Cognos Integrates Applix Into Product Lineup

Cognos has wasted little time in rolling out an integration map for its newly acquired analytics best of breed vendor, Applix.

The deal, which closed at the end of October, is bringing to Cognos — itself in a pending US$5 billion acquisition by IBM — financial performance management capabilities.

Three Stages

The integration of the app will take place in three stages. The application has been rebranded and re-released with substantive technical and marketing documentation; performance blueprints in five vertical areas — manufacturing, retail, government, life sciences and the financial services industry; and models that can be downloaded by customers.

Cognos TM1 Server, TM1 Excel, TM1 Web and TM1 Executive Viewer, available immediately, leverage a 64 bit in-memory multidimensional server.

Next May, Cognos will extend these capabilities from its core platform, “productizing” the functionality. The core Cognos TM1 solution set will be enhanced with interactive Web-based reports, distributed administration and support of multilingual implementations for multinational customers.

By this stage there will also be increased levels of automation between the vendor’s original Planning, Consolidation, and Reporting applications and Cognos TM1. Also, Cognos TM1 Server data access will be supported by Cognos 8 Business Intelligence.

By 2009, Applix will be natively embedded into the Cognos platform, making the TM1 analytical functionality ubiquitous across the product line, Chris Ilacqua, senior manager of product marketing, told CRM Buyer.

Smoothing Glitches

Meanwhile, the company is hoping to leverage its joint customer base by rolling out best practices for its top industries to guide implementation. For all intents, users still have to implement Applix separately right now.

These blueprints, though, are expected to smooth typical glitches and help users wring the greatest efficiency from their investments. They target process areas within the industries that have proven to create business value, Ilacqua explained.

The first TM1-enabled Performance Blueprint will be in the life sciences space. Ilacua pointed to its Samples Allocations — to manage pharma sales — and its Sales Quote management process as examples of the industry-specific issues the blueprints tackle. The blueprint will be available to customers in calendar Q1.

$2 Billion

It is hardly surprising Cognos is moving as quickly as possible to maximize the acquisition. The worldwide market for packaged applications for financial performance and strategy management (FPSM) was at almost $2 billion for 2007, the IDC estimates.

A key emerging segment of this market is profitability management applications, according to Kathleen Wilhide, a research director at IDC.

“Packaged profitability applications currently represent about 20 percent of the FPSM market, and IDC estimates that the market is much larger when considering solutions that organizations build with BI (business intelligence) tools,” she stated.

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