B10 Thin client with agents neural nets and more

Seagate Holos is an integrated client-server tool for the development, delivery, and operation of enterprise business intelligence and OLAP applications. It unifies diverse computing facilities and data sources to provide an integrated information environment for large organizations. Seagate Holos was originally developed by Holistic Systems, an international company founded in London in 1987. In June 1996, Seagate Technology acquired Holistic Systems, which is now part of Seagate Software.

Corporate data has traditionally been stored in a variety of flat files and two-dimensional databases. As organizations move away from mainframe-based MIS (management of information systems) architectures and toward client-server environments, information consumers at all levels of the organization require access to corporate data to support decisions in a rapidly changing business environment.

To satisfy the decision support requirements of business users, data must be available in a multidimensional business view. Relational databases and data warehouses facilitate this process by consolidating, summarizing, and staging disparate data in a conveniently accessible repository. But users need powerful access, analysis, and reporting tools to obtain value from the data warehouse. Seagate Holos provides flexible data access coupled with powerful multidimensional analysis and reporting, which places actionable business information in a context that makes sense to users.

Because Seagate Holos transforms large volumes of data from disparate sources into a consistent set ofmeaningful information, managers and decision makers throughout an organization are able to examine historical results as well as perform complex future-oriented analytical tasks, including forecasting, "what if" simulations, trend analysis, and goal seeking (see Figure B.2).

Because the most accurate, most recent information exists in the operational systems of an organization, it makes sense for management systems to access operational information efficiently. In contrast to other OLAP products, Seagate Holos integrates tightly with the underlying relational data warehouse and legacy systems. This allows users to access, perform multidimensional analysis, and report on information from underlying data sources without the need for an additional proprietary database. Holistic Systems pioneered this approach in 1988, and today Seagate Holos, as the only HOLAP product on the market, offers the most mature, comprehensive, open-systems OLAP solu-

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Figure B.2 A "snapshot" summary of month-to-date revenue and expense information by business category: Seagate Holos business intelligence software's tight coupling with the RDBMS allows this telecommunications company to monitor ongoing activity. (Reprinted with permission from Seagate Software.)

tion for enterprise-wide management and executive information collection and delivery (see Figure B.3).

Seagate Holos is based on a server-centric, thin-client, client-server architecture, suitable for two- or three-tier applications. In this approach, all of the analytic processing is performed on scaleable servers that are readily accessible to users throughout the organization, while the users interact with the system through modestly configured local client computers. This enables Seagate Holos to address very large-scale data volumes, to share the applications and information across the enterprise without duplication, and to avoid hardware and network capacity constraints. More importantly, users gain access to a powerful corporate-wide information processing system without needing to know where particular processing is being performed.

The combination of a purpose-built fourth-generation language and state-of-the-art graphical interfaces allows Seagate Holos to provide the best possible

Figure B.3 Multidimensional inquiry in Seagate Holos: A telecommunications company's monthly financial information, categorized by product and department codes in the general ledger system, can be manipulated and analyzed to support informed decision making. (Reprinted with permission from Seagate Software.)

Figure B.3 Multidimensional inquiry in Seagate Holos: A telecommunications company's monthly financial information, categorized by product and department codes in the general ledger system, can be manipulated and analyzed to support informed decision making. (Reprinted with permission from Seagate Software.)

admixture of power with ease of use. A rich development environment can be used to create exactly the application needed to meet business requirements, whether it is a top-level summary for senior management or a technical working environment for the financial analyst.

The most recent release of Seagate Holos—Version 5.0—offers two flexible approaches to data mining. Pattern matching, implemented through a simple dialog interface, is a set of powerful tools to recognize patterns within data sets. Patterns include outlier, gradient, spike, step, periodicity, noise, and trend, all with configurable parameters. These pattern-matching techniques are also available as agents.

Neural nets capability is implemented as a block in the Seagate Holos 4th Generation Language (4GL), creating a radial basis function type neural net. The net is suitable for prediction and classification, and in general uncovers nonobvious relationships between input factors and some set of outcomes. The data analyzed may be in a Seagate Holos multidimensional format or may exist in relational database tables (see Figure B.4).

Seagate Holos is available on a wide variety of servers, including NCR WorldMark, Digital VAX VMS/Alpha VMS, ICL DRS6000, IBM RS/6000, HP 9000 (800 series), Sequent Symmetry, Sun Solaris, and Windows NT (Intel and Alpha). It can be accessed through MS Windows, MS Windows NT, or Apple Macintosh client desktop environments. Seagate Holos integrates large stores of information through full dynamic SQL links to most popular relational databases, including Ingres, Informix, Oracle, Rdb, and Sybase, and through open database connectivity (ODBC) in the NT environment.

In addition, data of all kinds, in any computing environment, can be quickly and easily accessed, assembled, and analyzed by Seagate Holos through its support for all popular data access and communications methods. Because

Figure B.4 Data mining capability in Seagate Holos business intelligence software from Seagate Software, either via neural networks (an example is shown above) or pattern matching, offers the automated discovery of previously unknown information within large quantities of data. (Reprinted with permission from Seagate Software.)

Figure B.4 Data mining capability in Seagate Holos business intelligence software from Seagate Software, either via neural networks (an example is shown above) or pattern matching, offers the automated discovery of previously unknown information within large quantities of data. (Reprinted with permission from Seagate Software.)

Seagate Holos supports many open systems' interoperability standards, leveraging existing investments in client-server architecture and relational database technology, it is an ideal component of a corporate data warehouse solution.

Seagate Software provides a full range of support services, including training, documentation, telephone and on-site support, application development, and consulting services. The company has formed strong partnerships with consulting organizations and hardware and software vendors to ensure well-supported installations.

Seagate Holos is used to provide a wide range of application solutions, including budgeting and forecasting, financial consolidations, strategic planning, product line profitability, activity-based cost analysis, financial modeling and analysis, customer service, human resources management, and marketing promotions. Customers such as Advanta, Ameritech, AT&T, British Telecom, Cisco Systems, CP Rail, Dell Computers, Walt Disney, Eurotunnel, Federal Express, Fidelity Investments, Hewlett-Packard, KPMG Peat Marwick, MBNA, Nike, Nissan, Northern Telecom, Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, Subaru, Transamerica Financial Services, and the University of Massachusetts have successfully applied Seagate Holos to business solutions in diverse industries, including electronics, finance, health care, oil and gas, publishing, retail, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities.

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