Dear Readers,

There are a significant number of trends that are evident as we continue to recover from difficult economic times. One of these trends is in the area of consolidation.

Most corporations today have a tremendous amount of capacity. This capacity can only be mitigated in two ways – reduce it or increase its utilization. With the current push toward real-time business intelligence and the ability to respond quickly to customer demands, some of this excess capacity will be absorbed. The government is also assisting by requiring greater compliance in numerous areas with legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Patriot Act which will require companies to invest in an infrastructure that can provide the required information on a timely basis.

The other way to attack capacity is by reducing it. The number of servers, storage devices and databases currently deployed can be reduced through consolidation. A multitude of systems that support a single function can be replaced by one system that supports multiple functions. This would provide a central point of control for easier and less time-consuming administration.

This is DM Review's Annual Product Review issue, containing more than 65 product reviews representing a wide cross-section of strategic business intelligence, analytic applications and data warehousing solutions. All reviews are testimonials provided by customers and fellow readers who describe the problems solved by the vendors' solutions and the strengths and weaknesses they have identified through use of the products. All of the products are currently being used in a production environment, and many have improved the submitting organizations' competitive positions in the global marketplace. This issue will be an invaluable reference for you throughout the next year as you evaluate strategic products for your organization's use and address many of the challenges that will ultimately lead to greater success in this highly competitive environment.

We are pleased to announce that Jill Eckhaus, president of AFCOM, will now be providing a monthly column (see page 12). AFCOM is the premier association representing the needs of enterprise and Internet data center managers, executives and vendors around the globe.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in our annual readership survey. I encourage those who have received an invitation but haven't yet accessed the survey to take the time to complete this important research component of DM Review. This survey enables us to identify the strategic initiatives you consider vital to your enterprise and areas that you would like DM Review to cover in the year ahead.

As always, thanks for reading DM Review!

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