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2009: Volume 2, Article 4

After people, information is perhaps the most valuable asset within an enterprise, and one that requires thoughtful management to truly realize its worth. However, for many companies today, quickly extracting meaning from data is becoming almost impossible because information resides in so many forms and is stored in so many different formats.

Now, imagine a company could look at all this information at once. Spot hidden trends before they occur. Recognize opportunities before they knock. That's the power of business intelligence (BI). That's IBM and Cognos.

IBM's acquisition of Cognos in January 2008 officially soldified an already longstanding business partnership of 15 years with deep relationships across our hardware, software and services divisions. As a result, many of our offerings are already integrated. Our joint customers include the New York Police Department, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, Bayer UK and MetLife.

Together, IBM and Cognos will become the leading provider of business intelligence and performance management technology and services, with the broadest range of expertise to help our clients expand the value of their information, optimize their business processes and maximize performance across the enterprise.

Meet some of IBM's Cognos consultants, and learn what they have gained from joining IBM's outstanding team.

John T., Account Executive, Cognos/IBM Americas

Picture of Maddy

Studies: College degree: State University of New York, College at Oneonta, BA, Political Science and Theater

1. How long have you worked for IBM?

It's been less than a year now.

2. What does your current role involve?

Selling IBM Cognos Brand Business Intelligence and Performance Management solutions to the Healthcare, Insurance and Travel & Transportation vertical markets in New York City and New Jersey.

3. Describe a typical work day at IBM.

Most of my day is spent collaborating with customers, as well as with IBM colleagues, to identify opportunities to provide value with the Cognos brand, along with the associated time spent researching the requisite resources to deliver solutions that meet those needs. My activities span the gamut from face-to-face meetings with clients (my favorite) to phone, email and/or on-line communications.

4. What has the training and career development been like?

I've been impressed with the breadth of training and professional development tools available to IBMers. Tools such as "Know Your Industry" have enabled me to jump start my understanding of the vertical markets that I've been assigned to focus on, which has accelerated my ability to provide value to those customers. IBM's Personal Business Commitment (PBC) process ensures that I periodically take some time to assess my career path and align my personal goals with same.

5. What have you learned about IBM that you didn't know before working here?

I did not know that many IBMers work remotely, which is my preference. I had become accustomed to telecommuting with my previous employer, so doing so at IBM helped ease my transition, and our many Mobility Centers in Metro New York provide additional "brick and mortar" resources that I did not have available to me previously.

6. Have you had an opportunity to make an impact early in your IBM career?

Not only have I had that opportunity, but I feel it is expected of me and all IBMers to do so. Per the core IBM values, each of us has a personal responsibility to pursue innovation that matters to ensure every client's success, and my manager has encouraged me to leverage my professional experience and skills in order to do so.

7. Why do you chose to work in Cognos in IBM and not anywhere else?

Given that the previous decade of my career was spent working for channel partners selling ERP solutions, I wanted to work directly with a world-class company that published its own software, and while my approach over that time often highlighted the value of business intelligence and performance management, I wanted to offer an industry-standard platform for doing so, rather than a few of those tools. Needless to say, IBM's Cognos brand ideally met both of those prerequisites.

8. What other roles have you had since you joined IBM?

None to date. So far, my "day job" has been keeping me busy enough.

Maddy K., Information Developer, Cognos/IBM Canada

Picture of Maddy

Studies: Algonquin College, Technical Writer Graduate Certificate

1. How long have you worked for IBM?

It's been less than a year now. I started at Cognos in February and we were acquired by IBM on May 5, 2008.

2. What does your current role involve?

I co-write the user guides for "Report Studio," which is part of the IBM Cognos 8 offering.

3. Describe a typical work day at IBM.

Working at IBM isn't just about doing your "real job." Of course, you're responsible for your deliverables, but there is an incredible amount of encouragement to participate in other projects. That's how I got involved in social software; once you start exploring one path, you meet like-minded colleagues who recommend other projects and tools, and it just snowballs from there. It's like being inside the world's largest library of cool software with an unlimited library card!

4. What has the training and career development been like?

The training during our acquisition was fast and furious, but useful. There are a lot of resources out there to help us new hires get acclimated. That's one of the reasons I started my internal IBM blog, actually, to share some of the new information I was finding. And I found a mentor early on who has been helping me figure out where my career can go at IBM, so that's been really helpful.

5. What have you learned about IBM that you didn't know before working here?

That people are so helpful and creative. I can't believe the amount of innovation going on here. When I tell my mom about my job and the colleagues I've met at IBM, she says she pictures me working in a laboratory surrounded by creative geniuses, which is not so far from the truth. I'm also consistently amazed at how helpful people are. Being a new hire, I've had lots of questions about using all the new tools, and the experts at IBM are always kind and generous with their time.

6. Have you had an opportunity to make an impact early in your IBM career?

I think so. We had some downtime between releases, and I used that time to learn as much as I could about social software. Now I have a pretty solid internal network of people to talk to. I'm a BlueIQ Ambassador, a Beehive, BlogCentral, and BlueTwit regular, and I'm teaching my colleagues here how to use these tools to work smarter and faster.

7. Why do you choose to work in Cognos in IBM and not anywhere else?

Being part of a big company like IBM gives me a lot of freedom. I know that there are a lot of positions even just within our department, which means lots of opportunity to move around if that's what I want in the future. And finding out that IBM is such an innovative, forward-thinking company has made my future here all the more promising.

8. What other roles have you had since you joined IBM?

None, yet.

Torben N., Presales Manager, Cognos/IBM Denmark

Picture of Torben

Studies: Aarhus University, MSc, Economics and Management

1. How long have you worked for IBM?

I've been at IBM for 2 months, 2 ½ years in Cognos before it was bought by IBM.

2. What does your current role involve?

I am Presales manager for the Danish Cognos presales team, and solution specialist within the Business Intelligence area.

3. Describe a typical work day at IBM.

Usually includes follow up on current sales activities as well as customer presentations, meetings with sales reps, knowledge gathering, community calls and researching Cognos value propositions.

4. What has the training and career development been like?

A bit overwhelming, especially since I came from a small company with a few options and programs. At IBM, I suddenly had thousands of options available. I definitely required some guidance.

5. What have you learned about IBM that you didn't know before working here?

That it is actually possible to work in a company with nearly 400,000 employees. People always worry about the number of processes involved, but working in IBM has showed me that the system can work.

6. Have you had an opportunity to make an impact early in your IBM career?

Yes. I think that the culture is been very open when it comes to knowledge sharing. I enjoy helping others learn more about my expertise.

7. Why do you chose to work in Cognos in IBM and not anywhere else?

The products/solutions are the best in the industry, the people around the products are great, and it's very rewarding to work with vendors using top-of-the-line technology.

8. What other roles have you had since you joined IBM?

None.

Pamela B., Program Director for Product Management, BI Analysis, Cognos/IBM Canada

Studies: BA/MBA in Business, The Richard Ivey School of Business

1. How long have you worked for IBM?

6 years.

2. What does your current role involve?

Understanding the market and client requirements for analytics, and always trying to come up with new product strategies to meet requirements that create new revenue streams.

3. Describe a typical work day at IBM.

I'm based in Ottawa, Canada. My days usually consist of speaking with customers and sales teams as well as different account teams, industry analysts, and product management professionals. It's important because we always need to have a 360 degree perspective, that includes internal and external viewpoints, in order to effectively build business cases, create revenue models, and ultimately, new product initiatives.

4. What has the training and career development been like?

The introduction to IBM was very helpful in the transition. I learned a good deal about IBM' overall philosophy. I also discovered that was IBM founded in Canada.

5. What have you learned about IBM that you didn't know before working here?

It was great to realize that IBM's external reputation of "stuffy, blue suits" is not true. The company is highly flexible and dynamic, with a lot of opportunities for career progression.

6. Have you had an opportunity to make an impact early in your IBM career?

I've lead new product initiatives and also seen product successes with clients.

7. Why do you chose to work in Cognos in IBM and not anywhere else?

IBM provides the best opportunities for me in terms of my desire to work in organization that truly utilizes technology to meet business needs and reach global customers. I also enjoy working with the diversity of clients. The brain power here is incredible.

8. What other roles have you had since you joined IBM?

I've been in a range of roles in Cognos BI Product Management.

Daniel D., Segment Manager for Cognos/IBM Latin America, Cognos/IBM Columbia

Picture of Daniel

1. How long have you worked for IBM?

I have been working for IBM for the last 13 years. I held several positions at Software Group, including those with management duties.

2. What does your current role involve?

On January 1st 2009, IBM decided to create a Cognos organization for Latin America to improve our ability to get into that market, and to leverage business opportunities in the region. As Lead for the new Latin America segment, I am responsible for ensuring client success with Cognos solutions, as well as achieving IBM business goals, and developing an organization of highly skilled, talented people.

3. Describe a typical work day at IBM.

It is hard to define any day at IBM as "typical," since you may need to be ready to react quickly to unexpected situations. But overall, I take care of clients, and oversee business results, as in any sales organization. I also take time to develop my own skills and use my knowledge to innovate within my daily job responsibilities. It only takes one idea to make a huge difference for myself, my peers and my clients.

4. What has the training and career development been like?

IBM provides multiple opportunities to learn and to develop a career for everyone. It is every IBMer's responsibility to take advantage of the many tools provided for skills development and career advancement within the company. In addition, being that IBM is a Globally Integrated company, employees also have the chance to learn from multiple countries, cultures and experiences worldwide.

5. What have you learned about IBM that you didn't know before working here?

Once you join IBM, you truly understand why it is considered the leading technology services company in the world. You become part of an innovative team that is always looking into the future; working on how to help clients, their businesses, and society in general by fostering a smarter planet through the use of cutting edge solutions and technologies. In addition, you realize you have truly become a part of IBM's global community - interacting with a wide range of people around the world who are all working together to realize IBM's overall goals.

Cognos opportunities

Are you an IT professional who has:

  • Experience selling Business Intelligence and Performance Management solutions to a variety of markets?
  • Functional or Technical Skills in the implementation or integration of Business Intelligence and Performance Management solutions?

Take a look at what IBM offers. You could be our next great hire. Apply now. Keyword: Cognos

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