IBM is bringing Cognos' BI to its data server and warehousing offerings as part of its Information On Demand strategy.
NEW YORK-When IBM
first announced plans to buy Cognos and expand the companies' longtime partnership, many
industry observers counted it as another example of consolidation in the
business intelligence market and a furthering of IBM's
Information On Demand strategy.
Now, on Feb. 6, only days after the roughly $5 billion acquisition closed, IBM
has released a host of products leveraging Cognos' BI technology. To Arvind
Krishna, vice president of IBM's data server
group, the inclusion of the Cognos technology will help further differentiate IBM
by allowing it to offer an end-to-end product for customers.
"Now the question is what can we integrate together, what can we
performance-optimize so that a customer can do more [with the products]
together," Krishna said in an interview with eWEEK
at IBM's Information On Demand press
conference here. "How about [creating] some cross-fertilization [to
provide] real-time operational intelligence, not just collecting stuff in a
warehouse in static way? How do I get things more push-button? How do I get
things so that the underlying layers are really hidden and transparent to the
people doing the business applications?"
IBM has already integrated Cognos 8 BI
with its Information Server software platform with the promise of
"seamless data integration and quality" as well as "metadata
integration to provide data lineage in order to track the basis of
business decisions." Company officials also announced that IBM
will distribute InfoSphere Warehouse with Cognos 8.
Click here to read an interview with Cognos President and CEO Rob Ashe about the company's plans under the IBM umbrella.
The Information On Demand strategy is built on bringing business value
to data by delivering it across the enterprise via a trusted platform. Part of
doing that, IBM officials said, involves two
things-developing a flexible infrastructure for enterprises so they can adapt
to new information flowing into the enterprise, and being able to function in
heterogeneous environments. A company's human resources department may use
PeopleSoft while other applications are used in other departments, and IBM's
strategy calls for its technology to be able to play nice regardless of the
applications involved, Krishna said.
"Our approach is a little bit different than [those of] some of our
competitors," he said. "We are not going to be monolithic. To me, the
difference [is] monolithic means I sell you an offering, you-my customer-cannot
decompose it, you cannot deconstruct it, both from technical or economic
reasons. We are not going to do that."
Likening it to constructing a building, he said, IBM's
approach allows companies to add a metaphorical floor if they choose to do so.
Several officials at the company stressed in interviews that IBM's
multibillion dollar investment in Cognos does not mean it will move away from
its heterogeneous strategy.
"We're not a company that goes in and says, you have to rip and
replace," said Nancy Pearson, vice president of worldwide marketing for
information management. "That's fundamental to our heritage."