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February 22, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp yesterday added another software suite to its DecisionEdge family of business intelligence products, aimed at enabling small and large financial institutions to become better acquainted with their customers’ needs and thus improve profitability. IBM is touting the application, DecisionEdge for Relationship Marketing, Finance, as a complete business intelligence (BI) solution that combines hardware, software, consulting and services. The suite comprises IBM’s banking data warehouse for DecisionEdge Data Model (designed specifically to analyze bank customer data), DB2 universal database, DB2 OLAP server, IBM’s Intelligent Miner for relationship marketing, Visual Warehouse, and Standard Reports (from Business Objects). The aim is to enable banks and other finance houses to combine all their customer data into one, common data mart then, using business intelligence tools and analytical applications, to use that data to get a better understanding of customers’ needs, buying and spending patterns. The financial industry is going through some big changes and competition is at an all-time high, said Mark Damico, IBM’s manager of solutions marketing, global business intelligence solutions, Companies need to do a better job of marketing to their clients if they’re going to keep them. Damico said the application would provide bank staff (marketing, teller personnel and so on) with key information about customers. They can use that information to assess the risk of losing a client; to classify customers with seemingly unrelated characteristics into segments; to predict demand for products and services and to manage marketing campaigns, he said. In the past, developing such as solution for a bank would be done on a case- by-case basis. The software would take a long time to write, as it was being done on a proprietary basis, and the cost would invariably be very high, Damico said. But the aim of this solution is to provide, one customized package that any financial institution can quickly implement. IBM worked with lots of early customers, including KeyCorp, First National Bank North Dakota and Peoples Bank and Trust in Indianapolis, to develop the industry-specific data models required for the software. A smaller bank can purchase a slimmed-down version of the software for around $500,000 while the full-blown application starts at $1m. Damico said that IBM was currently working its next customized application, for the retail industry. The software should be released some time later this year, he added.

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