Smart Infrastructure & Smart Applications for the Smart Business – Infrastructure & Application Performance Monitoring
Data Warehouse Automation & Real-time Data – Reducing Time to Value in a Distributed Analytical Environment
Today IBM finally moved to plug the hole in its software product portfolio by announcing the acquisition of Cognos for $5bn USD http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22572.wss. This acquisition has been on the cards for a long time with several analysts including myself wondering how long it would be before we saw Big Blue move on Cognos (see my previous blog http://www.b-eye-network.co.uk/blogs/mt/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=6976&blog_id=1) . This is almost a perfect fit for IBM given that it needed a BI vendor to provide tooling for reporting and analysis that had not much in the way of market share in the data integration space. The reason is that IBM is already the market leader in the data integration space with Information Server and does not want the ‘baggage’ of dealing with another product in that area. Cognos has never been a major player in data integration with its Data Manager product.
So you can expect IBM to immediately want to integrate Information Server with the Cognos product line. I also would expect that the WebSphere Metadata Server (bundled with Information Server) will be integrated with Cognos Framework Manager so that Cognos metadata ends up in the Metadata Server itself at some future release point. IBM also has had several joint development initiatives with Cognos and so there is a lot of integration already.
The only question mark will be in the area of performance management where Cognos has had a strong position for some time. IBM’s own Performance Management product IBM ActiveInsight will now have to come together with the Cognos Performance Management products. If this does not happen then the future of ActiveInsight as a product may well be in jeopardy. Time will tell.
So, the independent BI vendors are falling like nine pins as the software giants finally move in on the market. With Hyperion already falling to Oracle and Business Objects to SAP, it leaves only one large independent BI vendor left in the market – SAS. Of course SAS is privately owned and so will continue on that way until such time as its CEO (Dr Jim Goodnight) decides otherwise. MicroStrategy also remains independent also along with other smaller BI vendors. Expect further mergers and acquisitions to follow as the rest of the market consolidates to compete with the giants.