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IBM Completes $5 Billion Buyout Of Cognos

IBM will work to integrate its Websphere middleware stack, DB2 database, and Cognos' business intelligence products.

IBM said Thursday that is has completed its $5 billion buyout of business intelligence software vendor Cognos.

Cognos offers a range of business intelligence tools, such as its Cognos 8 suite, that let users generate reports and charts through which they can quickly eye key metrics, including sales, inventories, fulfillment rates, and the like.

The Ottawa-based company's customers include corporate giants like BMW, Bank of America, and Dow Chemical.

IBM originally announced its plan to acquire Cognos in November. The deal marks the largest buyout in IBM's history. The company said it will provide a full update on Wednesday on how it plans to integrate Cognos' operations into its own.

IBM has already provided some hints.

Software chief Steve Mills said at the time of the original announcement that IBM will work on improving the "fit and finish" between its WebSphere middleware stack, DB2 database, and Cognos' business intelligence products.

Among the tools that IBM will look to bind more closely to its middleware will be the Cognos 8 suite, which includes modules for reporting, scoring and creating dashboards that display business information.

Mills said IBM is looking at software acquisitions because the demands of today's business environment -- in which more and more transactions need to be carried out in real time -- are starting to outpace what can be achieved through the company's traditional partnership model.

That explains not just why IBM bought Cognos -- it's also part of the reason behind the company's recent buyouts of vendors like Filenet, Ascential Software, Trigo, and others.

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