Cognos Builds Performance-Management Ecosystem

New framework unveiled at user conference ties together the company's technologies for strategic planning and execution.

Rick Whiting, Contributor

June 27, 2005

2 Min Read

Cognos Inc. Monday unveiled a framework that unites its planning and business-intelligence software into a comprehensive performance- management system. The software company, which holds its Forum user conference in Orlando, Fla., this week with an estimated 2,000 attendees, also disclosed new best-practices blueprints and a certification program for business partners that develop software for Cognos' performance-management platform.

Cognos has been aggressively marketing its business intelligence and financial planning, forecasting, and budgeting software for performance management--the methodologies, metrics, and technologies used to translate business strategy into plans and monitor the execution of those plans. But the new Cognos Performance Management System offers a framework that unites Cognos' software, says Mark Smith, CEO and senior VP of research at Ventana, a market-research firm.

"There are only a handful of vendors that bring these capabilities into one platform and set of applications and tools," Smith said in an E-mail. "While previously Cognos had a distinct set of applications, it was not integrated on the back end and also didn't have an ecosystem of partners behind it as well."

The Cognos Performance Management System includes technology that integrates the company's query and reporting, analysis, metrics management, dashboarding, planning, and event management/notification applications. Services built into the platform include security, administration, portal, information and business modeling, and data integration.

The three new Plan-to-Perform Blueprints, which Cognos bases on its customers' best practices, are for risk analysis, allocations, and sales compensation. They join existing blueprints for strategic financial planning and forecasting, sales planning and forecasting, expense planning and control, and others. The company also unveiled an expansion of its Cognos Innovation Center, which shares best practices between customers and experts, to include elements of performance management.

Cognos' user conference comes on the heels of its first-quarter earnings announcement last Thursday, in which the company reported that sales increased 15% year over year to $200.1 million and net income increased 18% to $23.8 million. License revenue increased 8% to $71.1 million. Those numbers were in line with Cognos' late-May announcement that sales would be below earlier expectations because a number of anticipated $1 million-plus contracts weren't closed before the end of the quarter on May 31.

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