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Software to help you understand customer needs, focus on growth markets and support acquisitions.

Smart moves in tough times – Fast ROI software solutions – Part 4

As pointed out in the report from the IBM Institute of Business Value, these are "unusual" times in our globally integrated economy. As such, it might be the perfect opportunity to deploy what may seem to be bold strategies in an otherwise constrained and cautious environment. Time to disrupt. Change the agenda. These strategies include reaching out to and understanding existing customers and gaining new ones, focusing on growth markets and acquiring new assets at what may be bargain prices.

TIP: In this fourth part of the "Smart moves in tough times - Fast ROI software solutions" series, remember to look for ROI projections for each of the software solutions featured.* Getting a faster return is always important, but it's essential in today's economy.

Drive real-time business insight to increase customer value

ROI projected in 3 months or less

The Institute for Business value study points out that any strategy to capture share must include understanding customer needs. To do it you need trusted real-time data to gain insight into customer behavior and respond rapidly. Data integration solutions from IBM detect and deliver information across heterogeneous data stores, enabling you to sense and respond to critical information and increase the speed of sales and transactional analysis to better understand customer behavior.


Accelerate deployment of enterprise applications

ROI projected in 12 months or less

Upgrading or deploying new applications across your business is critical to acting fast on new opportunities and gaining share. It can also be costly. Often, implementing new applications can be inefficient because the data the applications need is scattered and untrustworthy. IBM InfoSphere™ Information Server profiles, cleanses and integrates information from heterogeneous sources across you business to boost the performance of your applications while lowering the costs of implementing and integrating them.

Make bolder and better decisions with
IBM Cognos Reporting

ROI projected in 4 months or less

Bold decisions require sound information. Understanding customers, analyzing areas for risk and opportunity can help you change the game for competitors and open new areas for growth. But getting that information when and in the way you need it can be daunting.

Tools from IBM Cognos® and Cognos reporting capabilities can provide information access through a single tool that adapts to many data sources and can be personalized to the roles of key stakeholders. Gain insight and make bold decisions with confidence. Plus, Cognos software can quickly integrate merged/acquired companies into a single reporting system.

Get the big picture


Improve service, focus on growth markets and support acquisitions with portals

ROI projected in 12 months or less

Portals are powerful. They can help in all three strategies for capturing share. Improve customer self-service and increase satisfaction. Deploy new products and services fast in new markets. Treat newly acquired customers right with portals that introduce them to your offerings and integrate them with the offerings of the acquired company. IBM portal solutions feature accelerators that make it easy and cost-efficient to deploy content, automate processes, manage performance, build mashups and more.

Develop the right product for the right market
at the right time

ROI projected in 6 months or less

It may be the right time to shift your focus to new markets and introduce new products (perhaps from an acquisition) – then again – depending on your resources and position – it might not. You can find out with IBM Rational® Focal Point® software. It provides a comprehensive decision support system for market- and business-driven product, project and portfolio management.


Adjust processes and change the game

ROI projected in 8 months or less

Finding opportunities to increase customer value, discover new markets and business models and acquire assets doesn't necessarily happen in the lofty halls of management. Business analysts and other professionals closer to daily operations can uncover opportunities, too. But they need tools to help them quickly exploit them. That's where business rules management systems from IBM come in. They empower business analysts to adjust the behavior of applications and processes to respond to new opportunities and demands.

Automate the data center

ROI projected in 10 months or less

The hardware in your data center can stop you from taking bold action. Poor utilization can lead to lack of server availability and poor performance that can stop business initiatives. IBM Data Center Automation software can help you transform the data center from a bottleneck to business-ready machine by automating the tasks that manage your virtual and physical infrastructure.


Consolidate your systems management software

ROI projected in 6 months or less

You need to be ready should you open new lines of business or acquire another organization. To the IT department, these events can vastly increase complexity and cause valuable resources to be spent on point-to-point integration and problem fixes as well as increased license fees. IBM Tivoli® Netcool® network fault management and associated solutions can help consolidate you systems management software to reduce complexity, improve efficiency and make sure you are ready to strike out for new markets and opportunities.



  1. GMA Direct Store Delivery Research, June 2002

NOTICE: This information is provided to you as an example of potential benefits which could be obtained through the use of IBM products. They are provided for illustrative purposes only. Actual results achieved are dependent on a variety of factors and may vary substantially from those described in these materials This information is provided with no representations or warranties of any kind either express or implied. IBM disclaims all warranties, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. IBM does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use, validity, accuracy or reliability of the example or the results of the use of the statements of cost savings. In no event shall IBM be liable for any damages, including those arising as a result of IBM's negligence, whether those damages are direct, consequential, incidental, or special, flowing from your use or inability to use the cost savings examples or information provided herewith or results of the information use even if IBM has advised of the possibility of such damages. The ultimate responsibility for achieving the calculated results remains with you.

* Results may vary depending upon the IT project. Talk with your IBM representative to get started now.