Help Navigating IBM Cognos Support

Help navigating IBM Cognos Support

For those of us who come from the Cognos world and were just getting the hang of how to find answers to the most cryptic error messages known to man, I have news for you.  Forget every trick you learned of navigating the Cognos Support system and welcome to the IBM Super Highway of Information a.k.a.

This is a much needed blog for two reasons:

1. To forewarn any IBM client; DO NOT WAIT on getting your ID setup until you have a production down issue. This process takes about 5 business days to complete.

2. Provide you the quick and dirty steps to get setup painlessly and quickly (relatively speaking).

First, where do you start?  Here is a tip. This email address is the save all, end all.  This email address is who you contact if you don’t know what your Site ID is, who your primary user is and other somewhat pressing issues.  Keep this in a safe place.

This is what you will need:

1. Your IBM Customer Number (ICN)
2. The name of your primary account holder
3. Patience, my friend, patience

I don’t have my ICN  or IBM Customer Number, what do I do?
You can handle this two ways, you can send out smoke signals for your IBM rep or you can email  I would suggest the latter.

I also have no idea who my primary account holder is!
This was the main person that was setup with Cognos support when you purchased the software.  In many cases, that person may have moved on to another position or company.  Again if you are unsure, email and inquire who this person may be.

With those three things in hand, you can now get started.

1. Login to many of the IBM pages and register for a new profile. Your ID has to be your email address.  Here is the link.

You will setup your ID, which will be your email address.  The email address MUST be the primary account holder.  If that person is no longer with the company, you must update that information FIRST; otherwise all of this will be in vain.  Contact the email listed above to change the primary contact information.

Choose a password and secret security question.

Within 24 hours you should receive an email stating your ID has been activated.  Check your spam/junk email folder, sometimes IBM gets thrown in there.

Once you get that email, login with your new ID (Email) and confirm the Authorized User. You will have to do this the first time for the Authorized User.  After that, you can repeat this process for other contacts.  Also, if you work with a Business Partner that helps you out with Technical/Support related issues, I strongly suggest you grant them access as well.  For step by step instructions on how to complete this, please email

Once the Authorized User is confirmed, you will need to link your account as an AUTHORIZED USER to your ICN (IBM Customer Number – 9 digit account number) account.It takes about 2 days to link your ID to your ICN.  Once that is done, you should be good to go.

There is a whole website in IBM dedicated to this process. It provides insight on how to open a new service request, how to search errors, etc.  It should only take about 15 minutes to glance through it but it should help somewhat with the transition.  You can find the guide here.

To access Cognos Support use this link.

A word to the wise, once you find an IBM site bookmark it in case you ever need it again. is a wealth of information, which tends to be a gift and a curse.  When looking for something specific, it is sometimes easier to find it on a Google search than an search. Keep in mind that IBM has several product lines, so always include the word Cognos in your search criterion.

Also, check out our blogs and video archived events.  A recorded webinar will be posted about this and several other processes to make your job and life easier.

Best of luck.  May the force be with you!

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