Why is the quote for IBM Cognos Licenses higher than my Renewal?

IBM Cognos Licenses
August 1, 2019

A Cognos Planning Analytics client recently asked Lodestar Solutions for a quote for a few more licenses.  When their Cognos representative sent them the quote they asked, “Why is the quote for my IBM Cognos licenses higher than my renewal?” Lodestar Solutions get’s this question periodically so we thought we would share the answer with everyone!


For the discussion below we are focusing on premise licenses, not cloud or SAAS licensing.  If you are unfamiliar with the difference, please see our previous blog on this topic.  

 If you are uncertain what you own, email Lodestar at Renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you understand your current licensing.

The Renewal Quote

The renewal quote is just that a quote that covers just the support on the licenses you already purchased.  By subscribing to IBM Cognos Support you are able to log cases, get patches and upgrade to the latest version of the software.  The renewal or support price is always significantly lower than the cost of a new license.  So, if you need to add additional users it will cost you more than the Cognos renewal cost.  Here’s a blog on reducing your IBM support renewal costs​.

You also might like to check out more information on IBM Support. 

The New Cognos User Quote

If you need additional IBM Cognos licenses and you are using on-premise software, you will typically want to buy the “perpetual” IBM Cognos license. The new IBM Cognos license includes the cost of the licenses and it includes 1 year of support for the new Cognos licenses.  Therefore, the cost of buying new IBM Cognos licenses is more expensive than just the renewal or support subscription.  The new Cognos license is technically an asset/capex to the organization whereas the support is typically an operating expense.

Perpetual License

You may be unfamiliar with the term perpetual software license. A perpetual software license authorizes an individual to use a program indefinitely. Typically, software companies, like IBM will charge an annual support cost to get access to patches and upgrades. When you buy a perpetual license it’s an asset to your organization, you own it, even if you don’t pay support in future years. In theory, if for some reason, which we don’t recommend, you decided to not renew your IBM Cognos support on the licenses you own, you would have a legal right to still use the software for as long as you like.  However, you would not have access to any new versions of Cognos or access to log a support ticket.  Hypothetically, if Microsoft gave an update to Excel that broke a connection to Cognos TM1 or BI, you would be out of luck if you did not pay support. Renew support!

For the details of IBM licensing click here.


Now you know the answer to “Why is the quote for Cognos licenses higher than my renewal?”  It’s because new licenses have the license and the renewal costs included.  If you have questions on your specific licenses, reach out to Renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and we are happy to answer your questions or provide you a quote on new licenses.

Cognos Analytics & TM1 Users Attend the IBM Data and AI Forum

IBM Data and AI Forum
IBM Data and AI Forum
July 25, 2019

Are you a longtime IBM Cognos Analytics and/or Planning Analytics (TM1) customer?  Are you struggling to get traction with your BI and/or TM1 projects?  Maybe the executive team isn’t prioritizing analytics.  Or maybe they are pressuring you to switch to Power BI or another tool?  If this describes you, we are telling our Cognos Analytics & TM1 users to attend the IBM Data and AI Forum in October in Miami.

OCTOBER 21-24 Miami, Florida
IBM Data and AI Forum (formerly IBM Analytics University)

Click to link to IBM Registration site.

What is IBM’s Data and AI Forum?  

Oops, IBM did it again, they renamed a conference and in doing so confused a lot of customers.  The IBM Data and AI Forum was called the IBM Analytics University last year.  It’s a conference that is focused on providing content for Cognos Analytics (BI), IBM Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1), SPSS, Optimization, IBM Watson Assistant, IBM Watson Studio, IBM Watson OpenScale, IBM Watson Knowledge catalog, IBM InfoSphere Information Server, or IBM Db2 clients.

So, if you are a Cognos BI or Cognos Planning Analytics TM1 client and felt overwhelmed by IBM Think last year you should check out this smaller focused event.  If I were an IBM Cognos BI or TM1 client and could only go to one event this would be it.

Who Should Attend and Why? 

Cognos Analytics (BI) Administrators or Power Users.

Attend the IBM Data and AI Forum to hear stories on how other BI clients are leveraging all the new functionality of Cognos Analytics and lessons they have learned.  You will be able to chat with experts on how to upgrade Cognos BI to the latest version in a phased approach. The first step is to identify what really needs to be upgraded to Cognos Analytics.

Imagine if you had a tool that could give you an inventory of all the old junk in your Cognos system, so you didn’t have to upgrade it? In Miami Lodestar team members will be happy to introduce you to the amazing new Motio functionality that provides an inventory of your Cognos BI system and helps you determine what needs to be upgraded.  The cool thing is, IBM and Motio have agreed to give clients some of the Motio tools for free for 30 days. Link to Motio details.  You must come to the IBM Data and AI forum to learn more.  Or contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com

Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) Administrators or Power Users.

Attend the IBM Data and AI Forum to learn how to update your models and use the new functionality in Cognos Analytics including hierarchies, Workspace, Planning Analytics for Excel (PAX) and more. If you are still on Cognos TM1 version 10 you must attend because your version of the software is going unsupported in September 2019. This event is a great place to go ask all your questions and to get your brain thinking about upgrading. For an idea of the questions you should be asking about TM1 and Cognos Planning Analytics I’ve shared some links to previous blogs you should check out.  

Blogs to Prepare for IBM's Data and AI Forum

This event has so much information you don’t want to miss it! 

Now that we have shared why Cognos Analytic BI and Planning Analytic (TM1) customers shouldn’t miss the IBM Data and AI Forum in October, let’s plan to meet up!  Lodestar Solutions would like to set a time to meet and discuss your specific challenges. If Lodestar Solutions can’t help you, we will find someone that can. Meetings with Lodestar can discuss upgrades, licensing, model design, functionality, resources… At Lodestar Solutions our goal is to make you hugely successful!  To set up a meeting at the IBM Data and AI Forum, or a call before email Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Sign-up for the IBM Data and AI Forum today!  
The early bird discount ends August 19, 2019.

How an IBM Cognos User Reduced Support Costs by $30,000!

IBM Cognos Licenses
Reduced Support Costs
March 29, 2019

It was a sunny Monday morning and the phone rang, “Heather, it’s Marcus. I'm looking for reduced support costs on our IBM Licensing, can you help? Our Cognos BI and TM1 bill is too high.  As we have discussed we need more Cognos business intelligence licenses, but you have to help me fix these costs.  The renewal went up 10%!” 

Lodestar Solutions was able to help Marcus (not his real name but a real story). Today I’ll share how we helped an IBM Cognos and TM1 User achieve his goal of reduced support costs saving them $30,000 on their annual support costs. With a little creative positioning and with a good partner that understands licensing and renewals you can too.


Additional Licenses: Marcus needed additional Cognos Analytics (BI) licenses.  We had been working on selling growth of their Data and Analytics initiatives for quite some time.  We had created an analytic roadmap that started with stabilizing and improving their environment to provide better performance.  The analytics roadmap included growing and upgrading their Cognos TM1 which was going unsupported in September 2019. (More information from IBM on Cognos TM1 Support).  It also included leveraging Planning Analytics’ (TM1) new functionality and then moving to predictive and prescriptive analytics.  But Marcus knew his executives would not approve the phases if the subscription and support, also called renewal costs, were not controlled.


Many IBM Cognos clients experience a 10% uplift each year on their support renewal bill, which seems outrageous.  That is until you understand the logic of IBM Support.  Clients that experience a 10% increase actually are getting a deal.  IBM support is based on your discounted purchase prices, not the list price like other software.  So, if you negotiated a good deal on your software purchase you will continue to see saving on support in the future, but they will increase it about 10% until you hit list price. At the time your IBM support is at list you will typically see only a 3% increase.  More information on IBM support increases https://lodestarsolutions.com/why-did-my-ibm-cognos-support-renewal-rates-increase-so-much/


In Marcus’ case the need for new licenses aligned with his support renewal bill.  This is a key point!  If the client just wanted IBM to reduce the bill, it probably would not have happened.  But when the client has a potential purchase of additional licenses, he now has leverage and can use this to negotiate his renewal.  It also helped that it was the end of a quarter for IBM, which is a great time to buy software.  In order to use a purchase as leverage you do typically need a substantial purchase of additional IBM Analytics products, over six-figures.


Working with Marcus we presented three alternatives that could help reduce his annual support costs.

1. Prepay -

IBM Analytic clients that want to reduce their increase on support can prepay future years support.  Sorry, the year that is due is not considered a prepay.  Typically, I see clients that will prepay 2 or 3 years of support to reduce the increase percentage for the out years. This can cause a cash flow challenge so some clients will us IBM Global Financing to pay the out years of IBM Support, especially if IBM is offering an interest rate that’s lower than the uplift. For more information on IBM Global Financing check out https://www.ibm.com/financing.

2. Not to Exceed with a Commitment - 

Another option is to request a Not to Exceed addendum with a legal commitment. Basically, when negotiating a substantial purchase of additional IBM Cognos Analytics licenses you can include in the negotiation that you want an addendum that caps the percentage that IBM will uplift the support.  Typically, IBM will only go out 2-3 years, but it can save you a lot of money.  The secret to getting the increase percentage to the lowest possible rate, you would need to commit to purchasing support for the years covered under the agreement. Yes, this is a legal binding document.

3. Not to Exceed - 

If you feel uncomfortable signing a document that legally commits you to purchasing support, another option would be a Not to Exceed Addendum that is more like an option than a commitment.  Typically, IBM Support will not give you as low of an uplift as they would with a commitment but it’s a good option.  Additional information on ​Not to Exceed Provisions.

Watch Your Language

If you are working with a partner like Lodestar Solutions, they will make sure you have the right language in the addendum.  Here’s the trick, IBM has a few flavors of a Not to Exceed provision and you want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. 

  • Partner Friendly Language: Make sure the addendum has partner friendly language and does not restrict you from purchasing future support only from IBM.  If your partner is helping you, you should support them don’t you think?
  • Flexible Language: If you think you might want to make changes to your licenses like upgrades or moving to flex points during the term of the addendum you want to have a contract that can be modified.

Back to our story.  Marcus, with Lodestar's help decided the best route for his organization was to sign a flexible not to exceed provision that committed them to purchasing future support, but they could still purchase it from Lodestar Solutions.  After careful negotiations we secured an uplift rate that was significantly lower than the 10% that was anticipated, saving them on average over $30,000 a year over the term of the addendum.

So, that’s how an IBM Cognos Analytics user reduced support costs and saved $30,000. But, don’t go it alone!  You don’t have to.  There is uniqueness in every deal.  Lodestar Solutions takes prides in understanding the IBM Analytics Licensing, even the old licensing and helping you save money.  If you want help reviewing your IBM Support Renewals and seeing how we can help you save significantly on your future support renewals, please contact us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com

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