Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data

Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to Cloud Pak for Data
Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to Cloud Pak for Data
March 11th, 2021

IBM is actively encouraging existing IBM Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics (TM1) clients to migrate to their new model of licensing called Cloud Pak for Data.  IBM renewal reps, sales reps and partners are all encouraged to present and encourage clients to migrate.  They call this the Cognos Modernization Upgrade program.  For forward thinking Cognos and Planning Analytics clients, this is a great opportunity.  This blog will cover the Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

What is an IBM Cloud Pak for Data?

With the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM is in the process of combining their technologies.  As a result, in 2020 they released the new IBM Cloud Pak programs which packages Red Hat OpenShift with various IBM offerings.  These programs also come with new licensing models that allow Planning Analytics and Cognos clients to leverage Red Hat and IBM’s containerized environment.  The concept is that the containerized environment will allow for faster upgrades, more integration, and more flexibility.  

Reference: See our earlier blog, Modernizing Cognos Licenses the Path to the Future with Cloud Pak for Data which goes into more details on IBM Cloud Pak for Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics customers.  Or visit IBM’s site

Does your company currently own IBM Cognos Analytics or Planning Analytics on-premise, perpetual licenses? 

If you have owned Cognos for a while and are not leveraging IBM’s SaaS option where IBM does all your upgrades and backups, you are probably on a perpetual license, which means you own it as an asset on your Balance Sheet.  The reason you want to know this is that this helps to determine which options are available to you when trading up to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data. 

If you don’t know what type of licensing you own, email and we can help you.

IBM Has a Couple Flavors of IBM Cloud Pak for Data for Planning Analytics and Cognos

  •  A perpetual license that requires you to upgrade your existing licenses to one that includes the Cloud Pak for Data entitlements.
  • A subscription model that can be on-premise, but is a subscription so typically an operating expense, not an asset.

There is no right answer as to which is a better option.  The best flavor of the IBM Cloud Pak for Data depends on a few factors that are unique for each client, like does your CFO want operating expenses or capital expenses? 

For more information on this check out the article, Can I capitalize my system implementation or get tax advantages?

Lodestar Solutions is happy to discuss the options to help you choose the right option.  Just email us at

Does your company plan to leverage advanced technology and simplify the costs of connecting to lots of data sources?

If you answered no, I must ask you, “What are you thinking?”  Of course, your company wants to leverage advanced technology.  IBM has invested in amazing technology and now they are starting to blend them to better serve their clients.  I fully appreciate that maybe now is not the time to implement the new technology.  Maybe you don’t want to be an early adopter, but what if I told you there’s a why to upgrade your licenses so when you are ready you already have the licensing needed?

Now is a good time to set yourself up for long term success!

This is purely speculation, but I have seen it many times in the tech industry, clients that upgrade their licenses early in the roll out usually do so at the lowest price.  So, if I was a Cognos or Planning Analytics client, I would consider trading my licenses up now, but keep my software on-premises or in the cloud, so business as usual.  This would allow me later, when I am ready, to use the new technology of the IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

Here’s the IBM Secret -

The IBM team, at least in North America, has committed to help make it possible for clients to leverage their support renewal dollars to upgrade their licenses.  Everyone’s situation is a little unique, but let’s chat and see how you can get even more functionality out of your IBM Planning Analytics and Cognos support dollars.

When is your current IBM software up for renewal?

The best time to upgrade your licensing is the same time it’s always been.


When you upgrade your licensing, IBM includes 1 year of support and subscription.  Therefore, the best time to discuss upgrading to IBM Cloud Pak for Data Analytics is a couple months before your renewal.  The worst time is if you just renewed.  Contact Lodestar Solutions today and let’s start the IBM Cloud Pak for Data conversation and explore if trading up your licensing is a strategic move for you!

Email to set up a complimentary discussion about your licensing.

More Questions?

I hope this blog on Questions You Should Ask When Upgrading to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data was informative, but I also appreciate this is just the tip of the iceberg.  This technology and licensing is so new, it’s constantly evolving, but I believe it’s time to start seeing down the road and set your IT team up for success.  Let’s continue the conversation.  Email and set up a time for us to discover how you can get more out of your IBM Planning Analytics and Cognos investment.

Modernizing Cognos Licenses the Path to the Future with Cloud Pak for Data

Modernize my Cognos Licenses with IBM Cloud Pak for Data
Modernize my Cognos Licenses with IBM Cloud Pak for Data
March 4th, 2021

Has IBM reached out to you stating that you qualify for an upgrade to modernize Cognos licensing?  Recently, several Lodestar Solutions’ clients received emails from IBM renewal reps and sales reps indicating they qualify for an upgrade on their Cognos licenses which IBM calls the “modernization” of the Cognos licenses.  So, I thought I would help answer the question, “Modernizing your Cognos licenses the Path to the Future with Cloud Pak for Data and what does it mean?” 

What does Modernizing Cognos licenses with IBM Cloud Pak for Data Mean?

IBM like all software companies is constantly creating new technology and with that comes new licensing and subscription options.  You may remember the last major overhaul of IBM Cognos licenses took place in 2014 where they simplified and supersized your Cognos BI licensing. See our blog on 2014 IBM Cognos BI License Changes or our video.

In July 2019 IBM purchased Red Hat for $34 Billion. IBM bought Red Hat for its development of the largest portfolio of open source technology, its hybrid cloud platform and a vast open source developer community.  The acquisition makes IBM the world's leading hybrid multi-cloud provider.

When you spend $34 billion for a company you know you need to do something with the technology.  It’s not surprising in 2020 IBM launched a new licensing initiative that bundles their existing technologies like Cognos in with Red Hat technology, and they are doing so with what they call IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

IBM Cloud Pak for Data

According to IBM, “IBM Cloud Pak® for Data is a fully integrated data and AI platform that helps modernize the way you collect, organize and analyze data to infuse AI.  The platform is cloud native and is designed to add powerful new capabilities for data management, DataOps, governance, business analytics and AI.  There is no need to integrate costly point solutions.  IBM Cloud Pak for Data delivers the modern information architecture to turn AI aspirations into tangible business outcomes while improving governance and protecting your data.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve read that numerous times and still asked myself, “What the heck is IBM’s Cloud Pak for data?” 

What the Heck is IBM’s Cloud Pak for Data

Let me attempt to decode IBMeze into something non-techies can understand.  IBM Cloud Pak for Data is a bundle of technology that can be deployed as a container.  As I explained in my earlier blog, What are IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Containers?  containers are executable units of software which package up the application code along with its libraries and dependencies, so it can be run anywhere, like a desktop, server, or cloud.

For Cognos clients looking to move to IBM’s Cloud Pak for Data for Analytics by modernizing Cognos by leveraging the Cognos extension (called a cartridge), they will get 3 components:
  1. Red Hat OpenShift – (restricted use)
    2. Cloud Pak for Data Control Pane – Foundational Services
    3. IBM Cognos Analytics Software Licenses
IBM Cartridge

Why should I modernize Cognos and move to a Cloud Pak for Data for Analytics Licensing model?

There are several benefits to modernizing Cognos and moving to the Cloud Pak for Data for Analytics Licensing model.  The hybrid cloud does create an interesting flexible environment that many believe will help companies save money and time integrating all their data sources.  I appreciate many clients aren’t ready for this new technology but there’s a reason you might want to modernize your Cognos licensing so you can deploy the technology later. 

Modernizing Cognos Now!

IBM has done a cool thing in that clients that trade up or upgrade, “modernize” their licenses then the cartridge licenses have the dual deployment entitlement.  To move ALL licenses to dual deployment, a trade up or Upgrade (Modernization play) of all current entitlements to the cartridge parts is required. IBM is very determined to get clients to move to the new Cloud Pak for Data model which means OPPORTUNITY!

Clients that believe they will want to move to a containerized, hybrid cloud model, would be wise to seriously look at this opportunity now.  Currently IBM has created an environment where you might be able to move to the new Cloud Pak for Data Analytics at renewal time and do it for very little cost.

What If We Aren’t’ Ready for Hybrid Cloud?

If your organization is not ready for the new technology that’s okay!  By modernizing Cognos by investing in the Cloud Pak for Data Analytics cartridge for your Cognos and Cognos Planning Analytics you do NOT have to deploy the cartridge software.  The customer can install on/remain on Windows/Linux/Unix, in other words on premise and then when you are ready deploy the cartridge software.

It’s like the invest now strategy, like buying a lot in an area you know is growing and that someday you would like to build a house to live.  But buying it while the land is cheap.  Then when your family is ready you build on it.

Dual Deployment for Cognos

If you own the Cloud Pak for Data Cognos cartridge, you have entitlements referred to as "dual deployment," meaning you can deploy 100% on Windows/Linux/Unix, OR 100% on CP4D/OpenShift, OR a combination of both.  The only limitation is that you cannot exceed their total license entitlement.

Example:  If you own 50 Planning Analytics (TM1) licenses, you can use all 50 on Windows/Linux/Unix, OR all 50 on Cloud Pak for Data OpenShift, or any combination up to 50 total across both deployments (40/10, 25/25, and so forth).

Time is of Essence for Trading Up - ACT NOW!

Now is the time for modernizing Cognos licenses!  Rumor has it that in North America the IBM Data and AI sales has committed for a short time to matching end user price on cartridge parts as compared to stand alone parts.  I don’t think this will last forever, so Lodestar Solutions recommends we have a chat to see if Cloud Pak for Data is a good fit for your Cognos or Cognos Planning Analytics environment.  

Let's Talk:

Email us at to set up a complimentary consultation on your licenses.  Or just call 813-415-2910.