IBM Launches Cognos For SMBs - InformationWeek

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IBM Launches Cognos For SMBs

Analytics package is aimed at companies that lack significant, internal IT resources.

IBM on Monday introduced a slimmed down version of its Cognos business analytics software that's targeted toward medium-sized companies.

Big Blue described Cognos Express, as the offering is called, as "an all-in-one business intelligence and planning solution specifically designed for midsized clients."

The software provides businesses with on-demand access to a number of key metrics, including sales trends, inventory levels, and production capabilities. It features a range of pre-configured analytics tools meant for businesses that lack large in-house IT and programming resources, IBM said.

"Even in today's unsettled landscape, midsized companies are striving to better harness their information so they can continue to innovate and grow," said Ben Plummer, director of IBM's Cognos midmarket business, in a statement.

"We are committed to helping our midmarket clients harness the power of analytics with immediate, less-costly access to business insights, with the predictive abilities they need to make better, sharper, timelier decisions," said Plummer.

IBM acquired Cognos for $5 billion in January, 2008. The unit has delivered strong growth despite an overall slump in IBM's Information Management software business, of which Cognos is a part. Cognos sales grew 20% in the most recent quarter, compared to a 4% decline in total Information Management sales.

IBM is hoping to extend that momentum by tailoring a version of Cognos for the midmarket, as many economists believe SMBs will lead the nation out of the recession. 83% of midmarket CIOs or equivalents that responded to a recent IBM survey ranked business analytics as their top priority for improving competitiveness and cutting costs.

IBM is aiming Cognos Express at midmarket companies in a number of sectors, including retail, banking, manufacturing, and insurance.

Attend a Webcast on optimizing business performance by building a smarter enterprise, featuring author James Surowiecki and IBM chief marketing officer Jon Iwata. It happens Sept. 16. Find out more and register.

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