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11/17/2007
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Daptiv Partnership Is Tip of Cognos SaaS Iceberg

BI vendor says more than 40 partners are embedding its technology in software-as-a-service offerings and hosted applications.

Cognos announced on November 12 that it has added Daptiv to the list of more than 40 vendors now embedding its business intelligence technology in software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. That deal, obscured by last week's headlines about the planned IBM-Cognos union, speaks to the very architecture IBM cited in its rationale for buying the BI vendor.

Davtiv (formerly eProject) will use Cognos technology as the BI framework for Daptiv PPM (Project and Portfolio Management). The SaaS vendor's more than 700 corporate customers and 100,000 users log into the multi-tenant application for everything from program management and new-product development to IT project/spend management, mergers and acquisitions, and facilities and real estate management.

Cognos technology will power what Daptiv calls "Work Intelligence," which will enable PPM users to tap into, analyze and manage all the information associated with the collaborative application.

"We needed easy-to-use, easy-to-access tools for building reports and creating data visualizations," says Tim Low, vice president of marketing at Daptiv. "Users need to report on things like time expended and resources allocated, so we're introducing an Advanced Report Builder for power users and a Daptiv Report Builder for more casual users."

Daptiv looked at "all the leading BI companies" before selecting Cognos, says Low. "Several vendors offered good BI capabilities, but we had to do this quickly and it had to be on-demand, so the architecture made Cognos the most compelling choice for us," he elaborates. "The complexity was lower with Cognos 8 than with some of the other platforms that had a mix of back-end technologies gained through acquisitions."

Cognos acquired Celequest early this year to advance its own push into the SaaS market, but the vendor says OEM partners including Infor, Solucient, Ultimate Software and Concur have tapped Cognos technology to embed BI within SaaS offerings and hosted applications.

"SaaS is our fastest-growing partnership model in North America and Europe," says Jennifer Francis, vice president of market development. While Celequest technology figures in some of those deals, most partners are embedding elements of Cognos 8, she says. "Cognos 8 was designed as a pure Web platform, and our partners can deliver authoring interfaces over the Internet in a SaaS environment because of the architecture."

Indeed, in detailing its rationale for buying Cognos, IBM specifically cited the company's technology as "complementing its Service Oriented Architecture strategy." That suggests the same interest in delivering BI embedded in applications and in on-demand environments that SAP and Business Objects emphasized as part of their planned union.

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