BI Vendors

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos

IBM Corporation, a century-old computing technology company, made a dramatic entrance into the business intelligence space in 2007 when it purchased a company called Cognos for $4.9 billion, becoming a business intelligence megavendor (like SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle) practically overnight.

In making this purchase, IBM hoped to give its customers an integrated experience, not only in business intelligence, but across all computing technology. Of course, as additional acquisitions are made by IBM it becomes more difficult to maintain integration and to provide adequate customer service. Despite challenges, IBM has continued to develop its business intelligence offerings, releasing a new version of Cognos in 2010.

Before it was acquired by IBM, Cognos had a presence in the technology space for many years. The company was founded in 1969 by Alan Rushforth and Peter Glenister as a consultancy for the Canadian government, and over the course of two decades gradually moved out of consulting and into software sales. By 1995, Cognos began developing business intelligence solutions for local area networks (LAN) and continued to grow its offerings until it was acquired by IBM more than 10 years later.

As an IBM product, Cognos is made up of over thirty software solutions and can be used with multidimensional and relational data sources from a variety of vendors—Oracle, NCR Teradata, Microsoft, etc. When IBM purchased Cognos in 2007, its BI product bundle was called Cognos 8 and carried data analysis and visualization capabilities that ran on a service-oriented architecture (SOA). IBM updated the product in October 2010 with Cognos 10. The updated software retains the functionality of Cognos 8 and also integrates with Lotus Connect and SPSS Predictive Analytics, among other IBM offerings. Cognos 10 also comes with mobile capabilities.

IBM reports that Cognos 8 and Cognos 10 are used by more than 23,000 organizations all over the globe. With 433,362 employees (as of 2012) IBM has been identified as the second largest firm in the U.S. as far as of number of employees. The company’s headquarters is in Armonk, NY.

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