Difference Between the IBM Passport Advantage (PA) and IBM Passport Advantage Express (PAE)


Difference Between the IBM Passport Advantage (PA) and IBM Passport Advantage Express (PAE) Programs for Cognos Clients.

IBM Passport Advantage (PA) and IBM Passport Advantage Express (PAE)

The Passport Advantage (PA) and Passport Advantage Express (PAE) are comprehensive programs for the acquisition of IBM software licenses, IBM Appliances, IBM Appliance Services and IBM Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions. They share the same “Eligible product list” and include terms for IBM Software Subscription and Support (product upgrade and technical support), Fixed Term, Monthly Licensing, Appliance Service, Selected Support and SaaS renewals. ( www.Ibm.com/software/passportadvantage)  But, what are the difference between the IBM Passport Advantage (PA) and IBM Passport Advantage Express (PAE) Programs for Cognos clients?

When you are buying IBM Cognos software from IBM or an authorized business partner like Lodestar Solutions, you are required to enter either the Passport Advantage program or the Passport Advantage Express program which is a common set of agreements, processes and tools.

Passport Advantage Express - Smaller Purchases

If you are making a smaller purchases or a smaller client that is doing a one-time purchase of Cognos or Cognos Express, you might consider the Passport Advantage Express because it doesn’t require enrollment.  So, less paperwork! Sometimes, we will use the Passport Advantage Express for larger clients if it’s the end of the quarter and there’s no time to process the paperwork.  For clients buying other non-Cognos products from IBM in addition to Cognos, you might want to consider the Passport Advantage site because the Passport Advantage Express does not offer various pricing levels under the RSVP (Relationship Suggested Value Price) Program.   Additionally, with the Passport Advantage Express you will get a separate renewal bill for each purchase because it’s transaction based.  Yes, you can move from Passport Advantage Express to Passport Advantage later if desired, but it requires paperwork.  Check out this blog on Consolidating your Passport Advantage sites.

Passport Advantage - Larger Purchases

For larger IBM purchases, the Passport Advantage is probably the better option, as it’s a relationship-based program.  Passport Advantage does require enrollment, so you will want to read the terms before you sign up.  One benefit of the Passport Advantage program is that IBM will give you an anniversary date and co-terminate all your invoices, so you end up with one support renewal bill instead of multiple bills for every additional purchase you make.

Savings with Passport Advantage

The Passport Advantage program offers discounts for clients that spend more money with IBM.  IBM calls these Suggested Volume Pricing (SVP) discounts.   The SVP level is assigned to the client based on Relationship Suggested Volume Price (RSVP) level.  Basically, the more you buy of IBM licensing or support with IBM or a business partner like Lodestar Solutions, the more points you accumulate.  The more points you earn, the greater pricing discount you will receive on many IBM products.  Unfortunately, these levels are moot when it comes to IBM Cognos licensing because the price on most Cognos Analytics (BI) and Planning Analytics (TM1) licenses are the same regardless of your discount level.  https://lodestarsolutions.com/will-ibms-rsvp-pricing-program-save-me-money-on-cognos-licensing-and-support/

Multiple Sites- Under Passport Advantage

Passport Advantage does allow you to enroll multiple locations or “Sites” under a single Agreement.   Some clients use the sites to represent various departments so they can receive a separate bill for the site making the accounting easier.  Another benefit of multiple sites is if you have a team in Asia and one in the US you may want each location to be able to contact support in their region.  Clients can assign a technical contact with IBM for each site.

As an additional resource to explore the difference between the IBM Passport Advantage (PA) and IBM Passport Advantage Express (PAE) programs for Cognos clients, check out this FAQ from IBM.


Warning When Purchasing

It can take some time for IBM to process your Passport Advantage application, so do this early to take advantage of any end of quarter savings on your software purchase.

In Summary

Passport Advantage Express is typically for smaller purchases of IBM Cognos, whereas larger clients or clients that want more control over their support bills and support access typically use Passport Advantage.  

Think you might be on the wrong IBM Program?  We can help. If you have detailed questions or are looking to purchase IBM Cognos licenses or support, contact us at sales@lodestarsolutions. We would be happy to review your specific case.

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