Kalido, a spinoff of Royal Dutch\/Shell Group, is looking to help companies?and their applications?stay on the pace.London-based Kalido began as an internal software project at Shell. The huge conglomerate is actually a composite of some 1,700 companies, and when the IT organization attempted to create links between different divisions, it found similar data in different formats. Rather than trying to impose a uniform structure on so many companies, Shell decided to use applications that could deal with diverse data elements in a uniform way. The original work became Kalido, which was spun off in February 2001. An IDC report notes that the company will face stiff competition, both from existing data warehouse vendors and from entrenched database companies such as Oracle and IBM. But according to Peter Urban, a senior analyst at AMR Research, Kalido differentiates itself from the competition in several ways. The company\u2019s tools let business analysts?not IT-centric data modeling people?build a data warehouse. The software also can keep track of an organization across time, allowing analysts to look at performance snapshots at specific dates. And it "plays well with others," Urban says, by working with best-of-breed extract, transformation and load, and reporting products.