IBM-Cognos expands with AsiaPac hires

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IBM-Cognos expands with AsiaPac hires

It has been two months since IBM’s US$5 billion acquisition of business intelligence software vendor Cognos, and things are looking peachy for all parties involved.

To ensure a smooth transition, IBM has appointed a senior executive to oversee the integration of Cognos into its business. As of January 2008, Mark Register heads up Cognos integration in Asia Pacific and Japan, in addition to his duties as vice president of IBM’s Information on Demand unit.

In an interview with iTnews, Register said that the acquisition comes at a time of increased demand for Business Intelligence in the Asia Pacific region. Cognos brings to IBM an industry-driven approach to the market and a good understanding of how customers do business, he said.

“Here in Australia and Asia Pacific, it’s the perfect time for Business Intelligence,” Register said.

“There is an almost insatiable demand as companies realise that they have made a big investment in their people, and they need to get real business value for their information assets.”

“We see huge opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, and our Cognos acquisition came at the right time for us to capitalise on those opportunities,” he said.

With a view to grow its information management brand, IBM is now looking to hire what Register termed “a significant number” of staff to fill new positions in services, support, sales and marketing.

While he was unable to disclose specific details about the new positions, Register noted that the company is looking to capitalise on information management opportunities in China, and boost the capabilities of its regional offices.

Cognos will be run by the same operating unit as it was prior to the acquisition, with the only difference being that a senior IBM executive now oversees all operations.

“We are looking to supplement existing staff for virtually all functions in most major markets,” Register said, mentioning in particular the hypergrowth markets of India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.

“The overriding objective for us is to enhance the Cognos opportunity, not change it.”

So far, employees have been enthusiastic and supportive of the acquisition, Register said, noting increased opportunities for Cognos employees to grow their careers within the larger umbrella of IBM.

Register joined IBM three years ago in May, when the company acquired Ascential Software, where he served as chief marketing officer and vice president of Industry Solutions and Global Alliances.

The acquisition also has been met with a very positive response from business intelligence resellers in IBM’s Alliance partner program, who expect the partnership to deliver enhanced products and greater customer satisfaction.
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