Key Announces GA of Smart i Appliance for BI
May 12, 2009 Alex Woodie
Key Information Systems announced the general availability of the Smart i business intelligence (BI) appliance last month at the COMMON conference in Reno, Nevada. The company also previewed a new mobile version of Smart i that delivers BI reports on Google Android-supported handheld devices.
First unveiled last year, Key’s Smart i solution bundles IBM‘s DB2 Web Query and Talend‘s extract, transfer, and load (ETL) software on an IBM Power Systems server, along with installation services from Key and Systech Solutions. The aim of the product is to renew interest in the System i server as a good platform for BI workloads, while minimizing the work needed to install and configure the BI solution.
Version 1.1 of Smart i has been approved for general availability to users of the IBM i platform in the U.S. General availability to other parts of the world will be announced later this year, according to Key.
Pricing starts at $50,000, which includes a System i server, license for DB2 Web Query, Talend’s open source ETL, a data mart, four custom reports, and implementation and training services. Key says the software can achieve a return on investment in as little as three to six months.
One of the first sites to adopt Smart i is the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), a fashion college in the Los Angeles area, and a cutting edge System i shop. FIDM was a beta test site for Smart i, and the organization reported good returns in migrating its old Microsoft-based BI tools to the Smart i.
Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, the CIO of FIDM, says the software will help the organization respond to a world that changes quickly. “We have to be able to respond to that,” she says. “I think that the Smart i offers us that potential.”
Key and Systech also demonstrated a new mobile interface for the Smart i appliance, called Smart i Mobile. The offering allows users to view a graphical representation of data generated by the Smart i system, and is based on the open Android platform developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance.
Smart i Mobile is being developed by David Brown, president of Intelligent Applications Hatchery and former chief scientist at Vision Solutions. “Smart i Mobile graphs will directly link to the numerous Smart i reports generated by IBM DB2 Web Query for i,” Brown says in a press release. “Data is automatically refreshed each time the information in Smart i data warehousing reports is updated. Clickable graphs allow users to navigate through the data behind the graphs.”
The vendors have not fully committed to delivering Smart i Mobile, but they appear likely provided the Smart i appliance is well received by customers.