbed Smart Analytics Systems, the company was expected to announce Tuesday.

The systems, which will be available Sept. 29, combine BI software, server hardware, storage and professional services. Customers will be able to get the systems up and running quickly since the software is already installed and configured, according to IBM.

Big Blue is banking on the notion that customers, even amid a global recession, will want to invest in business analytics to gain a competitive advantage.

The company has placed a big emphasis on BI in recent years, spending billions to acquire Cognos in 2007 and, more recently, creating a BI services arm staffed by more than 4,000 consultants.

In coming months, IBM will further extend its BI strategy with a series of cloud-based services.

The Smart Analytics systems will come in a number of starting sizes, depending on data and user capacity, and employ IBM's Power Systems hardware, according to Bernie Spang, director of strategy and marketing in IBM's Information Management division.

Users who want to add capacity over time will be able to mix different generations of hardware, protecting their investment in the long term, Spang said.

IBM executives are scheduled to discuss the new systems in greater detail during a press conference Tuesday morning in the U.S.

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