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IBM Performance 2011: Social Media and the Future of Enterprise Software

The tagline for this year’s IBM Performance 2011, “From Insight to Foresight,” tells us a lot about where IBM sees enterprise software headed.

“Insight” refers to the workhorses of business intelligence: extracting data, building reports, and making dashboards.  There was certainly a lot of all that on Tuesday, as IBM showcased the newest version of Cognos.

But “Foresight” is what got everybody excited.  IBM showcased a new application for combing through blogs and tweets to measure consumer sentiments.  How do we feel about different products?  Which promotions are getting our attention? You could see it all in the charts.

So here’s the gist: First comes core Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management.  Then comes Business Intelligence for reporting and analysis.  But the next big step will be using data, both from within the enterprise and the greater social web, to get ahead of the curve.  This is “Foresight.”

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