Friday, September 28

Beating them at "their" game

Hearing someone talk about one of the big BI vendors usually doesn't grab my attention. Except when I hear Cognos being coined the "Elder Statesman of the Canadian software sector"! I was a little shocked that Cognos was considered in those ranks so I listened. Here are a few tid bits:

Meaning: Elder Statesman is any influential person (company) whose advice is highly respected.

Rob Ashe: "almost all of our sales are from outside of Canada."

Acquisition: Cognos has the "intention" to acquire Applix for $339 Mln. The deal has been compared to the Hyperion acquisition by Oracle, in part, because of Applix's financial focus.

Rumour: Business Objects is on the block to be acquired. Oracle passed them up, so now who else is looking for BO?

Looking Over their Shoulder: Cognos. Trying to grow fast enough organically and through acquisitions to hold off the wolfs.

How?: Through license sales, services, and maintenance fees. This year Cognos earned 12% growth on license fees, with revenues of $252 Mln and $87 Mln in license sales.

Cognos is established and was conceived in 1979 where they started with their PowerHouse product; then produced reporting and analytical products, and now flog a full suite of web-based BI tools.

Oddly they recently partnered with Informatica where the deal has Cognos reselling Informatica products. I can only conclude that Cognos is admitting their ETL tool is substandard - why else would you resell a competitor's product? (Great for Informatica who doesn't really have a home.)

In my opinion and all that being said about elder statesman status, Cognos still has high-end license fees and products with a plethora of functionality (does anyone use half the buttons in PowerPlay cubes? Really. Honestly.)

I'm still looking for BI tools with ease of use for business users who don't have to be techies at heart. However today, is anyone beating Cognos at "their" game?

1 comment:

Darren said...

Hi Tom, this is what we're setting out to achieve at LucidEra. We deliver focused analytic applications built on a completely on-demand business intelligence platform. Our belief is that an an employee, you should have instant visibility to the data that you need to be successful. There should be no difference between the richness of information available to you as a consumer, and that delivered to you as a company's employee.

You can check us out at

It's still early days for SaaS business intelligence, but we completely agree with your "business intelligence for business people" tagline.