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IBM campaign pushes new business tools

IBM plans to launch a $30 million marketing and advertising campaign to push new products that can help companies make smarter business decisions.

IBM today said it will launch a $30 million marketing and advertising campaign to push new products that can help companies make smarter business decisions.

"Business intelligence" is a marketing term that refers to tools businesses can use to analyze massive amounts of information stored on databases. The tools aim to help firms improve marketing efforts or boost sales.

In this new campaign, IBM plans to push its business intelligence products and services to mid-market customers through its data management, server technology, and IBM Global Services units.

During a press conference today, Ben Barnes, general manager of IBM's Global Business Intelligence Solutions, said the new campaign is part of the company's ubiquitous e-business advertising push. The campaign highlights work IBM has done for customers, including retailer L.L. Bean and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The company plans to run television, print, and radio advertisements throughout the fourth quarter of this year.

Currently, the NBA is using an IBM data mining software called Advanced Scout to help coaches prepare for basketball games. The software allows a coach to quickly review countless game statistics and other data, IBM said.

IBM said it will target smaller companies with its new Business Intelligence Fast Start Program, a package that includes hardware, software, and services. IBM said Fast Start will help companies evaluate customer complaints, Web site data, and market information to help them retain customers. The program is priced at $60,000, the company said.

IBM Global Services, the company's computer services arm, will offer business services to three new industries, including telecommunications, retail, and insurance.

In addition, IBM's data management division launched a software upgrade for the DB2 database. DB2 Intelligent Miner software for Version 6.1 is intended to enable users to analyze large amounts of business transactions. IBM's DB2 Intelligent Miner for Relationship Marketing Version 6.1 is intended to help companies better understand customer behavior. The new data management software will be available by the end of next month, the company said.