IBM Closes Cognos Buy, Readies Integration Plans

Done Deal.

IBM has completed its $4.9 billion acquisition of business intelligence software vendor Cognos Inc. and the two companies will detail their business strategy next week.

Cognos and its business intelligence and performance management applications are expected to play a leading role in IBM's "information-on-demand" strategy, an initiative that combines the company's data management, content management and information integration technologies and related business services.

IBM, Armonk, N.Y., and Ottawa, Ont.-based Cognos announced the acquisition agreement back on Nov. 12 for $5 billion (U.S.) with a net transaction value of $4.9 billion. Thursday the two companies said the buyout had been completed following all shareholder and regulatory approvals.

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Cognos channel partners have generally been upbeat on the IBM acquisition. "The IBM partner program is very robust," said Mark Mueller, president of DataClarity Corp., a Raleigh, N.C.-based solution provider that partners with Cognos, in a recent interview. Even before the acquisition was complete Mueller signed up with IBM's partner program and he has already received offers of partner resources, he said.

Mueller said he is sure there will be challenges during the transition. "But all-in-all I think it's a positive step for partners," he said. Cognos channel executives so far have declined to comment on if and how the Cognos and IBM channel partner programs will be combined.

IBM had previously scheduled a press briefing on its information-on-demand plans for Feb. 6 in New York City. That event will now include details for incorporating Cognos' product line into that effort. Cognos CEO Rob Ashe, who is expected to continue managing Cognos as an IBM business unit, is scheduled to speak at the briefing along with Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Software Group, and Ambuj Goyal, general manager of IBM's information management products.