Who Should Keep the IBM Cognos When Part of the Company is Sold?

Who Should keep the IBM Cognos When Part of the Company is Sold
Who Should keep the IBM Cognos When Part of the Company is Sold
Written by Heather L. Cole, August 18th 2022

The mergers and acquisition world has been busy recently.  If your company divested part of the organization, who should keep the IBM Cognos?  The original entity or the sold entity?

When part of the entity is sold there are many moving parts.  But it’s important to think through how the licensing components of your IBM Cognos or IBM Planning Analytics software are handled.

True Story:

Lodestar Solutions had a client that spun off a significant portion of their business.  Both the original company and the spin off wanted to keep the IBM Cognos licensing.  It was determined that the original company would keep the Cognos licensing and the new entity would have to buy new licenses.  But the when the new company went to purchase their Cognos licensing, the partner, not Lodestar, and IBM failed to create a new enterprise number.  They just created a new site under the original company.  So, the new company didn’t technically own their licenses.  The issue was not discovered until the support tickets for the two entities were getting comingled.  Needless to say, this was not a good situation.  And you don’t want to go through this!

Today, I’ll share things you need to consider and do when you are spinning off part of your organization.

Deciding Who Gets the Cognos Licensing

The first decision is who should get the IBM Cognos BM Planning Analytics licensing.  Now you might be thinking, of course the original company should keep them and the spin off should purchase their own.  But that’s not always the best solution, at least not for the original company. 

Do you need all the licenses after the divestiture?  The original company may not need all the IBM licensing after they spin off part of the company.  In this case they may allocate a portion of the licenses to the spin off, so they do not get stuck with the support bill on licensing they won’t need.

Are you in the optimal IBM Cognos or Planning Analytics licensing type?  IBM has a number of types of licensing such as Express for smaller deployments under 100 users, authorized users and processor value unit licenses, for large deployments.  They also have SaaS versions of Cognos and Planning Analytics.  If your user count will significantly reduce after selling off part of your organization, you may be better off including the Cognos licensing in the sale and buying new licenses that put you in the optimal licensing mix.

Is Your IBM Support Bill at List Price?  Another thing to consider is the current cost of your IBM Cognos support subscription bill.  If you are paying list price for your support, which means you typically have owned Cognos or IBM Planning Analytics for a number of years.  You may find that by including the licensing in the sales of part of the company, it would allow you to buy new licensing at a discount, and therefore lower your support renewal costs. 

True Story:

I had a client that was divesting part of their company to an overseas entity, and they gave them all of their Cognos licensing because they were able to buy new licenses at a discount and change the type of licensing saving them 100K a year in support.

Get Help!

You are not expected to be an expert in IBM licensing.  So, if you are planning to or recently sold off part of your company, Lodestar Solutions can help you evaluate your unique situation to determine what’s best for you.  Just email us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com and we can discuss your situation.

Confirm the Licensing is in the Right Name

Now that you have decided if you are going to keep all the IBM  Cognos or Planning Analytics licensing, or sell it as part of the transaction to divest part of your organization, we need to focus on the process with IBM.

If you decide to give all or part of your IBM Cognos licensing to the new company, you will need to sign some documents with IBM stating you are transferring your interest to the new company.  Lodestar Solutions can help facilitate this process. 

First the new company must get a new Enterprise account set up with IBM, if they don’t have one already.  You do not want them to just create a new site under your enterprise number.  They will also need to create a new site number under their new IBM enterprise number for the licenses. 

Once that is done, IBM can create the transfer documents that should specify the from account, the too account as well as the quantities and part numbers to be transferred.

If you go it alone, double check the quantity and part numbers on the documents are correct.  You also want to make sure that all the site numbers are correct.  Attention to detail is very important in this process.

If you decide to give all the licenses away, you will want to work with someone to identify your optimal licensing configuration and determine if there are any special promotions available.  The important thing is to not let your licensing lapse.  So, make sure you buy new licensing before giving yours away.

Check the IBM Contact Names on File

When companies spin off parts, it’s not uncommon for the players associated with Cognos or Planning Analytics to change.  If this is your situation, or if you have had attrition of team members, it is important to update the contact names within IBM.  If you don’t update them, you might not get support renewal quotes, notices of versions or licensing changes, and worse you might not be able to log a support case.

Look for an upcoming blog on changing contact names, but if you need help contact renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and our team will walk you though the process.  Or check out IBM’s information

At Support Renewal Time

When you receive your first support renewal quote after the divestiture, you want to double, no triple check that they have not accidentally left the licenses you sold with the divestiture on your site.  I have seen it happen.  IBM moves the licensing to the new site but does not remove them from the original company site.  You don’t want to be paying for support on something you don’t own!

Lodestar Solutions is happy to help you review your support bill and provide a competitive quote for your renewal.  For help with renewals email renewals@lodestarsolutions.com

Call to Action:

It’s important to review your licensing after a divestiture because you don’t want to be paying too much for support, and you don’t want to accidentally lose your licensing because someone moved the wrong site.  So, don’t go it alone!  Lodestar Solutions is here to help.  Call us at 813-415-2910 or email  personally at hcole@lodestarsolutions.com.

If you happen to be acquiring a company that also has Cognos or Planning Analytics see our blog, Tips for Acquiring a Cognos Client

I hope you found this blog on “Who Should keep the IBM Cognos When Part of the Company is Sold?” beneficial.  If you have questions please include them in the chat so everyone can learn.

What are IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Containers?

Data Containers
Data Containers
November 20th, 2020

IBM is on a mission to change how you buy IBM Cognos software.  They are trying hard to “modernize” Cognos clients’ licensing with their new, IBM Cloud Pak for Data offering. For more information click here.

We will blog more on the IBM Cloud Pak for Data later, but for Cognos clients, this means they are offering Cognos extensions for their Cloud Pak for Data License.  It is important to understand the goal is speed and portability.  To do this IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data utilizes Containers.  This leaves many clients especially those in finance wondering, “What are IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Containers?”

What is an IBM Data Container?

Imagine you are about to take an international trip and you need to bring everything with you as there are no stores where you are going.  You would plan your clothes for the anticipated weather and limit the number of bulky items, like shoes.  You would also pack a universal adapter kit and converter so all your electronics work.  You want to pack light but be able to go from 5-star hotel, to hotel, to a hostel in a village to a yurt in the desert.  You want the flexibility to be anywhere.

IBM Containers are like your suitcase and converter kit for your software.  They 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.

The IBM Containers take advantage of a form of operating system (OS) virtualization in which features of the OS are leveraged to both isolate processes and control the amount of CPU, memory and disk that those processes have access to.

IBM Containers are Different then a VM

IBM Cloud Pak for Data Containers are different than a virtual machine.  Instead of virtualizing the hardware, containers virtualize the operating system (typically Linux).   IBM Containers don’t need to include a guest OS, they can leverage the features of the host OS.   Each individual IBM Container contains only the application and its libraries and dependencies.  Guess you can say, IBM Containers help you pack light and travel efficiently.  IBM Containers are small, fast and portable.

For more information on IBM Containers check out this link

IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Components

For Cognos clients looking to move to IBM’s Cloud Pak for Data for Analytics 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

Cognos Cartridge

Cognos Software is Containerized 

It’s important to know that the Cognos Software included in the Cloud Pak for Data is available both containerized and in the more traditional format.  So, you can deploy Cognos the traditional way which IBM calls, bare metal environment on Windows, Linux… and/or containerized on-top of OpenShift and Foundational Services.  What is cool is if you are on the Cognos Analytics Authorized User Model of licensing you can deploy both at the same time.

Cloud Pak for Data Base Services Not Included in Cartridge

Note Cloud Pak for Data Base Services are not included with a Cartridge.  Cloud Pak for Data Base Services require additional VPC licensing (we will blog on that later).  But if you are an existing Cognos client and choose to modernize your Cognos licenses, you will get a ration of free entitlements as part of your trade-up. 

Summary of IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Containers

So now you know the answer to, “What are IBM Cognos Cloud Pak for Data Containers?”  They are like a suitcase for your Cognos software.  But I am sure your questions don’t end there.  I’ll be the first to admit this stuff can get confusing, but know you are not alone!  Lodestar Solutions is here to help!  Have a Cognos licensing question?  Want to understand IBM’s Cognos Modernization program?  Just email us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com and we are happy to help.  

Lodestar posts new blogs every week on relevant IBM Cognos topics. Be sure to website to check them out! We also have a YouTube Channel where we share valuable tools and how to's. 

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

IBM Cognos Support Renewals Consolidated With Other IT Assets?

Should We Consolidate IBM Cognos Support Renewals With Other IT Assets?

Consolidating IBM Cognos Support Renewals with Other IT Assets

August 22, 2019

I pause for a moment and share with him my thoughts and a true client story about an organization that went with an IT asset consolidation firm for their IBM Cognos licenses.   As we parted ways, I realized all IBM Cognos clients should hear this story, so here it is…

Procurement may save you money on Cognos but could expose you to failing an audit.

Many of our larger IBM Cognos clients look to procurement to lead their purchasing decisions. Procurement is often focused on one thing: the best price. But here’s a true story of a client whose procurement team took over negotiating their IBM Cognos licenses and why procurement may save you a little money on your Cognos support renewals but could expose you to failing an IBM audit.

Cognos Client Story

For many years Lodestar Solutions worked with a client we will call ABC Corp to protect the innocent.  Lodestar worked with ABC’s Cognos BI and TM1 teams providing implementation and training services, as well as helping them get the best deal on their purchase of additional licenses and support.  The client grew their license usage every year and then they hit the point where they were no longer in the optimal licensing model. 

So, Lodestar explained their options and helped negotiate a more economical licensing model that addressed their long-term growth. We moved them from an authorized users licensing model to a processor value unit (PVU) licensing model where they paid for server cores instead of users. For more information on this licensing model see our blog - What the Heck is an IBM PVU?

Then, one day ABC’s procurement stepped in and told the BI and TM1 teams they would not be renewing their licenses with Lodestar. They were moving to what they called a consolidator, a company that would handle all ABC’s software renewals for many software brands. The move was intended to save money and was supported by the CFO.  

Risk of Moving to a Consolidator​

When ABC moved all their renewals and IBM licensing purchases to the consolidator, Lodestar warned the client.

“Typically, big consolidators can save a few percentages by pushing paper but are not well versed in IBM licensing changes or configuration recommendations.” 

Lodestar explained that clients that buy IBM Licensing and Cognos support renewals from Lodestar Solutions benefit from receiving a free annual license checkup. In the check up we educate clients on new functionality, discuss supported versions, explain licensing changes and tell them where the landmines may be. We discuss the client’s specific challenges and help them address them.  Clients also get access to our knowledgeable staff throughout the year for licensing questions as well as invitation to our unique workshops.

The Cognos team tried hard to keep Lodestar engaged but procurement was adamant about moving to another vendor for the Cognos support renewals and licenses.  The BI and TM1 teams at ABC stayed engaged with Lodestar for services.

The Audit

About 3 years later, Lodestar identified a licensing change by IBM that we believed would negatively impact ABC and could make them fail an audit. At that time, ABC disclosed that 1 year earlier they had been audited by IBM and that they were way out of compliance and given a $750,000 bill. The Cognos team was terrified that they may fail another audit given Lodestar’s insight on the IBM license change.  The CIO would blow a gasket if they failed again. 

Failed IBM Audit

The cause of their previous failed audit was that they had upgraded their virtual environment and in doing so added more cores and more powerful servers.  If you believe you may be at risk because you upgraded your virtual environment you should contact us for a checkup at Services@lodestarsolutions.com and check out these blogs to assess your risk.

ABC’s consolidator like many paper pushing IBM renewal firms did not know what questions to ask and never did an annual review. So they never advised them that they were over deployed. The result is the client received a very hefty bill from the consolidator/IBM to get compliant.

IBM Licensing Change

When Lodestar identified the changes that IBM was making in the Enterprise Planning Contributor licenses, we reached out to every client we knew that at one time had the older Enterprise Planning product and had migrated to TM1 because they were the clients at risk. (For more information on the Enterprise Planning Contributor changes see IBM’s withdrawal notice and our video on the topic for more information.)

Replacement Program Information

Armed with the new information about the IBM licensing changes that would negatively impact them if they did not adjust some of their licenses, the Cognos team was able to argue that the consolidators may be saving them a little on the annual renewal but it was costing them greatly in the long run. Now, the client’s Cognos team benefits from working with Lodestar on their Cognos Support renewals and benefits from an annual renewal that asks the right questions. 

Moral of the story

Procurement’s job is often to beat up the vendors to save money, but you must ask yourself what the long-term cost is?  Are your Cognos vendors going to go the extra mile for you when there is no loyalty from your procurement team?  Are they going to find resources late on a Friday night before a holiday weekend to help you when your system crashes?

Call to Action:

If you are exploring engaging a firm that claims consolidating your IBM Cognos Support Renewals with other IT assets, do your homework.  How knowledgeable are they on the ever changing IBM licensing rules?  Who will manage your account?  Will they know the functionality of the software and educate you on new releases?  Or will it be someone that just pushes paper?

At Lodestar Solutions, our clients know we go to bat for them.  We are always asking on their behalf is there a better licensing model that will save the client money while addressing their growth?  And proactively reaching out to them when IBM licensing changes occur.  If you are looking for a partner that is committed to your success and saving you money, contact us at Sales@lodestarsolutions.com.  We would be happy to perform an annual IBM Cognos support renewal and license checkup and provide you a competitive quote for your renewal or licensing needs. 813-415-2910.

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.

Will IBM’s RSVP Pricing Program Save Me Money on Cognos Licensing and Support?


Recently, an IBM Cognos client reached out to me because IBM sent him an Improved Relationship SVP Level Notification letter. He asked me, “What the heck is this, and will IBM’s RSVP pricing program save me money on Cognos licensing and support?”   Here are the details:

What is the RSVP (Relationship Suggested Value Price) Program:

IBM created the Relationship Suggested Value Price (RSVP) Program to reward clients that spend more money with IBM.  Consider it like the frequent buyer discount program.  Clients must be signed up with an IBM Passport Advantage (PA) Agreement to qualify.


Once you are in the program, IBM assigns points based on your initial spend with IBM.  They do reassess your level periodically.  Note that ‘spend’ is your total IBM spend under that Passport Advantage (PA) Agreement so it includes licenses and support fees, not just your Cognos spend.  Depending on the points you earn, clients are assigned a pricing level.  The level determines the list price for IBM licensing.  Clients that have larger purchases often negotiate ‘special bid’ discounts for even more savings.

Here is a sample of the levels and points needed to qualify for the various levels.
IIBM’s RSVP Pricing Program
Application for IBM Cognos Clients:

Are you thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know about this.” It sounds great, right?  But sorry, there’s a catch for IBM Cognos Analytics (BI) and IBM Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1) clients.  For almost all Cognos part numbers, the list price is the same regardless of the level you are at.  Therefore, your pricing level doesn’t affect your IBM Cognos license pricing.

Cognos Pricing Example:

An IBM Cognos Analytics User Authorized User License with 1 year of support is the same price for all levels except Government and Education (Not shown on chart below). This is true for most of the parts within the analytics group. 

IBM’s RSVP Pricing Program
There is a benefit to IBM Cognos Clients? 

If you buy IBM Cognos licenses or support renewals from IBM direct or a business partner like Lodestar Solutions, it could help you attain a higher pricing level which could impact your pricing on other IBM products.  But you must be on an IBM Passport Advantage contract to qualify for the RSVP programs.   IBM Passport Advantage Express accounts don’t qualify for the program. (Check back here on June 19 for the link to Differences in Passport Advantage Accounts blog).  If you have a Passport Advantage contract, IBM automatically calculates your level.  If you have multiple Passport Advantage contract numbers, which sometimes happens with mergers, you might want to consolidate your accounts, so you get the benefit of the combined spend. Check out this blog on Consolidating your support renewal bills

So, the answer to “Will IBM’s RSVP pricing program save me money on Cognos licensing and support?” is NO probably not, but it will help you save money on other IBM products.  

If you are looking to purchase IBM Cognos licenses, support or have questions about consolidating your IBM passport advantage (PA) accounts, contact us at sales@lodestarsolutions. We would be happy to review your specific case.

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.

Consolidating Your IBM Cognos Support Bills


Are you receiving multiple IBM Cognos support bills throughout the year?  You might want to consider consolidating your IBM Cognos support bills by merging your agreements to a single Passport Advantage site.  Besides getting a single bill on your anniversary date, if you buy other products from IBM you may get the benefit of IBM’s Relationship Suggested Value Price (RSVP) Program. The Relationship Suggested Value Price (RSVP) Program rewards clients that spend more money with IBM.  Consider it like the frequent buyer discount program.  ​​Click here more information on the RSVP Program. ​​​

Why Do I Have Multiple Cognos Support Bills?
IBM Cognos support bills

Typically, this happens when you purchased your licenses at various times and did so under the Passport Advantage Express program.  You see, IBM has two ways to buy IBM Cognos licenses, either with their Passport Advantage Express program or the Passport Advantage program. The basic difference is the Passport Advantage Express program is transaction based and the Passport Advantage program is relationship based and allows for multiple sites to roll up to a single Passport Advantage account.  If you want to understand the differences, check out our blog. When you buy additional IBM Cognos licenses under the Passport Advantage Program, IBM will typically co-terminate your support renewal with your existing licenses after the first year. This results in one bill for all the licenses on the site.

How to Move IBM Cognos Licenses

You can move your IBM Cognos licenses and entitlements from one site to another site within your Enterprise or you can move them from a Passport Advantage Express site to a Passport Advantage site. 

  • If you have a Passport Advantage Express site or want a new Passport Advantage site you must first establish the Passport Advantage site. You should make sure you don’t already have a Passport Advantage Agreement with IBM before setting up a new one, so you maximize your savings. Check out this blog on the RSVP ProgramYour Lodestar Solutions or IBM representative should be able answer any questions.  Contact us at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com  Here’s the link to the online system. 
  • Your Passport Advantage Primary Contact for the “source” site (this is the site currently possessing the licenses) must complete a Passport Advantage/Passport Advantage Express License Transfer Request Form. Lodestar Solutions or your IBM representative can provide you this form. Contact us at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com     
  • The Primary Contact for the Target Site must agree to the transfer.  For information on Primary contact, click here.  

So, now you know the process but you don’t have to go it alone!  Our support renewal experts are here to guide you. Just contact renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and we’ll get you started.