TM1, 40 years of innovation turned into IBM Planning Analytics with Watson

Innovation is often born from persistence. The story of Manny Perez and the creation of TM1, the first ever functional database—which later evolved into IBM® Planning Analytics with Watson®—is a perfect example. It’s a story of how a simple idea can transform business operations.

Manny Perez’s idea to integrate a multidimensional database into a spreadsheet led to the creation of a powerful, high-performance, scalable, and intuitive user experience. With TM1, financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting became easier and more efficient than ever before.

In 1983, Manny released TM1 using an IBM PC with 256k of memory and two floppy drives. At first, it wasn’t embraced by the public, but the few who understood its potential became instant fanatics. They continued to expand the use and stretch the limits of the product, creating an incredibly loyal user base that persisted through years of slow growth and the absence of significant competition.

In 2007, IBM recognized the potential of TM1 and acquired it as part of its acquisition of Cognos. IBM invested heavily in further developing and refining the technology. For instance, IBM extended the abilities of TM1 with Planning Analytics Workspace, the user-friendly and intuitive web interface that opened up the work of advanced analytics to every business user. Along with other improvements to the core TM1 back-end and front-end technology, the name later evolved to encapsulate the transformation and investments IBM has made into further developing Planning Analytics with Watson. The result of this evolution is a state-of-the art business performance management platform that changes the way businesses plan, analyze and report.




IBM has infused AI and Machine Learning into TM1 through the addition of IBM Watson technology, including integrating Watson Studio and Decision Optimization for constraint-based planning, what-if scenario testing, and predictive forecasting—with more to come. These AI/ML technologies allow easy access to advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities to help business users gain deeper insights into their financial and operational performance.

In a world of exponential data volume and complexity, businesses need the right tools, infrastructure, and data in place to help accelerate time to insights—to ultimately reduce costs, increase revenue, and run a more sustainable business. IBM Planning Analytics with Watson has become an essential platform for businesses looking to gain deeper insights into their financial and operational performance to make informed data-driven business decisions.

As we celebrate TM1’s 40th anniversary, we are reminded of the impact this technology has had on organizations over the years—including the powerful multidimensional in-memory database, scalability, and flexibility the solution is known for, and the newly enhanced AI-infused analytical capabilities to drive smarter, faster planning decisions. And as we look to the future, it’s clear that TM1 technology will continue to play an important role in helping organizations navigate the ever-changing business and financial landscape.

To all our loyal users and business partners—we thank you and encourage you to share your own experiences with TM1 and IBM Planning Analytics with Watson.  How has TM1 impacted the way you do planning and analysis?

At IBM, we aspire to uphold the history of TM1 and continue to help businesses everywhere derive value from their data with an integrated, trusted, flexible, AI-powered business management solution.

Join us in celebrating #40yearsofTM1 #IBM #PlanningAnalytics, and let’s continue to innovate and inspire the next generation of planners!