IBM Cognos Review

It can integrate with IBM FileNet, WebSphere, Cognos Data Manager, and MS SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

What is most valuable?

Active Reports are valuable for the organization because you can save it with the .mhtm file extension and can open it as an offline report at any time; it does not need an internet connection. Also, it does not need any further customization when you present the report for Cognos mobile, and it's faster.

How has it helped my organization?

Creating dashboards for sales and suppliers for about of 1.4 billion EGP of income and about 55 distribution locations

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement regarding installation of the visualization plugin for Cognos reports to enhance the colours of your dashboards. There are plugin charts from IBM for Cognos to incorporate Web 2.0 colors into charts and also add some animation. For example, feed-in and feed-out animation to add some action to the report when you open it for first time or when you refresh the report page.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. It’s very stable; more so than Oracle BI.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. You can install other software and this product can integrate with it – for example, Cognos Metrics, Mobile, PowerPlay and Transformer. This product can also integrate with IBM FileNet, WebSphere, Cognos Data Manager, and MS SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical Support is very expensive and internet resources for many issues are very poor, similar to QlikView and Pentaho. But I think Oracle OBIEE and MS BIare very good in this area.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not previously use a different solution, because the company bought it before I joined.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is straightforward. Configuration is complex if your database is AS/400, but it’s easy if your DB is Oracle, DB2 or MS SQL Server.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I think the price and license cost is very expensive, especially for Oracle BI and IBM Cognos. It’s because here in Arab world, it depends on software houses that work for governmental projects are looking to retain their partnerships with IBM and Oracle.

I think QlikView and SAP BO are better because their licenses are available for about 500$ per user and include two years of support. However, I don’t think the QlikView reporting tool is as good as Oracle and IBM. I don’t know SAP BO because I don’t use it enough to judge it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I use both solutions IBM Cognos and Oracle BIEE. I use either of them, depending on the business needs.

What other advice do I have?

This product is very useful and good to implement, but you must know that you need good support from IBM, if you face any particular problem.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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