Big Blue Snags Cognos

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

IBM offered about $4.9 billion in cash Monday to acquire Cognos, a Canadian producer of software used by corporations to analyze their operations.  The friendly bid comes a month after SAP said it would spend $6.8 billion to buy Business Objects, a company based in Paris that is the chief rival of Cognos in what is called the business intelligence software business.  Oracle acquired Hyperion Solutions, another Cognos rival, for about $3.3 billion in April…..While SAP has said it will keep Business Objects as a stand-alone unit, IBM said that Cognos would be incorporated into its operations…..Including the Cognos deal, IBM will have spent about $15 billion since 2001 to build up its software unit, whose profit margins are almost twice as high as those for the rest of its operations.  The company has sharpened its focus on software since it sold its printing unit and the personal-computer division over the past two years.  Cognos counts Boeing and Bank of America among its customers for its business intelligence programs.  The global market for that type of software was about $4.7 billion last year and will grow 8.6% a year over the next five, according to the consultancy Gartner…..

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