One Unified Experience
And with the launch of Cognos 10, IBM is delivering the most significant analytics offering since the acquisition of Cognos, one of the largest acquisitions in IBM history. IBM closed its acquisition of Cognos in January 2008 for about $5 billion. And for the first time, this new software brings together the power of social collaboration with Lotus Connections software and business analytics with Cognos in one unified experience with intuitive navigation capabilities and simplified user experience. This removes the frustration of having to interrupt user train of thought resulting from the need to switch between views to get right information. The software supports the natural path of seamless views from browsing to investigation to decision making. Cognos 10 provides business users with an integrated view of historical information with real-time updates to give users a complete picture of their business, IBM said in a press release describing the technology. Now, business users can benefit from accessing information with a range of views from simple real-time information to advanced predictive "what if" analysis. The integrated social networking capabilities with analytics allow the employees to interact with each other in real time in communities, wikis and blogs. This combination fuels the exchange of ideas and knowledge that naturally occurs in the decision-making process, but is typically lost in meeting notes, manual processes and e-mails. Users can now initiate activities, engage others with their expertise, post messages, files, links, and discuss or review opinions - all in real time for faster, more accurate decision-making.For example, IBM official said a regional sales manager can spot a spike in sales in a popular pair of shoes with the store manager and marketing team in real time to identify the cause and brainstorm to resolve the issues around managing supply and demand. Doctors can spot trends for patient treatment of certain diseases, share insight with other doctors and agree on a preventative course of action and treatment with a team of doctors, all without having to change a single view with this in-depth information. A brand manager sees product sales declining and needs to discuss the issue with the store manager, production department, and marketing team - all at the same time. The manager can instantly set up a decision network to connect the right people and information to share insights and capture annotations.A video of IBM's Ashe talking about analytics and the IoD news can be found here. "We're bringing more of an unconstrained interface into the data," Ashe said. "We're bringing some social interface stuff into the data - more searches, more images, not just tabular information. The other big thing is collaboration, What we've been trying to do is give people a platform to make decisions more effectivlely. We've integrated and will ship Lotus Connections with Cognos 10 out of the box." In addition, "We're making sure everything users do they'll be able to do in any environment they're in. So we're supporting mobile, with new iPhone and iPad support. Meanwhile, one example of IBM business analytics at work is at Office Depot, which identifies customer buying patterns with mobile analytics. With more than 49,000 associates worldwide, Office Depot is a leading global provider of office products and services with annual sales of more than $15.5 billion. It provides products and services to its customers through 1,598 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, catalogs and a $4.2 billion e-commerce operation. With IBM's analytics software, Office Depot can track, analyze and report on store performance in real-time to help drive profits, reduce losses and provide business insight to management.