SOURCE: SAND Technology

April 13, 2005 08:00 ET

SAND's ILM for Data Warehousing Solution Implemented by Atos Origin to Support (US)$7.8 Billion Rail Settlement Plan

Anticipated 14 Terabyte Archive Replaced by 700 Gigabyte SAND Searchable Archive, Enabling High-Performance Complex Analytics on 15 Years' Worth of Mission-Critical Data With SAND Analytic Server

MONTREAL and BASINGSTOKE, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 13, 2005 -- SAND Technology (NASDAQ: SNDT), an innovator in analytic application infrastructure, today announced that Atos Origin, an international information technology services company, has deployed SAND Extensible Warehouse Suite, a product offering consisting of SAND Searchable Archive and SAND Analytic Server implemented together in accordance with SAND's Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategy for data warehousing, to manage a mission-critical data warehouse application for one of the world's largest transport settlement systems. The customer, the Rail Settlement Plan (RSP), is part of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) in the United Kingdom.

SAND Extensible Warehouse Suite enables Atos Origin to extend its hosted UK rail ticketing analytics service. The solution has already delivered significant benefits to RSP, most importantly as a practical alternative to a 14 terabyte archive. The more efficient 700 gigabyte SAND Searchable Archive implementation provides a fully visible and searchable data repository in one location, able to provide instant answers to queries, and a cost-effective strategy for adhering to regulatory guidelines and data retention policies.

Rail Settlement Plan (RSP) is formed by the 25 train operating companies in the UK, and is responsible for running outsourced IT service contracts for all rail tickets, information distribution, ticket issuing systems, revenue allocation and revenue settlement between train companies.

With a major area of business pain for the rail industry identified as revenue allocation and settlement between train companies, the task of polling, validating and apportioning each ticket sale transaction -- more than 1,000,000 each day -- to the relevant Train Operating Company, is not an enviable one.

The RSP chose Atos Origin to create a solution capable of handling and allocating more than US $7.8 billion in annual passenger revenue to Britain's passenger train operators. Atos Origin's solution was the LENNON (Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Over Night) Program. The system processes information from all UK train ticket sales. It then allocates daily revenues to each of the train operating companies within 24 hours of the ticket being purchased.

"We found that SAND Extensible Warehouse Suite was the natural choice for this project because, put simply, it allowed us to effectively archive, rapidly access and extensively analyze huge amounts of very complex data," said Mark Spear, Lennon Program Director, Atos Origin. "Furthermore, we have been impressed with how responsive SAND Technology are: from the outset of the project there was a real spirit of partnership and we worked together as one team to get the results we needed."

With allowances for backups to enable disaster recovery, the total data to be stored by Atos Origin was projected at 28 terabytes over a 15-year period. Atos Origin recognized that the traditional approach to data warehouse management would not adequately cope with the massive volumes of data that were accumulating apace, while still maintaining the required degree of service to users.

Atos Origin chose to deploy SAND's Extensible Warehouse Suite because it permitted them to leverage the strength of the existing data warehouse by freeing it from the need to support too much data and queries that are too complex for its design. Since typically less than 30% of the data in a warehouse is in active use, the inactive data can be more efficiently stored in SAND Searchable Archive, a highly compressed archival repository, reducing the warehouse footprint and enabling more cost-effective archiving of data.

Typically, SAND Searchable Archive can compress a data warehouse's data by 95 per cent, relieving the burden imposed by today's exponentially growing volumes of data. Complex analytics can be hosted on SAND Analytic Server, a high-performance multi-user platform that facilitates the development and deployment of complex online analytic applications, where the 'killer queries' will run more efficiently, sparing the warehouse from the performance penalties usually associated with them.

About SAND Searchable Archive™

SAND Searchable Archive is a highly compact analytic repository that typically stores data in less than 10% of the space required by an equivalent relational data warehouse. Early production installations have yielded 80% - 90% compression of input data, which translates to at least 95% compression in comparison to a similar indexed relational database.

SAND Searchable Archive's read-only archive files can be searched using standard Business Intelligence tools and methods without the need to decompress the data first. In nearline applications, the selected data can be efficiently restored to the online warehouse or analytic server. In offline configurations, the selected data is queried in place without the need to restore it.

Users can configure the speed of data selection by adjusting the available server and storage resources, using less expensive media when storage cost is the underlying driver, and higher-performance resources, disc and servers when speed of data access is critical. Because the data access rate corresponds linearly with CPU usage, query speeds against the compressed files can approach or even exceed those achieved against the source warehouse.

SAND Searchable Archive can be deployed on Windows, Linux or UNIX servers. Product pricing varies based on the amount of data being stored in the archive.

About SAND Analytic Server™

SAND Analytic Server is a high-performance multi-user platform that facilitates the development and deployment of complex online analytic applications. It is typically a third of the size of an indexed relational data warehouse or data mart, but offers greater flexibility and more efficient analytic performance. It does not require specialized indexing, so it is faster to set up, faster to accommodate changes in the business environment and faster to respond to user requests for data.

SAND Analytic Server works with industry-standard business intelligence tools and runs on standard hardware, optimizing the performance of both.

About Atos Origin

Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs 45,000 people in 50 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and its clients include ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, BP, Ericsson, EDF, Euronext, Fiat, France Telecom, ICI, ING, KPN, Lucent, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Shell, Telecom Italia, UBS, UK Department for Work and Pensions, Unilever, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone.

About RSP

Rail Settlement Plan (RSP) is a subsidiary of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and is responsible for: running outsourced IT service contracts for all rail tickets, information distribution, ticket issuing systems, reservations, fares, information services, timetables, revenue allocation, revenue settlement between train companies, ticket on departure schemes, credit card automation, gathering sales data and redistributing the revenue collected from ticket sales.

About ATOC

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the official voice for the passenger rail industry -- representing train companies to the government and other opinion formers on transport policy issues. Britain's train operators are working together to change rail travel for the better. ATOC manages many joint activities for train operators including revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, National Rail Enquiries, railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.

About SAND

SAND Technology provides organizations worldwide with a unique vantage point from which to survey the competitive landscape. SAND's advanced analytic data management products empower users with a better understanding of their business environment through better access to their business data. SAND Technology-based solutions include CRM analytics, web analytics, financial analysis and specialized business intelligence applications for government and security, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, retail and other business sectors. SAND Technology has offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Central Europe, and is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol SNDT.

All Rights Reserved. SAND Technology and Nucleus are registered trademarks, and SAND Analytic Server, analytics @ the speed of business, and all related SAND- and Nucleus-based marks and designs, are trademarks of SAND Technology Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Certain statements contained in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Reform Act of 1995 and are intended to be subject to the safe harbour protection provided by this Act. Such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and current expectations, but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Some assumptions may not materialize and unanticipated events may occur which could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Competitive pressures, availability and cost competitiveness of competing products, timing of significant orders, management of potential growth, risks of new business areas including our new business model, international expansion, decreased demand for computer software and services due to weakening economic conditions and market acceptance of SAND products are important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. More information about factors that potentially could affect SAND's financial results is included in SAND's current Annual Report and in SAND's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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