Dear Readers,

Summer is the time when rummage sales happen every weekend in my part of the country. People hate to throw away "stuff" they no longer need or use, so they clean house and move it all to the garage or driveway for the neighbors to buy and add to their collections.

The old saying "One man's junk is another man's treasure" is an idiom for life. It is up to each of us to decide what is precious to us and what we can let go of; so too, in the world of IT. At a recent TDWI conference, Bill O'Connell, IBM business intelligence CTO, and I discussed the long-term vision for the enterprise. He mentioned that, "Consolidation is a big business driver because it produces ROI, not added cost." As we move to enterprise-wide systems, the pendulum is swinging back to centralization as a way to create a lean, mean, competitive machine. Solutions today need to focus on solving the business pain and creating consumable deliverables that are fully integrated.

Our enterprises must be scalable and organized. To keep on adding systems, applications and databases or acquiring them through mergers and acquisitions without taking an inventory and discarding what is redundant makes it very hard to find what is important. Our feature by Charles Garry takes a new look at agile data management and the imperative of organized growth to support your enterprise infrastructure.

Another trend is forcing businesses to consolidate/integrate their information silos, closing the loop on the business intelligence cycle. Our feature by Prasanna Keny and Amit Chemburkar provides some industry-specific examples of operational BI at work.

Creating and accessing a single view of the customer is being pushed from the business side as another reason to consolidate. With the growth of XML standards, the emphasis on master data management and the maturation of BI, we now have the tools, structures and governance to offer an enterprise view of data. Our columnists cover all these topics this month.

In order to consolidate more quickly, it is important to have an architecture and models that can map faster, search better, provide security and effect transformation. The product reviews we have assembled for this Annual Product Review issue offer cutting-edge technology in these areas. If you are hoping to centralize some aspect of your enterprise, page 35 is the place to start. You might find the treasure you are seeking.

Enjoy the issue,

P.S. The second issue of DM Review Extended Edition will be available for download July 5, 2006 (www.dmreview.com/ee), with more articles, columns and product reviews to help you facilitate consolidation in your enterprise

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