ISLANDIA, NEW YORK (08/01/2000) - For years Computer Associates International Inc. touted Neugents, software that can search through data sources to find patterns of activity and predict outcomes.
Last week, the company formally shipped Neugents ii, software it claims can be used for virtually anything - from sales and marketing to network management to crime solving.
CA says it has 500 customers starting to use the software, which grabs data from multiple sources and rapidly analyzes it against business rules set by the user.
"With it, we're going into the realm of e-business prediction," says Carl Hartman, a CA vice president.
The Neugents ii software can be set up to recognize patterns of activity, such as rising congestion in a network, or to what age and income group certain items may sell the best.
One customer, the New Scotland Yard police force in London, claims to be using the $225,000-and-up Neugents to battle crimes such as robbery, burglary and auto theft.
"We want to know if there are links between specific burglaries," says Phil Stoneman, technologies business manager at New Scotland Yard. It's not feasible for an individual to comb through this massive amount of data to unearth links, he says.
While Stoneman stopped short of comparing Neugents ii to the legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes, he did say the results using the technology have been promising.
In the financial industry, Citistreet - the joint venture created by Citigroup and State Street for investment services - is using Neugents ii in its retirement services division.
"We want to market the right kinds of services to our customers," says Ira Schwartz, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Citistreet.
The Neugents software provides a way to do that quickly by rapidly matching various financial services with customer demographics, such as age and other available data.
"We expect to see this help the effectiveness of our sales force and make sure the customer is offered products they're likely to be interested in," Schwartz claims.
Analysts familiar with Neugents ii say it represents a new software genre.
"It's what we at IDC are calling 'cyber-smart computing,'" says Steve Garone, program vice president at research firm IDC in Framingham, Mass. "By integrating your back-end applications with it, it can be a great advantage to organizations. The software agents can look for patterns over time."