Cognos Adds Slew of New Functions to BI App

Cognos has added a number of new reporting capabilities to the latest version of its Business Intelligence (BI) application, as well as a new stand-alone search engine product that will be standard in future releases.

Other new features in Cognos 8 include the ability to view Cognos 8 BI reports, analyses and metrics within Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel, and a series of Report Packs built to integrate with Siebel, including its back-end applications.

Cognos 8 BI also offers updated certification for SAP NetWeaver, which lets customers access data in the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), deploy Cognos 8 BI on the SAP Web Application Server, and display information through the SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Taken as a whole, the enhancements are designed to help customers better leverage the enterprise investments they have made over the years in such systems as SAP, Siebel and Microsoft, Jason Lovinger, director, ERP market strategy, told CRM Buyer.

The new features — particularly the search engine — were also designed to facilitate user adoption of the business intelligence application within the enterprise, said Paul Hulford, manager, BI product marketing.

Searching for That Report

Called Cognos Go, the browser-based search tool helps users access relevant information residing in reports, analyses, dashboards or metrics.

The enterprise BI landscape is ready for such a search tool, Hulford told CRM Buyer. “Enterprises have spent a lot of time investing in their BI applications. Oftentimes, though, not all of the employees are aware of all the reports that may exist within the system.”

Reaching Out to the Enterprise

Other new features extend users’ reach to data outside of the BI environment. Cognos has enhanced its Office Connection to PowerPoint and Excel with the goal of providing users with centralized control over information, the company said. It also allows users to incorporate new BI data within Microsoft Office documents and share those documents and BI content throughout the organization.

The final piece supporting the new strategy to reach beyond the application’s walls is Cognos 8 Report Packs for Siebel and SAP, which combines historic data from the data warehouse with current data in mySAP (R/3) and Siebel operational systems — all in one report or analysis.

This functionality was not available prior to this release, the firm said. For users, the feature means a more comprehensive report is possible with the added bonus of eliminating the cost of running separate operational reporting projects.

Cognos 8 Report Packs provides predefined content for more than 60 frequently used reports, allowing immediate access to mySAP (R/3) and Siebel data.

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