IBM has announced the first product from its $1.1 billion acquisition of Ascential, and laid out its plans for incorporating the company's integration and data-cleansing technology.

At the same time, however, it has revealed it is cutting between 10,000 and 13,000 jobs worldwide as part of a global restructuring aimed at shifting resources to higher-growth markets. The bulk of the cuts are expected to be in Europe.

WebSphere Data Integration Suite will be IBM's release of the integration platform Ascential had codenamed Hawk. The software, which IBM plans to make available to beta users within six weeks, will include a new user interface, new metadata profiling and enhanced linkage between Ascential's DataStage TX transactional and operational data-integration software and IBM's WBI Message Broker. The suite should be available uring autumn.

"This is the next-generation platform for information integration with major, major enhancements to useability," said Janet Perna, IBM's general manager of information management. "It opens up this integration environment to end users to be able to more easily access the information they need."

Future plans a converged set of tools based on Eclipse for WBI and DataStage TX and a single repository architecture - including metadata discovery, exchange and management - that will span existing IBM products. IBM also plans to offer a set of connectors that companies can use across WebSphere Information Integrator, WebSphere Business Integration and Ascential technologies. No specific dates were given though.

The Ascential technology will allow companies to extract value from data that today can be inaccessible, Perna explained. "A lot of time and money is spent in companies in just managing this information," she said. "Forty percent of people's time is spent integrating information. Helping companies simplify this environment requires more than traditional relational database technology."