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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com.