Cognos Adds Windows Support To Its Go! Mobile Wireless BI Software

Cognos is extending its wireless business intelligence software to support smartphones using the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system and the vendor's channel partners say the move will allow them to expand their mobile BI practices.

Until now the Cognos 8 Go! Mobile software, which delivers Cognos content and reports to a mobile device, only supported BlackBerry devices. By adding support for Windows Mobile 6 owners of smartphones, such as the Palm Treo that use that operating system, can tap into Cognos 8 business intelligence reports. (Microsoft debuted Windows Mobile 6 in February.) Cognos also now supports the Symbian S60 operating system that runs Nokia's Eseries smartphones and Nseries multimedia computers.

While sales representatives are the quintessential user of mobile devices for business intelligence applications, Cognos is seeing increased usage by field service workers, airport tarmac employees and on-site inspectors such as in the oil industry, says product manager Anastasia Valentine. "It's a much wider community than we thought," she said.

The Go! Mobile rich client allows mobile workers to view and interact with Cognos 8 content and reports without additional authoring, according to the vendor. Users can also use the client when offline. The software is integrated with Cognos 8 security and offers theft and loss protection against unauthorized access to information.

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Genware Computer Systems, Locus Solutions and SpotOn Systems are among the Cognos channel partners that have been working with beta releases of the Windows Mobile solution. "This is one of the things customers expect vendors to have in their product portfolio," said Sherlock Holmes, president of Genware, a Wayne, N.J.-based solution provider. Windows Mobile support will help him increase his Cognos-related services business, he said.

Some of Locus Solutions' customers, even though needing more advanced mobile reporting capabilities, held off adopting Cognos' mobile software because of the lack of Windows Mobile support, said Locus CEO Jeetu Lakhotia. Managers and employees at midsize companies in particular seem to use a mix of BlackBerry and Treo devices, he said. The new Windows support will allow Locus to increase its sales to those existing clients as well as to new customers that have standardized on Treo smartphones.