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3/10/2004
12:07 PM
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Cognos Buys Its Way Into Europe

Cognos will use Softa's expertise in an effort to expand sales of Cognos' corporate performance-management apps in Europe.

Cognos Inc. has acquired U.K.-based performance-management-consulting firm Softa Group Ltd. and will use Softa's expertise to expand sales of Cognos' corporate performance-management apps in Europe. Cognos says the deal was finalized late last month but refused to put a value on it.

Performance management is a means of linking a company's operational performance to its strategic goals by monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators. Like other business-intelligence software vendors, Cognos has been expanding into corporate performance in the last two years. Early last year, it took a major step in that direction by acquiring Adaytum Inc., a budget-planning-app maker, for $157.1 million.

Cognos' acquisition of Softa, with eight employees, was not nearly as costly, says Rob Ashe, Cognos' president and chief operating officer. Softa's consulting services "really provide the link from strategy down to [key performance indicator] metrics," he says. Cognos was already a partner with Softa and was often called in to provide apps for Softa's clients.

Cognos will combine the service and business-development people it already has in Europe with Softa's staff, all of whom will stay with the new company. Earlier this month, Cognos started a similar performance-management consulting group in North America.

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