Tips for Acquiring a Cognos Client

Tips for Acquiring a Cognos Client
Tips for Acquiring a Cognos Client
Written by Heather L. Cole, August 4th 2022

There seems to be a trend recently, at Lodestar Solutions we are seeing more and more of our IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics clients in acquisition mode.  Some are buying their competitors, while others are expanding into new geographic territories.  We like to think they are growing through acquisition because their IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics solutions are helping them become strategic.  If you are one of the growing IBM Analytic clients, here are some tips you need to consider if you are acquiring a Cognos client.

Determine What Tools the Acquired Firm Has

When you are in acquisition mode, there’s a lot of work that must happen.  The due diligence phase, the actual acquisition and then when the deal closes, the work of consolidating the organization and possibly the systems.  

At some point in the process, you want to discuss what reporting and planning solutions are used by both firms.  At Lodestar Solutions we recommend you treat this as a mini project where both teams can share the solutions they use and functionality they require.  But here’s a tip, don’t wing it.  You want to impress your new team members, so you want to practice demoing your Cognos or Planning Analytics.  If you are a Lodestar Solutions client, reach out to Services@Lodestarsolutions.com and we will help coach you on demoing.  If you are not, you should check out my video on demoing software.  This is your time to shine.

As part of this process, we recommend the team collectively creates a list of functional requirements they need to accomplish their work, and then score the various solutions.  You may discover your needs are so diverse it’s best to just keep the solutions each firm has.  Or you may determine it will be best to move your new team members onto Cognos and/or IBM Planning Analytics.  In that event, you will most likely need additional licenses. 

But don’t just call IBM or a partner and buy more users.  Acquiring a Cognos client is a time to evaluate the licensing you have and ensure that you have the correct, most economical licensing based on your new needs and user counts.  At Lodestar Solutions, we offer a complimentary What the Heck Do I Own session where we walk you through your licensing options and determine the best fit for you.  To register for this session, email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.  

If They Own IBM Analytics Licensing

It’s not uncommon for our Cognos or Planning Analtyics clients to acquire a Cognos client.  They may use Cognos, IBM Planning Analytic and/or SPSS.  In that situation there are some very important questions to ponder!   Failure to review these questions could cause you to fail an IBM audit, (see our blog on IBM Audits) pay more than you need for IBM Analytic Software and Support, or lose licenses all together.

Question 1: Are you acquiring the entire organization and therefore all licenses need to be moved?  Or only part of the company in which case you must work with legal or MA team to determine if the purchase of the company includes their IBM licensing? 

You might find that you need to buy additional IBM Analytic Licensing if they were not included in the purchase.

Question 2: Where and under what legal organization should your IBM Licensing be held?

This is important especially if you own on-premise licensing because that is an asset.  Like any asset you want to make sure it is legally owned by the proper company.  But you will also want to determine what location the licensing should be held.  The address of the licensing could have significant impact on whether you are charged sales tax on an additional license purchase and on IBM support fees. 

Once you determine what legal entity you want to own the licensing under, and where, it’s time to communicate the change to IBM and sign some paperwork to legally transfer the asset.  You can contact your IBM Rep or Lodestar Solutions can help you migrate licenses to a single site, or separate.  For help moving sites, and consolidating them, contact renewals@lodestarsolutions.com.

WARNING!  Failure to move licenses to the correct legal entity could result in failing an audit!!!

Question 3: What are the estimated user counts needed after the acquisition?

As part of the process of acquiring a Cognos client, we strongly recommend a licensing review.  This means you want to review your current user types and counts held by both companies.  You may be consolidating some departments so you may not need as many licenses.  Or you may find you have more demand for Cognos, Planning Analytics or SPSS and you need additional users.   If you aren’t sure of what you own, call us for our What the Heck Do I Own session where we walk you through your current licenses and educate you on all the cool new IBM functionality you own today.  To register for this session email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com

Licensing Review

We also recommend you evaluate if after the acquisition and consolidation of your sites, you are even in the correct licensing mix.  At Lodestar Solutions we have worked with many clients optimizing their licensing to save money and allow for growth.  Some clients have benefited from migrating off the typical authorized user model to a more server, or processor value unit model (PVU).  (What the Heck is a PVU)

For more information on licensing options see my Linkedin article.

Lodestar Solutions, IBM Analytics Software Licensing Evaluation Services is available to help you understand your options.  For more information email us at sales@lodestarsolutions.com or call us at 813-415-2910.

Question 4: Who should be the IBM Primary Contact?

It is also important to review and update who the contact is on file with IBM.  Failing to have the correct people registered with IBM could cause delays in filing cases with IBM, and not receiving your support renewal quote and risking lapse of support coverage.  Neither are a situation you want to experience.   For more details on how to change your contacts with IBM see our blog, How to Change the Primary Contact Name of IBM Cognos.  Note, this process is the same for IBM Planning Analytics and SPSS.

Contact Us

Hopefully this provided you the information you need to successfully merge your IBM Analytics solution and licensing when you are acquiring a Cognos client.  But you don’t have to go it alone.  Lodestar Solutions is here to help answer all your questions.  Just call us at 813-415-2910 or email services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Facilitating Analytic Discovery for Success

Facilitating Analytics Discovery for Success
Facilitating Analytics Discovery for Success
Written by Heather L. Cole, April 28th 2022

Are you looking for more time to deliver analytics?  Maybe your team is short staffed, and you are doing the work of 2-3 people.  I get it!  I have been in that race, and it can be stressful.  So, I must ask you, have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself, “How can I be more effective in my role delivering analytics to my organization?”  We spend so much time moving through the motions, responding to urgent requests from executives and yet what if we just stopped and took a few steps back and say can I be more effective?  When I did this as an IBM Cognos consultant, I realized I needed to learn how to be better at facilitating analytics discovery for success. 

Time to Become More Effective

Think about it.  If you had a crystal ball and could identify exactly what your executives wanted, if you could not only read their mind but help them determine what they want, you would be so effective.  No more building reports and dashboards people don’t use.  No more scrambling as they changed their minds daily.  You would have executives calling you to meet with you as they strategically plan the growth of the organization.

What is Facilitation?

Facilitation is the act facilitating or act of making easier according to Merriam -Webster dictionary.  So, facilitating analytics discovery is the act of making analytics discovery easier.  Who wouldn’t want to know how to do that better?  Note I use the word discovery and not requirements gathering intentionally.  You see at Lodestar Solutions we believe users often don’t know what they want.  So, there’s nothing to gather until you help the users discover what’s possible and what they would benefit from.

easy button

I am guessing you have taken a few training programs on how to use Cognos, Tableau, Qlik, Power BI or other solutions.  So, you know how to build reports.  Maybe you even are working on an advanced degree in Business Analytics from a school like University of South Florida here in Tampa.  But how much time have you spent learning how to do proper discovery?  How much time have you spent learning to facilitate an effective meeting? 

It's okay if you haven’t!  Most people in our industry, haven’t.  It’s rare I see a consultant or analytic professional skilled at facilitating discovery sessions.  The good news, however, is that you can learn it! 

For me I had been working in the industry for years, before I realized I was great at inspiring and motivating clients, but I would meet with clients and ask what are you doing today?  My goal was to simplify and automate the manual processes they had already defined. 

Facilitation of Analytic Discovery Experts

But one day, I took that step back and challenged myself!  I asked what do the experts in facilitation of analytic discovery do?  You know what I learned?  I didn’t know anyone good at it.  I could not think of a single role model in this area.  Who do you know that is fabulous at leading a thought-provoking discussion for executives around analytics?  Are you drawing a blank too?

After facing the hard fact that facilitation and discovery are not commonly taught, and that most of us wing it, I decided it was time to take action.  I started down my professional development journey of learning about and teaching classes in facilitation, influence, presentation techniques, and psychology of teams.  I certified in Scrum and I began to implement what I learned. 

The results were amazing! 

Benefits of Learning Facilitation.

  •  Clients and their teams gained clarity.
  • Executives gain confidence in the teams and engaged more.
  • End Users become part of the solutions and end user adoption increased.
  • Projects were more rewarding and gained visibility at the top levels of the organization.
  • The duration to delivery for projects shrunk.
  • And clients saved a lot of money.

But the biggest win for our clients was that they were empowered to host their own internal discovery sessions, because the world is changing, your business is changing and analytic discovery is not a one and done process.

Be Transformational

When Business Analytic Professionals learn to facilitate analytic discovery for success they will help lead the organization and help transformation.  Regardless of if you are on a BI team, or in Finance this is your time to lead.  For finance professionals you should see our earlier blog, Finance Must lead Business Transformation Before Someone Else Does

You are Not Alone!

My journey to be come an Analytics Leader with the skills in Facilitating Analytic Discovery sessions was a very long and expensive journey.  I traveled the world attending personal development conferences, joining masterminds, reading books.  But it doesn’t have to take you that long!  

Lodestar Solutions, Inc. is creating a new program that is designed specifically for analytic professionals!  This will be a virtual workshop, where you learn proven methods to facilitate analytic discovery.  Keep an eye out for our announcement coming soon.  If you find this interesting email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com and share your challenges.

911 – Log4j Security Risk Affects IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos…

Log4j Security Risk Affects IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos
Log4j Security Risk Affects IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos
Written by Heather L. Cole, December 16th, 2021

There is an identified Log4j security vulnerability that we believe exposes IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos Analytics, ILMT, SPSS Stat and Motio Users.  This is not caused by IBM but by a widely used logging library.  This issue has become a full-blown security meltdown, affecting digital systems across the internet.  Hackers are already attempting to exploit it, but even as fixes emerge, researchers warn that the flaw could have serious repercussions worldwide.

The problem lies in Log4j, a ubiquitous, open-source Apache logging framework that developers use to keep a record of activity within an application.  Security responders are scrambling to patch the bug, which can be easily exploited to take control of vulnerable systems remotely.

This vulnerability in Java (Log4j) is affecting hundreds of thousands of users of many products in use today including some IBM products. To be clear this is an issue affecting many software platforms that utilize Java, not just IBM.  Among your IBM catalog of products that you are concerned about is IBM Cognos Analytics, Planning Analytics, ILMT, SPSS Stat and Motio.

IBM Security X force Red has been working nonstop to identify and provide guidance and fixes for affected products. Below is a list of links to fixes for each product.

Fixes and Patches for Log4j Vulnerability 

Fixes and patches can be found at IBM Fix Central. Enter your product name, version and operating system and then select the fix needed for each product.

Cognos Analytics – Fixes available for 11.2.1, 11.1.7 and 11.0.13

Info - Security Bulletin: IBM Cognos Analytics: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) - fixes are linked in this blog post.

Fix Central - IBM Support: Fix Central - Select fixes

Planning Analytics – Update Planning Analytics Workspace to the latest version released on Dec 14. PAW 2.0.71

Info - Security Bulletin: IBM Planning Analytics 2.0: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) - IBM PSIRT Blog

Fix Central - IBM Support: Fix Central - Select fixes

Controller –

Info - Security Bulletin: IBM Cognos Controller 10.4.2 IF15: Apache log4j Vulnerability (CVE-2021-44228) - IBM PSIRT Blog

Fix Central – none yet.

SPSS Statistics - Security Bulletin: Log4Shell Vulnerability affects IBM SPSS Statistics (CVE-2021-44228

ILMT – update ILMT to 9.2.8

Info – CVE-2021-44228 and CVE-2021-4104 Log4j library vulnerabilities in License Metric Tool (ibm.com)

Fix Central - IBM Support: Fix Central - Identify fixes

Motio CI – upgrade to 3.2.10 FL8

Fix - Log in | Motio Customer Portal

SAAS Planning Analytics Customers - IBM has added the patches to their cloud SaaS Planning Analytics so you are all set!

More to Come...

There may be additional releases in the coming days and weeks for these products and others. Lodestar will continue to provide updates as this situation continues to develop and fixes become available.

If you are an active Lodestar Solutions client and were unable to attend our webinars on this issue you will find the recording in our Lodestar Solutions’ Client Only Portal.  If you don’t have access to this library, email Services@lodestarsolutions.com and we will set you up.  

Do You Need Help?

If you have a SOW in place with us, then email Mike to schedule help. If you don’t have an emergency SOW with us or are out of hours, again email Mike and he will send you a new SOW for signature.  Remember, entering an SOW cost you nothing.  We only bill for hours you use.  services@lodestarsolutions.com

Lodestar Solutions has your back, call us with questions 813-415-2910.

IBM Lifetime Champion Award to Heather Cole

IBM Lifetime Champion Award to Heather Cole
IBM Lifetime Champion Award to Heather Cole
Written by Heather Cole, July 29th 2021

About Heather L Cole

If you are not familiar with Heather Cole, she transforms CEO’s and their organizations to experience hype-growth.  Her 30+ years of experience owning and growing a software reseller and implementation firm along with her life-long dedication to personal development has made her a leading high performance and technology success coach.  What’s more, Heather is not just an advisor and CEO coach, she is also a business owner, thought leader, author and speaker.  Her teachings and skills have touched the lives of thousands of people around the world via her insights in business strategy, analytics and the future of businesses during the data revolution.

As the founder of Lodestar Solutions, an IBM partner, and Heatherized, Inc. she still manages to find time to serve others as an Executive Advisor combining her diverse knowledge in Finance, IT, Law, Psychology, Sales and Marketing.  Heather is also a Certified High-Performance Coach, Licensed Attorney, Scrum Master and has over 25 years of experience in IT, Business Intelligence and Analytics.

She is a two-time best-selling author, a five-time winner of the IBM Champion Award and sits on the national board of Financial Executives International (FEI).  In her free time, Heather and her husband Gary Lafferty volunteer at Ready for Life, a charity that helps youth that age out of foster care in St. Petersburg, FL.

IBM Champion Lifetime Achievement Award

The IBM Champion Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes IBM Champions who stand above their peers for service to the community.  Over multiple years, these IBM Champions consistently excel and positively impact the community.  They lead by example, are passionate about sharing knowledge, and provide constructive feedback to IBM.

The IBM Lifetime Champion Award has only been given to 32 people throughout the world covering all aspects of IBM offerings.  The Lifetime Champion Award is a unique award within the IBM Champion Program.  IBM Champions are thought as leaders that are active in their communities to help promote technologies.  They are not IBM employees but rather clients or partners that are actively blogging, speaking, organizing events, writing books, and so much more.  Other 2021 IBM Lifetime Champions include Jean-Georges Perrin, Dave Beulke, Simon Thompson, Darren Surch and Greg Hodgkinson.

When asked about her recent Lifetime IBM Champion award, Heather said, “I am humbled to be a part of an amazing group of thought leaders and technologists.  I would be lying if I did not admit that my imposter syndrome rages when I meet with other IBM Champions, because these people play at another level.  I guess this award is the universe’s way of reminding me to Level Up and play bigger and bolder!”

What is an IBM Champion?

Want to learn what makes a great IBM Champion?  Hear from Heather Cole and other IBM Champions on this IBM video.

2021 IBM Lifetime Champions

If you consider yourself a thought leader in the IBM world, consider becoming an IBM Champion.  You can register here.

If you are interested in having Heather Cole speak at an upcoming event, conference, or webinar, connect with Heather on LinkedIn.

Congratulations to Heather and all the IBM Lifetime Champions.

What is the Number One Reason Why Analytic Software Projects Fail?

What is the Number One Reason Software Analytics Projects Fail?
What is the Number One Reason Software Analytics Projects Fail?
Written by Heather L. Cole, July 15th, 2021

Organizations will spend significant hours and resources evaluating analytic solutions like IBM Cognos Analytics.  They will then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on analytic software and consulting services.  Heck some clients even decide their Analytics project was a failure, so they investigate other tools and spend more money on the migration only to be in the same spot but with a lot less money in their accounts.  Analytic Software Project failures are not unique. But there is one question we never hear organizations ask in the software evaluation process and it is the one question everyone should be asking. “What is the number one reason why Analytic Software Projects fail?”

I have been working in the analytic software space for over 25 years, and I believe I have only been asked this question once.  Yes, once in 25 years. 

Answer why analytic projects fail…

Imagine if I could let you in on a secret of why analytic software projects fail and to solve this problem would not cost you a dime.  That’s right regardless of why you are using Microsoft Power BI, IBM Cognos Analytics, Tableau or Qlik, there is one common reason analytics projects fail and to solve the problem is easy! The reason is…. 

EXPECTATIONS!

Expectations

When was the last time you were disappointed?  Was it this morning when they did not give you the cream you asked for in your coffee?  Was it when your friend cancelled your golf outing?  Whatever it was the only reason you were disappointed was that your expectations were not met or exceeded.  Think about it.  If your back was hurting and you really didn’t want to play golf, you would not be disappointed.

If you want to learn more about your personal expectations, here’s two good resources from one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard.

How to Better Manage Your Expectations – Brendon

Power of Expectations - Brendon

Analytics and Expectations

The number one reason analytics software projects fail is that expectations of the executives or end users were not met or exceeded.  If your executives, or end users are not happy with your deployment because they expected something easier to use, faster, more dynamic or to contain information they deemed essential and it did not deliver, then they will not view your analytics projects as a success.

Solving the Biggest Problem in all Analytics Projects

Now that you know the biggest challenge in any analytics software project is not meeting or exceeding expectations, let’s discuss how to solve the problem.   I mentioned earlier that the solution doesn’t even have to cost you a dime! 

Host An Analytics Workshop

Step 1.  Set proper expectations in the first place.

Lodestar Solutions coaches our IBM Cognos Analytics clients to run internal workshops to identify what the executives really want.  If you do not have an analytics roadmap defined yet, don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a big undertaking.  To learn more, check out our recent blog series:

How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants – Part 1

How to Create your Analytics Roadmap without Hiring Expensive Consultants – Part 2

Ultimately you want the executives to define one or two dashboards or reports that can be game changing.  But let them define it, don’t assume!

Expectations

Step 2:  When things don’t go as planned, you want to Reframe Expectations.

Let’s admit it, analytic software projects always have at least one unforeseen situation. Maybe the data needs cleansing, maybe you don’t have the data you thought you had.  There’s always a hurdle.  But when things don’t go as planned with your software analytics project you want to reframe expectations. 

In the CIO.com article, 8 Project Management Tips for Setting and Managing Expectations, they identify the importance of being honest when things go wrong and to present workaround options or solutions.

By openly and honestly presenting the situation and proposing options, you will be reframing expectations.  They might not be happy with the new outcome but at least they know it’s coming and that you are working on making it right.

Are Your Executives Happy with Your Analytics Initiatives? 

Now that you understand the importance of setting proper expectations and reframing expectations when necessary, I want to challenge you.  Now this will take courage, but I know you are up for it.  Go ask your executives how happy they are with the organization’s analytics initiative.  I like to ask them to score it 0-10 (amazing).  Be prepared for the answer, it might be lower than you think.  Don’t get defensive, just use this as an information gathering opportunity.  And ask, “What is one thing you wish we were delivering that you don’t currently get today?”  Then listen! 

As an Executive Analytics Coach working with IBM Cognos Analytics clients, I am often faced with executives that are not happy with their analytics deployments.  Some are going as far as looking at other solutions to replace Cognos Analytics.  But when I start to ask questions, we discover the client is on a very old version or they never deployed the new functionality.  Many have never run a workshop with the executives.  It’s not surprising the executives are not giving Cognos the highest scores, when the analytics team never really asked what the executives want.  So, stop blaming the software!  Maybe we need to look in the mirror and think if we asked the right questions and set the right expectations!

If you are an IBM Cognos analytics client and asking is this the best solution for me, you might be interested in the fact that IBM Cognos Analytics was named an exemplary vendor in Ventana’s 2021 Analytics and Data Value Index.

Time to learn more about Analytics Projects and Expectations

Now it’s time to learn more about the number on reason analytic software projects fail and how you can avoid it without spending a dollar more.  In fact, our methods will help you save money on your analytics project.  On Thursday July 22, 2021, I’ll share the secrets to running a successful Analytics Software Project. 

Power of Setting Expectations for Successful Analytics Projects

Join me on Thursday July 22, 2021

When: Jul 22, 2021, 12:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting - click here to register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you have specific questions, please email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

How Top Cognos Consultants Overcome Objection to Get Funding

Overcome Objections
Overcome Objections
October 8th, 2020

Are you looking to get funding for you Cognos Analytics upgrade (BI) or Cognos Planning Analytics upgrade (TM1) but challenged to get it approved?  Maybe you just want funding to get Cognos training on the new Cognos features and functionality.  Today I will share how top Cognos consultants overcome objection so you can become more influential and get the approvals and funding you desire.

Top Objections:

In order to overcome objection, first we need to identify the top objections commonly seen when we are requesting funding for a Cognos upgrade project, training or implementation project. 

Objection 1: Money - 

The number one objection for not getting a Cognos upgrade or additional investment approved is lack of budget or funding.  Yes, money is tight, budgets have been cut but there are proven ways to get funding.  Many people fail to get funding because they fail to build out a Return on Investment (ROI) model.  If the financial benefits experienced because of the upgrade are greater than the cost of the upgrade, you have a much greater chance of securing the funding. 

For more information on the cost to upgrade and ways to sell your project internally check out our YouTube video, Cost to Upgrade to IBM Cognos Analytics.

You also might like our previous blog on, 5 Steps to Get Project Funding for Cognos BI & TM1.

Objection 2: Time - 

The second most common objection is, “we just don’t have enough time.”  I fully appreciate how busy everyone is, but as with most things proper planning can significantly reduce the amount of time needed for the Cognos upgrade.  If you are on an older version that is not supported currently, you are leaving yourself very vulnerable to having issues when 3rd party tools like Microsoft are upgraded.  How much time would it take to try to fix the system if you cannot get support because you are on an old version?  If your senior management is saying we do not have time, take a close look at your calendar and try to map out when your team would have time to execute the upgrade.  Also, consider upgrading your TM1 or Cognos BI to get on the latest version and to introduce the new functionality.  This phased approach has helped Lodestar clients to overcome the time objection.

Objection 3: Lack of Support -

Lack of support from executives is the third reason Lodestar clients struggle to receive funding.  But getting support often requires you to find an executive that will greatly benefit from the new functionality and feature and then, ask them for their support.  I am always surprised when I ask teams if they asked for executive support, they answer that the executive is busy, and they do not want to bother him or her.  Another secret to getting executive support is to find out the strategic goals of the organization and approach an executive that you feel would be in a better position to accomplish their goals if they had the tools provided with an upgrade.  Many executives have bonuses tied to accomplishing strategic goals.

For more information on getting executive support, check out our blog, Why You Struggle To Get Executive Buy-In For Your Data and Analytics Projects.

Objection 4: Fear -

Fear is the fourth factor to why clients fail to move forward on their Cognos Analytics and /or Planning Analytics upgrade.  Fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of asking for executive support.  They all play a role in what holds us back.  Imagine if you could overcome your fear, and confidently ask for support, funding, etc.…  How would you feel when the executives are impressed with your take action attitude and promote you?  You can do this.  Be courageous, overcome objection and ask for the funding. 

Objection 5: Self-Doubt -

I would be remised if I did not include what I feel is the biggest hurdle Cognos teams have in securing the funding for their upgrade, self-doubt. You know that little voice in your head that says you don’t know what you are doing, or you will never get approval for funding.  But what so many people fail to identify is that the voice of self-doubt only appears when you are challenging yourself and your teams.  When you are about to have a moment of greatness.  It does not appear when you do the same thing you have always done.  Successful Cognos managers will tell you, when you find the courage to ask for funding and when you find the time to properly plan your upgrade, greatness begins.  What are the first step you can take today to prepare for your upgrade?  Go do it.

How to Handle the Objections?

The first step in the process that top Cognos Consultants use to overcome objections to get funding is to identify the reason for the objection like we did above.  The next step is to put yourself in the shoes of the person that can approve your request for funding for your IBM Cognos Analytics or IBM Cognos Planning Analytics upgrade.  Are they risk adverse?  Then you would focus on the risk of being on an unsupported version.  If they don’t believe there’s enough benefits for the cost, work on defining benefits and tie them to the strategic goals for the organization. 

I believe it is best to write down the objection and the responses, how the objection is a myth or is not true.  And don’t forget, timing is everything!  If you are just entering budget season, then now is the best time to ask for money.  Check out our earlier blog, Have You Secured Funding Yet? It’s Budgeting Season, Secure Funding Now For IBM Cognos.  

You Aren't Alone, Email Us

Now that you have identified all the possible objections for why your organization might not approve your Cognos upgrade request, and you wrote down how to overcome each of the objections.  The final step is to email us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com and ask for help.  Yes, Lodestar Solutions has helped hundreds of clients plan and secure funding for their upgrades. We are happy to help you too. 

IBM Global Financing

March 26th, 2020

Don’t Delay Your Cognos BI or TM1 Upgrade, Use IBM Global Financing

Were you planning to upgrade or buy additional Cognos licenses?  You thought you had approval to upgrade your IBM Cognos BI or TM1, but capital investments have been put on hold.  The world has changed in a matter of days, but business must go on.  Just a little differently perhaps?  If your company is putting your project or Cognos license purchase on hold, maybe they should reconsider their position.  In times of uncertainty you need even better visibility to your numbers.  Tools like Cognos BI and Cognos Planning Analytics are even more important to have on the latest supported version.  Today, understanding the numbers is mission critical.  Don’t Delay your Cognos BI or TM1 Upgrade, Use IBM Global Financing.

What is IBM Global Financing (IGF)?

IBM has a global financing division that can help clients looking to purchase IBM licensing, renewal and even support distribute their payments over time.  But the amazing thing is right now IBM Global Financing (IGF) and the various IBM brands like IBM Cognos Analytics are working together to bring you fabulous deals like 0% financing. Of course, you would need to qualify but Lodestar Solutions has had many clients qualify for 0%.  It’s like free money!

For more information on IGF click here.

How IGF Deals Work

Are you wondering how IBM can give clients with good credit 0% financing on IBM renewals and license purchases?  Well, the secret is that the IGF team looks at your credit and the deal size.  They then work with the brand like Cognos Analytics and they get the brand to fund some of the financing costs, so you can get it as low as 0%.  We have seen deals at 0% for new licenses and support renewals this month.

Who Should Use IBM Global Financing?

I can’t emphasize enough how important I feel it is for you to be on a supported version of Cognos Analytics BI and/or Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) during times of uncertainty.  This is when forecasting and getting visibility to the data through BI dashboards is even more important.  So, don’t slow down your upgrades.  Instead, I recommend using IBM Global Financing to accelerate your upgrades, model redesigns and training.  Yes, you can use IBM for services when they are purchased with software. So, plan that virtual training class for Cognos while your teams are working from home.  All IBM Cognos clients can benefit from global financing.

Wondering What’s Available to You?

Interested in IGF and wondering what would my company qualify for?  It simple to learn.  Just email me at hcole@lodestarsolutions.com and we will talk about your goals and needs.  Once we understand if you need help with a Cognos renewal, licensing or both, we will provide a quote and introduce you to IBM Global Financing.  You determine if you want monthly or quarterly payments.  IGF will research your organization and let us know what they can offer.  IGF will then draft the paperwork.  You sign it and issue a PO to us for processing.  It’s quite easy.

Lodestar Solutions can help you with:

  • Planning your upgrade
  • Learning the new functionality of the recent versions
  • Get you the best price on Cognos Renewals
  •  Ensure you are in the right licensing mix and get the best price for new licenses

So, don’t delay your Cognos BI or TM1 upgrade, use IBM Global Financing.

For more information contact Heather at hcole@lodestarsolutions.com or 813-415-2910

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