IBM Suffers a Setback in South Africa: Datawalk Stomps on Big Blue

April 21, 2020

IBM Analyst’s Notebook at one time enjoyed near total market dominance for investigative software, what I call policeware. IBM owns Analyst Notebook, and it has a sustainable revenue stream from some governments. Once installed — even though there may be no or very few qualified operators who can use the system — the money continues to roll in. Furthermore, IBM has home-grown technology, and Big Blue has acquired smaller firms with particularly valuable technology; for example, CyberTap.

Maybe not in South Africa? Datawalk has strolled into the country’s key integrator and plopped itself down in the cat-bird seat.

Under the original i2 founders’ leadership, losing South Africa was not in the game plan. IBM may have misplaced the three ring binder containing the basic strategy of i2 Ltd. To make matters worse, IBM could have asked its Watson (right, the super smart technology tackling cancer and breaking its digital ankle in a wild play) about the South African account.

Also, affected are downstream, third party products and services. Analyst’s Notebook has been available for more than two decades. There are training and support professionals like Tovek in Prague; there are add ins; there are enhancements which like Sintelix could be considered an out-and-out replacement. What happened?

If the information reported by ISB News is accurate, a company headquartered in Poland captured the account and the money. The article asserts that a key third party reseller doing business as SSG Group and its partner TechFINIUM (a Datawalk partner in South Africa) have stepped away from IBM and SAS. These are, in the view of DarkCyber, old school solutions.

The Datawalk replacement, according to John Smit, president of SSG Group, allegedly said:

“DataWalk is a powerful solution that will allow us to combine all data in one repository and then conduct detailed investigations. We often use unstructured data that we receive from our partners. DataWalk will provide us with the previously unattainable ability to view this data in the full context of our own databases “

Datawalk is characterized as a solution that is “more suited to current challenges.”

According to the article:

DataWalk (formerly PiLab) is a technological entity that … connects billions of objects from many sources, finding application in forensic analytics in the public and financial sectors, including in the fight against crime (US agencies), scams (insurers) and fraud identification (central administration).

These are aggressive assertions. IBM may well ask Watson or maybe a human involved with Analyst’s Notebook sales, “What happened?”

Stephen E Arnold, April 21, 2020


2 Responses to “IBM Suffers a Setback in South Africa: Datawalk Stomps on Big Blue”

  1. Christopher Westphal on May 27th, 2020 12:49 pm


  2. Christopher Westphal on May 27th, 2020 12:50 pm

    Thumbs up!! Thank you Stephen for recognizing the accomplishments of DataWalk!

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