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Kalido Revamps Data Warehousing Platform

Kalido is that rarest of extant creatures: a best-of-breed DW vendor. With a wrinkle or two, of course.

Who says you can’t teach an old data warehouse environment new tricks?

Not Kalido, which last month announced an upgrade—complete with a bevy of scalability and performance tricks—to its eponymous data warehousing platform. Kalido—which was spun off as a separate concern from Shell several years ago—is that rarest of extant creatures: a best of breed DW vendor. At a time when data warehousing seems to have gone mainstream—now that most prominent relational database platforms (including SQL Server 2005, Oracle 10g, DB2, and Sybase Adaptive Server) bundle canned integration capabilities—Kalido continues to push its own best-of-breed approach.

With a wrinkle or two, of course.

Kalido’s bread-and-butter product is its Dynamic Information Warehouse (DIW), which lets customers store multiple versions of a data model and differentiate between them on the basis of effective dates. This enables users to compare “what is” with “what was” even if the organization itself has been restructured in the interim. The flip side is that Kalido DIW’s versioning capabilities also let organizations perform “what if” analyses ahead of proposed realignments of organizational or product hierarchies.

The revamped Kalido Dynamic Information Warehouse (DIW) incorporates a number of requisite scalability and performance enhancements. For example, DIW supports even larger dimensions, boasts usability improvements, especially in the form of its Web services API and enhanced support for service-oriented (SOS) software development. There are also some performance tweaks, including live feed capabilities that support real-time loading of transaction data, among other niceties. On the whole, Kalido officials say, the revamped DIW supports much larger DW footprints—in some cases, up to ten times larger than its predecessor.

The new version of DIW is indicative of Kalido’s broadening ambitions: in tandem with the new DIW release, the data warehousing specialist announced new profitability and performance modules that are designed to tap into Kalido DIW’s capabilities.

To that end, Kalido president and CEO Bill Hewitt positioned the new DIW as part of his company’s Active Information Management (AIM) push. And AIM, not surprisingly, takes Kalido somewhat far afield from its best-of-breed data warehousing roots.

“Every organization approaches information management differently, yet each needs powerful, adaptable solutions that can help drive the business forward,” said Hewitt, in a prepared release.

As a case in point, Kalido officials point to the revamped DIW’s support for near-real-time (i.e., “right-time”) data access, which lets users consume data that’s hot off the proverbial press—in other words, direct from operational and other mission-critical systems. On top of this, representatives say, Kalido DIW’s right-time capability underpins the company’s new Profitability and Performance Management modules, ensuring consistent access to timely information.

James Kobielus, a senior analyst for data management with consultancy Current Analysis, seems to like what he sees in the revamped Kalido DIW. For one thing, he points out, DIW can support a range of different data warehousing topologies—from enterprise DWs to federated DWs to departmental and subject-specific data marts. It also provides a model-driven approach, including canned best practices, rule-based capabilities, time-variant data management support, and a time-stamped audit trail.

And while some might question the viability of a best-of-breed enterprise DW in a market space where so many commodity DW solutions abound, Kobielus points to Kalido DIW’s trump card: it can be deployed on Oracle’s 10g, IBM’s DB2, or Microsoft’s SQL Server platforms. Few Global 2000 organizations have standardized on a single database platform, much less one enterprise DW, but Kalido DIW gives them a putative Rx for one cross-platform data warehouse to rule them all.

“Kalido continues to roll out incremental enhancements that strengthen its value proposition as a pure-play provider of DW solutions that can be deployed in a centralized, federated, or departmental basis,” Kobielus comments. “[It] has [increased]… the range of enterprise DW scenarios into which it can market its platform, tools, and applications… [and] has addressed the scalability requirements of high-end enterprise DWs that manage very large, complex dimensional data sets. And it has addressed the low-latency requirements of enterprises’ active DW environments, supporting real-time BI and other near-real-time movement from source databases to end users.”

One of Kalido’s key differentiators is its master data management (MDM) expertise. As a data integration vendor, Kalido was ahead of the curve with its Master Data Manager software, which it has marketed for several years now. With its latest round of DIW enhancements—and particularly its new customer and profitability management components—Kalido has tried to differentiate itself even further from the DW mainstream. “To the extent that existing [data warehousing] vendors do not provide pre-built solutions that address these requirements, users [might] consider migrating to Kalido [to address] all or a portion of their requirements,” he suggests.

This isn’t to sugarcoat the challenge Kalido faces in the broader DW market. “Vendors such as [Teradata], IBM, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, TIBCO, Business Objects, SAS, and Hyperion will continue to grow their [data warehousing] value propositions. Kalido, by contrast, is a venture-backed start-up that must rely on partners for much of the functionality needed to flesh out a complete end-to-end [data warehouse] solution,” Kobielus argues.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at [email protected].

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