The IBM acquisition is also transforming IBM Global Services, albeit on a much smaller scale. While the Cognos services team will become part of IBM's Lab Services division, a group focused on providing deep technology expertise, IBM Global Services will focus on expanding its services around Cognos in a number of vertical markets, including retail, finance and the public sector, according to Mike Schroeck, global BI leader for IBM Global Services. That said, IBM will continue in its mission to be the "Switzerland" of business services.But with all the synergies between IBM and Cognos and the two companies' long history, the question has been asked, Why did IBM bother to acquire Cognos rather than just continuing the partnership? The answer lies mostly in the similar, and very competitive, acquisitions by Oracle and SAP. "The world has changed. And that's really what caused the relationship between IBM and Cognos to elevate," said former Cognos CEO Rob Ashe, who will now lead the Information On Demand group (in this move, Ashe has jumped from managing 4,000 people to 35,000). "Performance management is going to become pervasive and the missing piece has always been a trusted data source-a smooth surface customers can get into and access that data whereever it might be ... and to make sure data is coming from the right place, and is going to be put in the right place and there's lineage behind it. IBM's IOD platform vision strategy and Cognos' strategy for performance management and business optimization just fit hand in glove. It's really what's going to differentiate us from the other acquisitions in the market," Ashe said.
"We have a very large services practice that includes Business Objects, now SAP, Oracle/Hyperion and Informatica," Schroeck said. "Our goal will continue to be very objective and we will continue to leverage what clients have. But we certainly expect [that] demand for our services around Cognos will increase. IBM continues to aggressively expand Cognos."