IBM Cognos Review
We use it for consolidation. It should be easier to access consolidation rules and logic and they should be more flexible.

Valuable Features:

Consolidation capability; that's really all we use it for.

Improvements to My Organization:

Moving away from a manual, Excel-based consolidation to a largely automated one has enabled us to reduce our reporting timelines.

Room for Improvement:

Accessibility to and flexibility of consolidation rules / logic: Products like HFM are much easier to work with when one needs to change rules, etc. With Cognos, I find that a regular user needs a much better understanding of the control tables and the E rules than a regular HFM user needs of the rules file. There seem to be more steps involved in Cognos, and the order of those steps are also important. One almost has to tick a few dozen boxes in a particular sequence whereas with HFM, one just has to export the rules and do a Ctrl + Find.

The investment register is also quite painful to work with, but I suspect that's due to configuration issues.

Use of Solution:

All in all, I have used it for about 18 months.

Stability Issues:

I encountered stability issues. As with all databases, space management on the server is important; all of our stability issues are related to database size and available space.

Scalability Issues:

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

Previous Solutions:

I did not previously use a different solution.

Initial Setup:

I can't comment on the implementation; it was completed before I joined.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

The pricing is good. It's fairly cheap compared to other products.

Other Solutions Considered:

I understand HFM and SAP BPC were also considered before choosing this product. Cost and the relative sophistication of the user community played a big role on choosing Controller.

Other Advice:

If one has a complex consolidation structure, regular M&A activity (and hence changes in structures and rules), unusual transactions and a large user base, then I would think twice about Controller. If not, it'll probably work fine.

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

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