MUFI Rating & Risk – IBM Cognos

MUFI Rating & Risk – IBM Cognos

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: IBM (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

IBM acquired Cognos in 2007, and IBM is still having problems with digesting Cognos. IBM needed a leading solution to compete with Oracle and SAP, and Cognos was an appealing candidate after Hyperion was scooped up by Oracle, and SAP acquired Business Objects.

Application Detail

IBM Cognos is a high maintenance and highly dated application. The value of Cognos has significantly declined since acquired by IBM. As usual, support has declined, prices have increased, and innovation has dissipated.

IBM Cognos is by far the lowest rated BI system we have ever evaluated, and unsurprisingly it has the lowest buyer satisfaction level of any of the BI applications that we cover. We literally could not find anything that IBM Cognos does well, and it’s not a question of whether the application should be reviewed for purchased by buyers because its time for it to be sunsetted. This is why we predict that it is very likely that IBM will acquire one of the up and coming vendors such as QlikView, Birst or Tableau. We just hope that it is not Tableau because we don’t want to see our favorite BI software vendor completely halt its innovation. However, when they do, it is relatively well guaranteed that the business press will jump on board with how visionary the acquisition is and how it will allow “IBM to create a multifaceted BI solution that will deliver outstanding value to customers.” The journalist will very carefully never check and will never know that these types of acquisitions have never worked to help accomplish that with BI acquisitions in the past.

IBM Cognos is primarily implemented by IBM Global Services, which is one of the major consulting companies. As IBM is more services business than software driven, Cognos implementations take about as long as any other application, which is implemented by a major consulting company. IBM has a great deal of credibility with some clients with regards to technology advice. However, the problem is that all of IBM’s advice comes with a heavy financial bias. That is they are serving as a “trusted advisor,” but curiously all of their recommendations lead to the selection of either IBM or partner software (i.e., Oracle or SAP) for which they have large numbers of resources for which they can bill. How a firm can be both a trusted advisor while they both own applications, and have resources trained on specific products, is difficult to understand. IBM has a clear and indisputable conflict of interest in any recommendation it makes. IBM Sales consistently represents Cognos as a one-stop location for all BI needs that a company has when Cognos can only perform the backend of the BI architecture – and it is not even a competitive solution for its bread and butter. As Cognos is aging with little new development, scalability is increasingly becoming a problem. The idea that Cognos is a single quality solution for BI shows that all of IBM’s technical knowledge will never extend beyond their financial bias.

As with Oracle BI, and SAP Business Objects, IBM Cognos was once a more competitive application in the BI space, but no BI application can continue to be innovative and prominent after being acquired by one by a giant conglomerate. All three applications are hurtling towards irrelevancy, with IBM soon in need of performing another acquisition to replace Cognos in the lineup. Smart companies will steer clear of IBM Cognos.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of IBM Cognos will get the political defensibility of having “purchased IBM,” and therefore having done their “research.” However, buyers will pay the price during the IBM Cognos implementation. An IBM Cognos purchase will mean the use of IBM Global Services, which the highest possible consulting expense along with receiving advice of dubious quality. Much of the time will be spent on the part of the IBM consulting partner explaining that the long time and expense of the project is simply the nature of BI implementation, and there is nothing that can be done about it. However, our research indicates that this incorrect, plenty of software vendors are doing things about the productivity problems of BI implementations – it just does not happen to be IBM.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

Managing the risk of an IBM Cognos implementation is extremely challenging, and a buyer can put themselves on the best footing by hiring a competent and tough project manager – someone who has experience with IBM, but someone who does owe their allegiance to IBM. This resource must be willing to call out when they invariably try to present false information during the project. If the project manager is insufficiently technical, IBM will bluff them on technology, if the resource does not have a strong backbone, IBM will just push them over.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the BI Heavy software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for IBM Cognos.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – IBM Cognos

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: IBM (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 1 New Orchard Road Armonk, NY 10504-1722
  • Site: http://www.ibm.com
  • Contact number 914.499.1900
  • Delivery Mechanism: OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for IBM Cognos.

Project Planning Package – IBM Cognos

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: IBM (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: BI Heavy
  • Company Headquarters: 1 New Orchard Road Armonk, NY 10504-1722
  • Site: http://www.ibm.com
  • Contact number 914.499.1900
  • Delivery Mechanism: OnPremises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for IBM Cognos.

References

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Honest Vendor Ratings – IBM

Introduction

A company that needs no introduction, IBM has been one of the giants in computer hardware and software since there was computing. It now makes most of its income from software and consulting.

Quality of Information Provided

IBM provides the very low quality of information to its customers.

Consulting and Support

IBM Global Services is one of the major consulting companies. As IBM is more services business than software driven, IBM has a great deal of credibility with some clients with regards to technology advice. However, the problem is that all of IBM’s advice comes with a heavy financial bias – that is they are serving as a “trusted advisor,” but curiously all of their recommendations lead to the selection of either IBM or partner software (i.e. Oracle or SAP) for which they have large numbers of resources for which they can bill. How a firm can be both a trusted advisor while they both own applications, and have resources trained on specific products, is difficult to understand. In fact, it is a joke. IBM has a clear and indisputable conflict of interest in any recommendation it makes. IBM as with any of the large consulting companies lengthens the amount of time projects take in order to maximize billing hours, and has their clients implement very complex applications which are most often uncompetitive solutions.

Internal Efficiency

IBM’s is an enormous company with a correspondingly low-efficiency level.

Innovation

IBM was at one time an innovative company and is still the number one producer of patents in the US. However, this is entirely not evident from evaluating their applications. In fact, IBM is one of the great Fake Innovators. This is a bit like analyzing Microsoft, which has 90,000 people that work for it, but its impossible to tell from actually analyzing the company’s output.

When one looks at IBM’s enterprise software offerings, they are almost entirely acquired applications that receive very little software development and typically obsolesce several years after the acquisition. IBM advertises its innovation in areas like hardware and it does employ scientists that do actual research, and in things like “big data,” but we rate them as a laggard and a last choice in data applications. IBM’s large number of patents may have something more to do with how the company has the resources to invest in the patent process – which is expensive, and IBM’s weak actual innovation compared to its patent ownership also says something about software patents generally, which are by many patent experts not considered particularly legitimate. It also says something about our patent system that it can be gamed by large companies like IBM that have the resources to put into patent applications creating the illusion of innovation. As a counterpoint, none of the best of breed software vendors that we analyze, that are actually the most innovative companies have very many patents.

IBM is primarily a serial acquirer for software that it does not improve, and which it then uses its connections into its large customer base to sell into.

Vendor Scores

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Software Selection Package for BI Heavy