Cognos has outlined its Web strategy, but could not confirm rumours that it will buy a start-up company to fill a hole in its plans. However, one executive said Cognos is in "acquisitive mode".
The decision support tools vendors is believed to be evaluating whether to purchase start-up Infospace, whose technology enables users to undertake queries over the Web using Java applets. Another option under review is just to license the software.
Nigel Pendse, analyst at Business Intelligence, said: ?Infospace is a well-respected company and it might make sense. But both Oracle?s Essbase and Arbor use the product as a front end, which would make it quite an expensive buy, and Cognos doesn?t usually buy many companies. RIS earlier this year was an exception.?
However, Roger Gilhearney, Cognos? business development manager, said: ?I don?t know whether we?re talking to Infospace or not, but we are in acquisitive mode at the moment and if it makes sense, we may do it.? He added that Cognos saw its Web strategy as fundamental to its future success.
?With the Web, you have to segment and understand your users more fully and can access information at a fraction of the price. We expect about 60 per cent of our existing users to use browsers rather than a PC over the next couple of years, as a high proportion of them are report viewers, who simply like to filter their information,? he said.
The first step, taken to Web-enable Cognos? tools, was to release server-based versions of its Impromptu and Powerplay tools, in addition to existing PC-based releases, earlier this year.
The second stage is enabling Impromptu users to generate static reports for their Web servers in HTML, which they can then query from a browser. The Powerplay multidimensional engine will also be enhanced to recognise HTML and has just moved into beta. Both products are scheduled for release next month.
By late summer, Cognos hopes to have enhanced both products so they are able to generate Java-based dynamic reports.
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