Your IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics Software Deserves More Than Just a Renewal

IBM Support Renewal and Upgrade Bundle
IBM Support Renewal and Upgrade Bundle
Written by Heather L. Cole, February 16th, 2024

Are you navigating the complexities of renewing your IBM Analytics software directly with IBM, perhaps feeling uncertain about whether you're truly maximizing value? Or maybe you're at a crossroads with your current Cognos or Planning Analytics version, aware that it's inching closer to sunset and will soon be unsupported, leaving you in a quandary about finding the time and resources for an essential upgrade. If this resonates with you, it's time to consider a strategic pivot that could redefine your approach to your software renewal and upgrades. I'm Heather Cole from Lodestar Solutions, and we're here to introduce you to a game-changing opportunity that could alleviate your concerns and elevate your analytics capabilities.

Why Shift from Direct Renewals to Lodestar Solutions?

Choosing Lodestar Solutions for your IBM Analytics renewal isn't just about continuing your software support; it's about entering a partnership that extends far beyond a transactional relationship. Unlike direct renewals with IBM, which might offer a straightforward continuation of services, Lodestar Solutions enriches this experience with a suite of added benefits designed to enhance your team's efficiency, knowledge, and strategic insight into using IBM Analytics tools.

Did you know?

IBM offers clients that renew their Cognos, SPSS, or Planning Analytics licensing at the exact same rates that IBM Gold Partners, like Lodestar Solutions offer.  That’s right.  There are no extra savings by going directly with IBM.  However, there is extra VALUE by working with Lodestar Solutions.

Exclusive Access and Support: 

With Lodestar, every renewal comes with membership to our quarterly live virtual client-only user groups, membership in our monthly Analytic Success Klub to develop advanced soft skills, as well as quarterly webinars focusing on maximizing your analytics initiatives, and all clients get semi-annual reviews to ensure your needs are comprehensively met. Our approach is to not just renew but to empower, educate, and elevate your team's capabilities.

Introducing the Technical Upgrade and Support Renewal Bundle

Recognizing the challenges many face with upgrading to the latest versions of Cognos or Planning Analytics—be it due to technical resource constraints, time limitations, or the technical intricacies of an upgrade process—Lodestar Solutions offers a tailored solution: the Lodestar Solutions’ Upgrade and Support Renewal Bundle. This exclusive package is designed specifically for new clients who are at a critical juncture, needing to upgrade their software to stay current and supported.  We have offered upgrade bundles for years, see our blog, Solving the IBM Cognos Upgrade Challenge.  But now we are bundling our bundle with IBM support renewals.

Seamless Upgrade Experience:

Our Upgrade Bundle is the antidote to upgrade hesitations, providing the expert technical support needed to transition smoothly to the latest software version. This ensures you not only stay ahead of the curve with the most advanced analytics tools but also do so with the assurance of continuous support and guidance.

Fixed Rate:

Lodestar Solutions’ Upgrade Bundles provide your upgrades at a fixed rate, so there are no surprises in the cost if there are unforeseen issues with your upgrade.  Lodestar Solutions carries the risk.

Enhanced Value Proposition:

This bundle goes beyond a simple renewal or upgrade; it's a comprehensive solution that aligns with your strategic goals, offering unparalleled value. You'll benefit from our full suite of renewal advantages while ensuring your software remains cutting-edge, all within a framework designed to be cost-effective and supportive of your organizational needs.

Licensing Review:

As part of the bundle Lodestar will provide a complimentary License review to ensure you will not fail an audit, and identify if there is a more advantageous, economical licensing structure you may benefit from.  Did you know IBM clients should expect to be audited by IBM every 3-4 years?   About IBM Audits  You don’t want to fail an audit!

Make the Strategic Pivot Today

If your organization is directly renewing IBM Analytics software and facing the imminent need to upgrade, Lodestar Solutions' Upgrade and Support Renewal Bundle presents an opportune solution. It's an invitation to not just maintain your software but to strategically enhance it, supported by a partner dedicated to your success.

Let's redefine the way you approach your IBM Analytics software renewal and upgrade. Contact Lodestar Solutions at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com to explore this unique bundle tailored to new clients. 

Act Fast: Your IBM Cognos and Planning Analytics Software Deserves More Than Just a Renewal.  It's time to transition from direct renewals to a partnership that promises more than just continuation but a significant elevation of your analytics capabilities. Join us on this journey and unlock the full potential of your IBM Analytics investment with Lodestar Solutions.

How to Get the Best Value on Your Cognos, TM1 and SPSS Support Renewals

Support Value
Support Value
August 27th, 2020

We all know the best price is not always the best value when shopping and it is true of IBM Support Renewals as well.   If you are looking to renew your IBM Cognos, Planning Analytics (TM1) or SPSS support you want to make sure you get the best value.  You might be thinking, my support is the same if I buy it from IBM or a partner.  But that is not always true! Today we will share secrets on, “How to get the Best Value on your Cognos, TM1 and SPSS Support Renewals.”

IBM Support Renewals Process

Let’s start by reviewing the IBM support renewals process.  When you purchased your initial licensing for Cognos, Tm1 or SPSS you received one year of support with the purchase.  After that you are provided a quote for support from IBM annually. This support allows you access to patches, upgrades and the ability to contact IBM directly for support.  Here’s a link to IBM information about renewing support.

Keep Current on IBM Support

Lodestar Solutions recommends all clients keep current on their support.  It’s not worth the risk of being unsupported.  (See our blog, Consequences of Not Renewing IBM Cognos Support)  And of course we resell IBM support as do many partners.

Partners Sell Support Cheaper Then IBM

In the past, IBM partners like Lodestar Solutions were often able to sell support renewals to clients cheaper then IBM could sell it.  The way we provided aggressive quotes to clients was by giving up some of our margin, which we called the Lodestar client discount.  But what makes Lodestar unique is that in addition to very competitive quotes, Lodestar provides clients with an annual license check-up where we discuss what you own, what changes IBM has made in the licensing and the software and offer recommendations based on your unique situation.

What the Heck Do I Own - Cognos, TMI, SPSS

Our clients have found Lodestar’s IBM Support Renewal checkups and “What the Heck Do I Own” sessions for Cognos BI, Cognos Planning Analytics (TM1), and SPSS very beneficial.  Every client that renews with Lodestar receives a free customized, “What the Heck do I Own” session where we review your licenses and educate you on functionality you did not even know you had.  We talk about your challenges and how other clients have overcome similar challenges.  This is a very beneficial session. It’s not uncommon for clients to tell us the one-hour session taught them more than a week at an IBM event.   Our reviews have saved our clients huge amounts of money.  (Check out our blog: How an IBM Cognos User Reduced Support Costs by $30,000!)

IBM Changes to Renewals August 2020

Well, in August 2020 IBM changed the partner renewal program and significantly reduced the margins that partners could make. As part of the changes IBM decided they wanted to protect partners that sold the renewal last year, by giving what they call the incumbent partner more margin than other partners.  

Personally, I disagree with IBM’s changes because I believe in competition.  Not all partners offer the same value for the renewal.  I believe the recent move may hurt clients as it does not create an incentive for true value adding partners to reach out to help clients that may be confused with their licensing.  If you renewed with a partner last year that just gave a fabulous quote and did not add value, and this year you want help with licensing and clarification as to what you own, you may find that as you reach out to other IBM partners, they may not want to even provide a quote because they can’t make enough money to justify the work.

Case Study for Value Added Renewals

For a long time, Lodestar Solutions had a client that regularly reviewed their licenses with Lodestar.  Then 5 years ago the executives at the client decided to move all their support renewals to what we refer to as a license consolidator.  Consolidators are large companies that can renew almost every software brand and give discounts due to volume.  The client’s goal was to save money. 

The Cognos BI and TM1 power users were very upset as they loved all the value added services they received throughout the year from Lodestar Solutions.  But the decision came from the top.  Lodestar still worked with the client for services but did not provide licensing recommendations or the annual renewal review. 

Then late in 2018 IBM made changes to the licensing of Enterprise Planning Users and the changes put some clients that move to TM1 at risk of failing an audit.  (See Video for details)  So, Lodestar Solutions reached out to all clients we thought were at risk due to the changes, even those that moved to consolidators.  Well, it turns out, the consolidator did not educate the client on IBM license changes or do annual reviews and the client failed an audit a year earlier costing them almost $1 Million.  When we reached out educating them, they may again fail an audit they realized that the consolidator wasn’t saving them money it actually cost them a bundle!  Yes, the client returned to work with Lodestar for their renewals.  But the moral of the story is, the best price is not the best value.

IBM Changes Not in Clients Best Interest

As I stated earlier, I do not believe IBM’s recent changes to their partner renewals program benefits the clients, but it did cause me to look in the mirror and ask myself how Lodestar can add even more value!  You see, I hate telling the clients their “Lodestar client discount” is being significantly reduced.  But, due to IBM changes we cannot offer the same level of discounts, so instead we are upping our value.  Effective September 2020 all clients that renew their support with Lodestar Solutions will receive the following:

Lodestar Support Client Bonuses

  • Annual licensing review to ensure you are in the optimal licensing mix
  • A “What the Heck do I Own” session where we discuss the new functionality of your unique licensing mix
  • A forward-looking discussion to create a roadmap and recommendation of 3rd party tools that might help you realize your vision faster
  • Access to Lodestar’s private client only collection of videos to educate you on new functionality
  • Periodic no charge check-ins to address your challenges
  • Presentation coaching to help you gain the support and resources you need to success
  • Lodestar Virtual Semi-Annual User Group Meetings
  • Invites to Lodestar exclusive events and offers

NEXT STEP TO GET MORE VALUE FOR YOUR IBM SUPPORT RENEWAL

Lodestar Solutions is here to help you get the best value on your Cognos, TM1 and SPSS Support Renewals.  Value is not just price.  When you evaluate who you work with, don’t you want someone that understands licensing, can navigate the IBM red tape and helps you succeed?

If you want to get the most value from your IBM Support renewal, contact us today at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com and set up a time to chat.

The Importance of Renewing License Support with IBM

6/19/2018

The Importance of Renewing License Support with IBM?

Renewing License Support with IBM

I get it.  Your IBM Cognos system has been up and running for years and is stable.  You are not having any issues and all is good.  Then you receive the invoice for renewing license support with IBM.  You think, "why do I need to renew when everything is good"?  The other situation I hear often is based around the end of support on an older version of IBM Cognos software and why should I upgrade when everything is running stable and I have no issues?  Read on to find out why renewing license support with IBM is extremely important!

My IBM Cognos System is Stable, Why Should I  Renew?

You have stable IBM Cognos system and decide to not renew to save a little money.  Then all of a sudden you come in one day and boom - you cant access the system, your report is not running or you cant push the info to excel like normal.  What happened?  You troubleshoot the system with your administrator and you find out that Microsoft has updated the server with a patch or office with a new version.  The good news is that you found the issue and that IBM has a fix for it.  The bad news, you didn't renew support and you no longer have access to updates or fixes from IBM.   What do you do now?   You are left with one choice, to reinstate your software support... at a MUCH higher cost than you would have paid in the normal renewal cycle.

IBM Announced End of Support for My Version, Why Should I Renew?

The same story and reason above apply to this situation.  However, there is another reason to continue support.  You will be entitled to the newest version of the software that is currently in support.  For instance, you are running Cognos BI 10.2.2 (which end of support occurred in April 2018) and your renewal bill is due and you are thinking, "we do not plan to upgrade and everything is running fine or we are reviewing other options, I'm not going to renew".  I strongly caution against thinking it isn't worth renewing for these reasons. Frankly, for any reason other than you plan to move away from that software prior to your renewal bill being due.  The cost for not renewing is FAR greater than paying the support bill for 1 more year.  Speaking of upgrades, check out our Cognos Analytics upgrade page at https://lodestarsolutions.com/ibm-cognos-analytics-upgrade/

If you need to check on the end of support dates for your IBM software please click here and search for you product.  End of support software search

Lodestar Solutions is Here to Help!

If you have any questions at all about support, renewals or anything else related to licensing, please do not hesitate to contact us at renewals@lodestarsolutions.com.  Our team will guide you through the process and ensure you have the right license mix, your renewal is processed properly and we will save you money by going through us!

Want To Save Money? Leverage Lodestar Solutions To Give You A Competitive Quote on Your IBM Software Support Renewal Bill!

November 3, 2019
Am I Paying Too Much?

Have you ever wondered if you are paying too much money for your IBM Cognos Support Renewal Bill? Well, if you are pondering that thought, then the reality is you probably are! Want to save money? Of course, we all do! Do you find yourself wondering what the various licenses on your support bill even mean? IBM tends to change the naming convention of the licenses quite often. This makes it hard to keep up to speed on what you own and what you can actually drop to save money on your next support bill. Due to license renaming and license evolutions, do you know what functionality is included within your Cognos licensing? This is a common question that many of our clients ask us. Not only can we give you a competitive bid on your IBM Cognos Support Renewal Bill, we can help you address all of these other questions along the way!

The beauty of being an IBM reseller of the Cognos portfolio is that Lodestar Solutions can offer you a better rate than going with IBM direct on your support renewal bill. Our firm has been doing this since 2004, so you bet we know the Cognos licensing backwards and forwards. We pride ourselves on staying current on new licensing naming conventions, licenses that are nearing end of life (not going to be supported after a certain date), license evolutions, etc... It is crucial to know what you own and what you don't need to own anymore, that's exactly what we can help you do here at Lodestar, all while saving you $$$!

Lodestar can educate you about these changes in our free, one hour "What The Heck Do I Own Session." This is a comprehensive licensing review where we will dive into what you currently own, what you may be able to drop, and how we can save you money going forward. Plus, we can provide you a No-Obligation quote that includes our Lodestar discount! Again, do you want to save money?! It's a no-brainer!

If saving you money isn't enough, check out our Lodestar Cognos Concierge service offering. You may qualify for this offering when you renew your IBM Cognos support with Lodestar. This gives you the ability to access one of our many, highly skilled Cognos consultants on demand! If you are stuck in a rut and need a question answered, call our Cognos Concierge and they will have the answer for you! 

Reach out to renewals@lodestarsolutions.com if you want to save money on your support renewal bill! We will provide you with a competitive quote on your IBM software renewal. If you are interested in our Lodestar Cognos Concierge service email sales@lodestarsolutions.com.

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