Editor's Log: HP, SAP, Cognos, IBM and More - InformationWeek

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10/26/2007
10:33 AM
Doug Henschen
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Editor's Log: HP, SAP, Cognos, IBM and More

It has been a busy month, so I've decided to blog journal style this week, sharing snippets and scuttlebut picked up here and there... Rumor has it Wal-Mart didn't actually pay for its HP NeoView license... Cognos has finalized it's acquisition of Applix, but plans now call for the latter to remain a stand-alone business... IBM is getting closer with Business Objects, again... Headed to Vegas this weekend? Here's where to go for fast drink service.

It has been a busy month, so I've decided to blog journal style this week, sharing snippets and scuttlebut picked up here and there…

Early this week one member of our blogophere passed along the rumor that Wal-Mart didn't actually pay for its license of NeoView, HP's new data warehouse appliance. The rumor has it that it's a gratis co-development project. There's no doubt it was a cozy deal given that HP CIO Randy Mott was 22-year Wal-Mart veteran and former CIO.

I asked for comment from HP, and here's what John Miller, Senior Director, Business Intelligence Marketing, had to say: "Wal-Mart is a customer that has purchased HP Neoview but the terms of HP's contractual agreements are not for public disclosure."Hewlett Packard scored another NeoView win early this month when it landed Rabobank Group of the Netherlands. Rabobank wasn't available for comment, but HP publicly spelled out the terms of the deal in cold, hard cash: $4.3 million. I'd say an endorsement from Wal-Mart is worth at least that much…

Cognos yesterday finalized its acquisition of Applix, a deal originally billed as a straight-up acquisition. Soon after the SAP-Business Objects announcement, however, Cognos announced that, "following the consummation of the Merger, Applix will continue as [a] surviving corporation and an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Cognos." That's not the way they were talking early on, but perhaps they were swayed by the generally positive reaction customers and industry watchers had to Business Objects being a "stand alone" business under SAP's wing.

"We've brought together an industry leader in performance analytics with the experts in performance management," stated Cognos CEO Rob Ashe in a press release. "We've extended our leadership position in financial performance management." I found the release notable for coining the term "performance analytics" (have you heard that one before?) and for very specifically focusing on the "financial" breed of performance management…

Also in the wake of the SAP-Business Objects deal, IBM announced last week - for the second time in five months - that it has forged closer ties to Business Objects. This time it's by way of a "new agreement to develop and distribute pre-integrated data warehousing and business intelligence solutions to help customers harness information and make better business decisions."

Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will include a starter edition of Business Objects business intelligence solutions with IBM DB2 and IBM DB2 Warehouse. In addition, Business Objects will distribute and resell IBM's DB2 Warehouse with its Business Objects XI solutions and CFO Performance Management applications.

Presumably SAP was supportive of all this, and I'm sure executives at IBM are familiar with the saying that "the enemy (SAP) of your enemy (Oracle), is a friend." Marc Andrews, program director, IBM Data Warehousing, chalks it up to business as usual, saying "IBM already has a strong relationship with both Business Objects and SAP. This agreement with Business Objects will provide a natural extension to our existing relationships with both partners. SAP is already reselling DB2, and has worked with IBM to make DB2 the most tightly integrated and optimized database for SAP applications."

The announcement also reaffirms IBM's strategy of partnering with BI vendors (rather than buying them). But where does it leave the IBM-Cognos partnership? "We continue to maintain strategic alliances with other business intelligence vendors and will continue to provide an open platform that supports all business intelligence and performance management applications," says Andrews. "This is not an exclusive agreement [with Business Objects] and does not restrict us from working with other BI partners. IBM has a strategic alliance with Cognos and will continue investing in this partnership."

IBM previously announced deeper ties with Business Objects last May by way of a joint-development agreement focused on the Asia-Pacific market. Leaves me wondering how much closer these two vendors get without IBM acquiring Business Objects? Oops, too late…

Headed off to Las Vegas this weekend? Well, here's an interesting tidbit passed along by Cindi Howson, who attended a Tom Davenport presentation at Business Objects' recent customer event, also in Vegas. "Davenport mentioned that Harrah's waiters have RFID devices attached to them so the company can time how long it takes for customers to get their drinks," Howson reports. "More than seven minutes is bad for business. That sounds cool, if a bit scary!"

In this case, I'm guessing that what happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas.It has been a busy month, so I've decided to blog journal style this week, sharing snippets and scuttlebut picked up here and there... Rumor has it Wal-Mart didn't actually pay for its HP NeoView license... Cognos has finalized it's acquisition of Applix, but plans now call for the latter to remain a stand-alone business... IBM is getting closer with Business Objects, again... Headed to Vegas this weekend? Here's where to go for fast drink service.

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