IBM taps Cognos to solidify BI direction

IBM and Cognos on Tuesday unveiled a multiyear joint development agreement designed to provide Big Blue's products and services with a tighter framework for business intelligence and financial management, and integrated planning.

As part of the alliance, IBM will resell Cognos products and services with a watchful eye toward embedding the BI vendor's products into vertical solutions or those focused on business processes, said Larry Gosselin, alliances executive for IBM Business Consulting Services in White Plains, N.Y.

"When you take general BI and financial management and roll them together and wrap them around CPM (corporate performance management), that's something we at IBM and PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) are very big in," said Gosselin. Users are looking for a unified or integrated approach to BI, and that's what IBM is trying to give them with these products, he said.

In addition to the four existing vertical offerings from IBM and Cognos, including financial services, insurance, education, and telecommunications, Gosselin said a few more with minor modifications should be in place by "the next quarter or two."

CPM involves assessment and cleanup of an organization's IT and business performance management practices, including scorecarding, forecasting, budgeting, and integrated planning. Gosselin said regulatory pressures such as the Carbain Oxley Act and disparate data snafus within an environment are forcing customers to re-examine how business assets are divided, personalized, and shared.

IBM products pegged to take advantage of the Cognos partnership include IBM WebSphere, IBM WebSphere Portal software, IBM DB2, DB2 Warehouse Manager, and DB2 OLAP Server. The joint offering is available on IBM eServerpSeries and xSeries systems.

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