Now that the dust is settling following the business performance management (BPM) acquisition frenzy, the newlyweds are getting down to business. Leading the way is Cognos Inc., which in mid-December said it has begun drafting an integration roadmap to absorb the Applix products it acquired in September for $339 million. Starting off slowly, Cognos has begun leveraging some of Applix's TM1 OLAP (online analytical processing) modeling and analytic technology in its Performance Blueprints. The Blueprints are pre-defined data, process and policy models that help customers speed their software deployments and drive faster returns on investment, according to Cognos.

It's mostly about rebranding now, says Doug Barton, Cognos' vice president and marketing manager. "We're changing their colors," he remarks. But the goal is to make TM1 a data source for business intelligence (BI) capabilities in the mid-2008 time frame. "We're starting on the journey," says Barton. "The milestones are yet to come."

For now, Cognos doesn't plan to eliminate any of the two companies' product lines, with Barton noting that the offerings generally are complementary, rather than overlapping. The newest offerings–the TM1 Server, TM1 Excel, TM1 Web and TM1 Executive Viewer–expand Cognos's line of planning, consolidation, and reporting products and provide new and enhanced resources for interactive business modeling and analytics, the company said. They can be used to assess profitability, price/volume variance and sales mix, among other applications. At the heart of the technology is a 64-bit, in-memory OLAP server.

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