IBM has announced the first results of the acquisition of business intelligence vendor Cognos, unveiling an array of product offerings and services that tie into its information-on-demand (IOD) strategy.
"We are off and running," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM software group.
IBM had a long-standing partnership with Cognos which allowed it to quickly pull together the new products, Mills said. These include a Cognos 8 BI "starter pack" for the IBM InfoSphere Warehouse, integration of Cognos 8 with the IBM Information Server data integration platform; and templates for linking Cognos 8 with IBM BPM (business process management) software, such as Filenet, and Dashboard Accelerator.
Along with the product offerings, IBM announced a number of offerings tailored for verticals and a set of new services.
The basic contention of the IBM IOD push is that future market opportunities lie less in packaged applications, than in optimising those applications' performance through data management, delivery and analysis.
"When we ask customers if they have an information agenda, we get inconsistent answers," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager of information management. "That's where the real growth is."
Meanwhile, though, rival vendors like SAP and Oracle can align business intelligence with their widely used enterprise resource planning (ERP) offerings. IBM, which doesn't have an equivalent ERP product, is hardly at a disadvantage, Mills argued. "A typical large company is running 2,000 to 4,000 applications. The brand names are a scatter-gram. Even companies who use a lot of SAP," he said.
Though IBM is building out a sprawling stack of information-related technologies, the company will ensure customers who want even a single tool will be satisfied, Goyal asserted: "We are based on a flexible architecture. You'll see from us that we're trying to meet customers in the way they buy."
IBM is conducting research work in applied mathematics that will result in industry-leading analytics in the future, according to Mills. "You now have all the visualisation capability from Cognos, and we will now start to link these things up."