The deregulation of the US telecommunications industry is presenting a slew of new business opportunities and IBM Corp’s Business Intelligence unit has spawned its first vertical industry solution called DecsionEdge designed specifically for use by companies in that market. IBM, which figures there’s about a 50% turnover of phone company customers, says the hardware/software combination will enable telcos to analyze their customers’ phone activity and market new products and services to them. IBM’s turned to Austin, Texas-based integrator BSG Corp for a suite of applications that suck phone company records into a data warehouse and then model, analyse and predict individual customers’ likely requirements for new services. IBM will resell BSG’s Analyze It, Predict It (data mining), Build It and Model It (the glue that hangs it all together) applications in conjunction with DB2 or third party relational databases on RS/6000, AS/4000 or S/390 hardware. It’s a non-exclusive arrangement, though BSG doesn’t plan to have any other vendors sell the applications right now. It doesn’t mean IBM’s other data warehouse, data mining and OLAP partners are out in the cold. Expect a DecisionEdge 2.0 release to offer tools such as Business Objects SA’s reporting software and Arbor Software Corp’s Essbase OLAP engine which IBM is majoring on. IBM says a system with under 50Gb data will cost around $1m depending on the hardware. A mid-range system would support between 50Gb and 250Gb data, while a high-end system for data stores greater that 250Gb will likely cost between $7m and $10m. BSG, until now a pure integration play, has an impressive pedigree in the data warehousing space. Its October 1996 Sage Communications buy brought it a Teradata spin-off dedicated to writing data warehousing software for telco companies.