Blue Martini Adds Support for DB2

Blue Martini has rolled out support for IBM’s DB2 database software asan enhancement to its recent version 5 release. The company said the new feature will be bundled with IBM WebSphere Application Server and IBM MQ Series.

The move brings Blue Martini’s suite closer to those organizations usinga database infrastructure that historically has been one of the mostpopular. Industry experts consistently point out that one of the primarybenefits of the push in CRM toward Web services and modularity is data integration.

Gartner Dataquest’s Debashish Sinha told CRM Buyer Magazine that, in fact,making legacy database information available to new enterpriseapplications should be the highest priority for IT groups today. “The really critical thing that organizations need to do today,” he said, “is integrate the disparate data around the enterprise.”

Speed Counts

Blue Martini also released recent results for a benchmark test for BlueMartini 5 – IBM Edition on a single 8-way IBM pSeries 660 Model M80server. The company said that the suite maintained sub-second responsetime — from page request to complete page load — while scaling up toapproximately 20,000 concurrent users.

The suite also showed predictability and linear scaling as more hardware isadded, according to Blue Martini. At this rate of scalability, thecompany predicted that a set of five 8-way IBM pSeries M80s can supportnearly 100,000 concurrent users.

Stiff Competition

Blue Martini 5 continues the company’s focus on two specific verticalindustries: retail and manufacturing. With manufacturing in particular,the software maker is focusing on a vertical industry that has proven tobe a hard nut to crack for CRM vendors.

The manufacturing vertical market is dominated by a few large ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendors that have added CRM functionality to their suites.

J.D. Edwards, for example, has set its sights on being the leading CRMvendor in its considerable installed base with manufacturing companies.And Aberdeen Group vice president Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer that the company seems to be doing the right things to make that happen.

“Their customer base is now receptive,” he said.

Pombriant is referring to the fact that research has shown thatmanufacturers — slow to jump on various IT trend bandwagons — havebeen wary of adopting CRM software.

Manufacturing Challenges

In addition, the manufacturing vertical itself presents challenges toenterprise software makers, according to industry experts. Perhaps most importantly, customer relationships are inexorably tied into supply chain issues for manufacturers.

For example, PeopleSoft vice president John Webb told CRM Buyer that CRM systems for manufacturing companies have been built in the past on a “push” model — supplying already-designed products to customers. However, he sees a need for a “pull” perspective — feeding information on product design and service issues back to engineers and product designers.

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