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11/9/2007
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Software AG Turns To Cognos For Embedded Business Intelligence

The partnership will help business analysts build dashboards, scorecards, and other quick-read reports that indicate how the business is doing.

Software AG has turned to Cognos to embed its analysis and business intelligence reporting into Software AG's new WebMethods product line. The Darmstadt, Germany, software firm acquired WebMethods in June for $546 million.

The move announced last week is aimed at bringing real time operational data out of the WebMethods' enterprise service bus, WebMethods business process management and other integration systems and putting it into the hands of business users. Once the two product lines are integrated, business analysts and other users will be able to build dashboards, scorecards, and other quick-read reports that indicate how the business is doing.

"The marriage of business intelligence and business process management is designed to deliver more actionable insight," said Peter Kurpick, president, in a prepared statement as the partnership was announced to Software AG's user group, Integration World, meeting in Orlando over the past week.

Ian Charlesworth, analyst with Ovum market research, a unit of Datamonitor, said in a research report Nov. 6 that business are seeking to close the gap between their operational and business intelligence systems. By showing it can extract intelligence from WebMethods business process management products, Cognos gains "the perfect catwalk for showing off its wares."

Charlesworth contrasted the partnership with another software firm, Tibco, which announced plans to acquire a business intelligence company, Spotfire, in May to provide analytical reporting on its integration and business process management products. Software AG was "naturally on the look-out for a BI-counter to Tibco's move," he wrote.

Ivo Totev, Software AG chief marketing officer, said Software AG already has the ability to understand performance metrics in its systems and to capture information that is being handled by its middleware. "We doing that mapping automatically," and Cognos will interpret the data and deliver it to business users, he added.

Software AG wants a long term partnership so business intelligence can both be embedded in the existing WebMethods product line and upgraded as Cognos updates its systems.

The agreement comes on the heels of a positive third quarter of Software AG, which has been refocusing itself as SOA software supplier after a foray into XML-oriented tools and integration supplier. Both Kurpick and Totev, former associates at another German software company, SAP AG, were brought in to push the company in a new direction.

That push is yielding results. Software AG at the end of October reported revenues of 157.8 Euros, up from 113.8 Euros or 48% for the same quarter in 2006. New license revenue led the way with a 62% increase over the year before, while maintenance revenues were up 20%.

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