• May 14, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

For Cognos, the Time Is Now

Cognos is putting its Celequest acquisition to work. The vendor has announced a new family of appliance-based performance management and BI software, at its annual user conference in Orlando. Cognos Now! is a new BI appliance that will be delivered as hardware appliances through the SaaS model. Cognos Now! comprises operational BI and analytic capabilities to enable users to create self-service dashboards and to integrate data, analysis, and reports as a prepackaged BI appliance or as a hosted service. Both the appliance and SaaS capabilities are lifted almost entirely from Celequest, which Cognos acquired in January, as Cognos Now! includes in memory 64-bit computing capabilities and ETL functionality culled from Celequest, according to Jim Hare, vice president of product marketing and business development for Cognos On Demand. Celequest had developed a BI appliance called Lava that included ETL, streaming OLAP analytics, self-service visual dashboards and a built-in rules engine for event-driven analysis. On the hardware side, Lava took advantage of multicore processes for the standard editions. The higher-end enterprise edition included two multicore CPUs, up to 16 gigabytes of memory, hard disk drives, and was prewired for network infrastructures. Cognos has tweaked Lava to include newer Web 2.0 concepts like Google maps. It's also interoperable with Cognos 8 Business Intelligence, the company's flagship BI solution that provides a more comprehensive BI platform. Like Lava before it, Cognos Now! is available as an appliance or through the SaaS model. The appliance (and SaaS) model represents a cheaper--albeit scaled down--BI tool for some users. "With Cognos Now!, we're looking to expand our customer base to the SMB segment and enterprise departments that don't have the resources to make a big BI installation," Hare says. Cognos will also offer variations of the appliance, with the first, Cognos Now! for Salesforce.com, geared towards customers that need to monitor performance against Salesforce.com data. The company will also announce Cognos 8 Controller version 8.2. The latest upgrade to the vendor's financial consolidation and corporate reporting solution embeds data lineage and audit capabilities into the solution for Sarbanes Oxley compliance. Mark Smith, executive vice president of research at Ventana Research, says many companies are using BI to drive performance improvements, which requires a BI system to provide end users with easy to use information for visibility across operations. "The acquisition provided Cognos with a complementary BI solution, and now they're delivering on the operational intelligence derived from business events across an enterprise with Cognos Now!. " Related articles: Cognos' Quest for Real-Time BI
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