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Kicking Off The Simplification Race

Cognos this week debuted an intelligence package that replaces five separate Cognos products with a single product built on a services-based architecture. T
If you're a business intelligence vendor that wants to take command of the midmarket, then you've got to be first to deliver a widely accepted BI platform that is, above all else, easy to use and deploy. The starting gun in that race fired this week.

Cognos this week debuted an intelligence package that replaces five separate Cognos products with a single product built on a services-based architecture. The new release, Cognos 8, combines reporting software, analytics, an event manager, scorecard software and ETL software on one server. That's right: one server. Cognos wants to lure mid-size customers that like easy deployments almost as much as they like ease of use.As it happens, Cognos has a little company in the starting gate. Business Objects and Hyperion both plan to release their own product upgrades in November, the same month that Cognos 8 becomes available. According to the latest numbers from IDC, Business Objects still leads the overall BI market with 17 percent market share. Cognos is second with 12 percent share, while Hyperion controls 6 percent of the highly divided pie.

On launch day yesterday in New York, Cognos trotted out the requisite lineup of OEM partners, customers, technology vendors and resellers that have pledged support for Cognos 8. Firms with some level of "alliance" or other with Cognos include HP, data integration firm Informatica, Sun Microsystems, Sybase and data warehouse maker Teradata. Cognos has tested the new release with 100 customers already.

Simplicity has become the name of the game when it comes to midmarket leadership. The rest of the year will determine which of the major stand-alone BI vendors jumps out into a lead, and which get left stumbling from the blocks.