Deal for Applix Strengthens Cognos' Hand - InformationWeek

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9/5/2007
11:22 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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Deal for Applix Strengthens Cognos' Hand

With all the performance management acquisitions in the spring, Cognos was noticeably quiet. Fueling an already active market, Cognos announced this morning its intent to acquire Applix, makers of TM1 OLAP, planning and performance management solutions... The acquisition brings Cognos additional market share and a strong sales force, but similar to the Business Objects acquisition of Cartesis, it will call for some product rationalization .

With all the performance management acquisitions in the spring, Cognos was noticeably quiet. Fueling an already active market, Cognos announced this morning its intent to acquire Applix, makers of TM1 OLAP, planning, and performance management solutions.

While Applix may have ranked at the bottom of IDC's BI market share report, the vendor has been one of the fastest growing and has a stronger position in the performance management market segment. The acquisition will almost double Cognos' number of performance management customers.

TM1 in fact used to be the underlying engine for Hyperion Planning, prior to Essbase. TM1 gives Cognos an in-memory OLAP engine with write-back and an open API, things Cognos PowerPlay lacked. In addition to the sweet purchase price - the deal brings Applix share holders ($339 million or about 5 times sales) - the good news for Applix customers is that they will no longer have to turn to another BI vendor for relational and production reporting.Last year, Applix acquired niche vendor Temtec, makers of Executive Viewer, an OLAP viewing solution that can access TM1, Microsoft Analysis Services and Oracle Hyperion Essbase. On the one hand, this would seem like a lot of OLAP product overlap, and to an extent it is. Yet given that Cognos 8 can access OLAP and relational data sources, I would expect TM1 support to be quickly added. Cognos' initial road map suggests native TM1 access will be added 6 months or later following the acquisition close. The scalability and openness of TM1 strengthens Cognos' position in the BI market.

The overlap in the performance management market is more substantial. Here, the acquisition brings Cognos additional market share and a strong sales force, but similar to the Business Objects acquisition of Cartesis, it will call for some product rationalization and/or clarification on product positioning. Cognos officials suggest that Cognos Planning and Controller will continue to be the leading performance management products from a process perspective, with the TM1 engine offering users the ability to model and analyze financial data on the fly. Allowing customers to create TM1 cubes from Cognos Planning and Controller is at the top of the vendor's integration priorities.

It's only the start of September, and Cognos kicks off what is usually a busy BI/PM month. Look for Business Objects to launch its new EPM suite next week and Microsoft to kick off PerformancePoint the following week.

Sincerely,

Cindi Howson, Founder, BIScorecard, a Web site for in-depth BI product reviews. Author, Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer AppWith all the performance management acquisitions in the spring, Cognos was noticeably quiet. Fueling an already active market, Cognos announced this morning its intent to acquire Applix, makers of TM1 OLAP, planning and performance management solutions... The acquisition brings Cognos additional market share and a strong sales force, but similar to the Business Objects acquisition of Cartesis, it will call for some product rationalization .

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