IBM buys business intelligence firm for US$5bn

12 Nov 2007

Big Blue has spent US$5bn in cash to fully acquire Canadian business intelligence company Cognos.

The deal, which is subject to the usual shareholder approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

IBM says the deal supports its information on demand strategy that combines its information integration, content and data management and business consulting services.

The company aims to become the leading provider of business intelligence technology and services as well as performance management technologies over an open standards-based platform.

“Customers are demanding complete solutions, not piece parts, to enable real-time decision making,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group. “IBM has been providing Business Intelligence solutions for decades.

“Our broad set of capabilities – from data warehousing to information integration and analytics – together with Cognos, position us well for the changing Business Intelligence and Performance Management industry.

“We chose Cognos because of its industry-leading technology that is based on open standards, which complements IBM’s Service Oriented Architecture strategy,” Mills added.

Following the acquisition, IBM aims to integrate Cognos as a group within its Information Management Software division.

Cognos CEO Rob Ashe will lead the group. Cognos employs around 4,000 people and has more than 25,000 customers, including the New York City Police Department, Blue Cross and Bayer UK.

“This is an exciting combination for our customers, partners, and employees. It provides us with the ability to expand our vision as the leading BI and Performance Management provider,” said Ashe.

“IBM is a perfect complement to our strategy, with minimal overlap in products, a broad range of technology synergies and the resources, reach, and world-class services to accelerate this vision.

“Furthermore, this combination allows Cognos customers to leverage a broader set of solutions from IBM to advance their information management driven initiatives,” Ashe added.

By John Kennedy