November 12, 2007

IBM Buys Cognos

I awoke this morning to the news that IBM was acquiring Cognos for around $5BB. I personally wouldn't have paid a penny over $4.4BB, but I'm finicky.

This takes the count of major independent BI/OLAP/xPM vendors down to... none. (Sorry Microstrategy, but you're not big enough to register.) Who knew that in 7 months, Hyperion, Business Objects, and Cognos would all get swallowed up?

I'm torn between who will have the harder time integrating with their new company: SAP integrating Business Objects or IBM integrating Cognos? SAP has never undertaken an acquisition of the size of B.O. and SAP also isn't exactly known for making software easier to use over time. IBM has never been an apps company: they're great at middleware and server software. If I was a betting man, I'd say that IBM will do a better job with Cognos, but they'll probably kill off all the end-user-oriented applications along the way. To anyone who bought Cognos Planning, I think that it won't be long for this world. As for any Business Objects clients, pray that SAP leaves B.O. as a stand-alone company, because if SAP starts meddling, B.O. is going to lose market share faster than Lotus 1-2-3.

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