What Will IBM Gain by Acquiring Cognos?

Today, IBM's newly-acquired Business Intelligence and Management group Cognos unveiled a couple of developments that were no doubt deciding factors in its recent acquisition. Among them is a new accounting reporting tool that European customers will not only need but require, in the wake of regulatory changes.

First, the company introduced its new Cognos 8 Controller Performance blueprint, which is designed to help finance departments renew and improve closing, consolidation, and reporting processes.

This blueprint will prove extremely valuable in the coming years as accounting practices across the globe change. Europe's International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have undergone changes that will require many companies to restructure their accounting processes, placing increased value on solutions such as those provided by Cognos.

The scope of the IFRS changes is quite vast, since all publicly-traded EU companies, all Turkish companies listed on the Istanbul stock exchange, and all commercial banks in Russia are expected to adhere to these standards. Full adoption of the standards in Russia is not expected until 2011.

Furthermore, the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) of the United States is expected to be brought in-line with facets of the European standard by 2008, as detailed in the "Norwalk Agreement." This could open a whole range of potential customers to IBM.

On the topic of customers, the next announcement that plays to IBM's benefit comes from Daptiv (formerly eProject). It has released the Daptiv PPM Fall '07 Edition powered by Cognos' technology. The on-demand project management and collaboration software already has over 700 customers, and it announced that Cognos' Business Intelligence platform is now the standard of its Product and Portfolio Management software.

This is yet another score for IBM, as the Daptiv PPM is used by the likes of Procter and Gamble, BP, Sprint/Nextel, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and many more notable clients.

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