However, Lear thinks it's clear to IT pros that a one-vendor environment is never the entire answer. "I know customers are seeing that," he said. "Just because I've got IBM Cognos doesn't mean I need DB2."
As a consultant, Lear must assess how his clients understand business intelligence and what they expect from it. At present, he said he doesn't think the term is very well understood but that will change. "With the mergers and acquisitions that are going on at the moment, it's going to become more and more clear to them," said Lear.
Also in the audience was Alex Raul Pascua, a team lead for the business intelligence team at Scarborough, Ont.-based Toyota Canada Inc. Pascua said the objective at his company is to get to an enterprise-wide approach to data warehousing where eventually users will rely on self-service analytics tools.
IBM's Smart Analytics approach and recent acquisitions happen to work well for Toyota Canada because it was already using technology from data mining company SSPS Inc. and business intelligence vendor Cognos Inc. when IBM acquired those companies, said Pascua. "Now that IBM bought those two companies, integration would be a lot easier for us," he said.
Although an IBM shop, Pascua isn't ruling out other vendors' analytics tools should he find them better and users express greater comfort with them.
Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau