IBM has announced that it is to acquire business intelligence and performance management provider Cognos in a US$ 5 bn deal. Big Blue will pay US$ 58 per share for the publicly listed Ottawa company, which will be integrated as a group within IBM's Information Management Software division. The deal is expected to be ratified by Cognos' shareholders within weeks.The acquisition is part of IBM's Information on Demand initiative, an attempt by the company to consolidate its resources in information integration, content management and consulting services, with the simple aim of getting relevant information to the relevant people, and doing it more quickly.
BI or BS?
Cognos' software and attendant services provides a platform for integrated business intelligence and performance management. How is that worth us$5 bn, you might ask yourself, and the reason why is approximately this. BI refers to the capturing, integration and presentation of information, and we can consider it primarily the domain of the CIO. Performance Management is using information to assess the performance of enterprise sectors, divisions, product lines and everything else which can be boiled down into numbers, and is what we might consider the province of the CFO.
A true integration of these two domains ensures a clearer picture of where the organization truly stands, eradicating much of the bad data and information which is sure to distort the key decision-makers vision. A truly integrated platform also gets information to the key decision makers more quickly.
And that's what Cognos do -- they provide the tools for decision support, reporting tools, and all the usual enterprise bells and whistles. But they also provide the 'only' complete BI and performance management platform, providing customers with 'a single, trusted view of their business'.
Information on Demand Initiative
IBM have been snapping up companies at a rate of knots as part of their Information on Demand push, and Cognos is number 23. Other acquisitions since the initiave was announced in 2006 include Princeton Softech (data archiving and compliance), Filenet (enterprise CMS), Ascential Software (information integration), and Alphabox (analytics).
Cognos (business intelligence and performance management) looks quite good alongside that roster, don't you think?
Bad Boy Blue
A couple of weeks ago we reported CMS Watch's assertion that IBM has fallen behind in the Enterprise CMS marketplace. Perhaps when they are done with all this buying they will get their other information management house in order, and smarten up their act in this regard.
Their Workplace Web Content Management product is perceived as being a generation behind rival offerings, and just not up to snuff. With billions of dollars going into new purchases, we will wait and see if they can get one of their core products back on track again.
In any case, Steve Mills, senior VP and group executive at IBM, explained the deal stating that "Customers are demanding complete solutions, not piece parts, to enable real-time decision making. Our broad set of capabilities -- from data warehousing to information integration and analytics -- together with Cognos, position us well for the changing Business Intelligence and Performance Management industry. We chose Cognos because of its industry-leading technology that is based on open standards, which complements IBM's Service Oriented Architecture strategy."
Now put away the champagne, guys, and get back in the lab. We want an updated WWCM product, and this time we want it done right!
For more details on Cognos' products, see here.