Avaki Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise information integration (EII) software, announced it has established a strategic Board of Advisors, comprising of technology industry leaders and customers, to provide the company with direct feedback and validation of market requirements, product plans and strategic direction. Among the Board's initial findings is a strong confirmation of Avaki's product vision: to provide an enterprise-wide framework for managing a variety of data integration initiatives through a data service layer of distributed data sources, so that businesses can, for the first time, achieve enterprise-wide data integration efficiencies while leveraging a range of best-of-breed third-party integration approaches.

Avaki's Board of Advisors is composed of a diverse group of IT experts and visionaries, including David Linthicum, a pioneer in distributed computing and application integration and former CTO of Mercator (now part of Ascential Software); Bob Metcalfe, best known for inventing Ethernet and founding 3Com; Dave Henry, a data management expert and vice president at Temtec; Eric Miles, an authority on business intelligence and former executive at Sybase and currently CEO of Entopia; and Avaki customer, Kathy Gibson, worldwide head of research informatics at Pfizer. Dr. Philip Russom, renowned data integration expert and director of research at leading research firm, Forrester Research, is the Board's facilitator. Dr. Andrew Grimshaw, distributed computing visionary, founder of Avaki, and professor of computer science at the University of Virginia, is chairman.

At its first meeting, the Board determined that businesses today need to gain enterprise-wide control over their data integration efforts across many heterogeneous data sources and applications to reduce the overall time, cost and complexity of making fresh data available to applications. The Board endorsed the strategic value of Avaki's vision: providing an enterprise data service layer that can simplify access and integration of data from all distributed, heterogeneous sources, while at the same time leveraging a variety of data integration methodologies. The Board also supported Avaki's plan to introduce the Enterprise Data Integration Framework capability as part of the next release of Avaki Data Grid, the company's award-winning EII software product. The Enterprise Data Integration Framework will, for the first time, bring all of a business' data integration efforts under one enterprise-wide umbrella, increasing data availability and reducing the cost and complexity of data integration.

The Enterprise Data Integration Framework will enable businesses to "plug in" and leverage a variety of data integration approaches that can be re-used as services across the enterprise. With the Enterprise Data Integration Framework, companies can select from among a variety of data integration approaches-choosing the methods and tools that each best meet the data access and integration requirement at hand. Companies can leverage their investments in ETL, data cleansing, data profiling, and other best-of-breed data integration capabilities, combing them with Avaki's integration capabilities and surrounding them all with a unified, SOA-oriented, access and provisioning layer.

"For decades, companies have struggled with data integration issues by applying in an ad hoc way, project by project, a variety of approaches that are now scattered throughout the enterprise. This diversity of discrete projects results in excessive cost and complexity while preventing the fullest utilization of integration effort," said Avaki advisory board member and application integration expert Dave Linthicum. "The Board determined that the best way to address this problem is to create an enterprise data service layer to gain access to all federated data sources and couple that with a framework to leverage the best-of-breed data integration tools."

Benefits of an Enterprise Data Integration Framework:

  • Scale data integration efforts across the enterprise promoting integration logic re-use and creating greater efficiencies
  • Select the most appropriate data integration methods and tools for each project requirement and use each approach within the same data access and provisioning infrastructure
  • Leverage the best-of-breed data integration tools such as ETL and data cleansing and gain greater return on those investments
  • Provide an enterprise-wide umbrella for controlling all data integration initiatives
  • Respond faster to data access and integration requests and reduce the overall time and cost of data integration and application development

"We are extremely excited that we have been able to attract such an accomplished, world-class team of experts to our Board of Advisors," said TimYeaton, president of Avaki. "With so much deep experience and expertise in information technology, this Board will help identify the customer needs and validate Avaki's strategic direction to fulfill those needs. Their enthusiastic support of the Enterprise Data Integration Framework is validation of our vision and is a win for customers."
"In today's complex data environments, companies are spending too much time and money on data integration projects that don't scale," said Avaki advisory board member and technology pioneer, Bob Metcalfe. "Frustration among data users is high, and the impact of high integration costs on the bottom line has become increasingly unacceptable to business leaders. Avaki is taking an innovative approach-one that can greatly improve the data integration and application development bottlenecks that exist in today's companies while reducing the cost associated with the fragmented data integration approaches of the past."

Avaki Advisory Board Members

Kathy Gibson: Avaki customer Kathy Gibson is worldwide head of Research informatics at Pfizer, the largest Pharmaceutical company in the world. Having worked with Avaki for the past two years, she brings her Avaki experience to the Advisory Board. Ms. Gibson and her team have seen firsthand how Avaki can make distributed data available throughout the enterprise.

Dave Henry: Mr. Henry has years of executive experience in data management and is currently vice president of Business Development at Dutch-based Temtec, provider of analysis and reporting software for business intelligence solutions. Prior to Temtec, Mr. Henry held the position of vice president of marketing at Sagent Technology, Inc., where he was responsible for driving the company's long-term EII product strategy. Mr. Henry holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Master's Degree in Information Science from the University of North Texas.

Dave Linthicum: Mr. Linthicum is an internationally known expert in application integration, distributed computing and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). Published extensively, he has co-authored six books and over 250 articles on IT-related topics. Mr. Linthicum has over twenty years of experience in the integration-technology industry and is the former chief technology officer of EAI leader Mercator Software, Inc. Before joining Mercator, he held senior-level management positions at Saga Software, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), AT&T Solutions, Mobil Oil, and Ernst & Young LLP. Mr. Linthicum has also consulted for hundreds of major corporations engaged in systems analysis, design, and development, with a concentration in complex distributed systems.

Robert Metcalfe, Ph.D.: Dr. Metcalfe is a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners in Waltham, Massachusetts. He serves on the boards of Polaris-backed high-tech start-ups including Ember, Narad, and Paratek. In 1973, he invented Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In 1979, he founded 3Com Corporation. During the 1990s, he wrote a weekly Internet column in InfoWorld. Dr. Metcalfe graduated from MIT, got his Ph.D. from Harvard, taught at Stanford and Cambridge, was elected in 1997 to the National Academy of Engineering, and is a Life Trustee of MIT.

Eric Miles: Mr. Miles brings over thirty years of tools, database and business intelligence experience to the Avaki Advisory Board. He is currently CEO of Entopia, a knowledge management software company in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Entopia, he was senior vice president and general manager of the Business Intelligence division of Sybase. Prior to this, he served as vice president of database products at Informix, and was president of the database and tools division of The Ask Group, formerly Ingres Co. He was also corporate vice president of the open systems division at Amdahl, and has held a variety of executive and senior technical positions at both Bank of America and IBM. Mr. Miles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Andrew Grimshaw: Long considered one of the true visionaries in the distributed computing movement, Dr. Grimshaw is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Avaki. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the University of Virginia as an assistant professor of Computer Science, and became a full professor in 1998. Dr. Grimshaw was chief designer and architect of both the Mentat and Legion projects, and is the author of over 50 publications and book chapters. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences worldwide.

Avaki Advisory Board Facilitator

Dr. Philip Russom: Dr. Russom, a principal analyst in Forrester's Information Delivery research group, is a recognized expert in technologies and best practices for various forms of data integration. These include extraction, transformation, and load (ETL); operational data store (ODS); enterprise information integration (EII); and Web services for business intelligence. He has also researched and written extensively about data warehousing, business intelligence, and database management. He is currently a contributing editor at Intelligent Enterprise magazine. Formerly, he was contributing editor at DM Review magazine. Philip is also an advisory board member of The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and a regular speaker in TDWI's BI Strategies conference. Philip holds a B.M. and a master's degree University of North Texas, and a M.Ph. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

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