Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Why Cognos 10 now ships with Lotus Connections

Before getting to the news at last night's blogger preview (see here), we had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Schick (Vice President, Social Software) and Mychelle Mollot (Vice President WW Marketing, Business Analytics), who talked about why they feel it is so important that Lotus Connections now ships as part of Cognos 10.

Mychelle began by answering the rhetorical question:  Is this really being demanded or is just a nice feature?  Her response was that there is a strong need for collaboration from an analytics perspective, and that including this type of collaboration is going to fundamentally shift how people make decisions and think about making decisions.  

She described how, today, there is a big latency between when people discover something and when someone else discovers it (or discovers that they know it).  Because people aren't communicating about what they know, others have to proceed down the path of discovery on their own.

The overall result is that by including social software as part of Cognos, we're shortening the time to decision, improving the quality of decisions, and developing a corporate memory.

Jeff highlighted the differences between the Web 1.0 and 2.0 worlds - referencing back to how hard it used to be hard to create (and share) information online (basically, it started with finding someone who knew how to code html... and proceeded from there.)  Now is something that anyone can do.

Look at where we are today from an enterprise use standpoint... Is attaching a document in an e-mail the best way to collaborate on it (as opposed to using a wiki or other tool)?  Jeff spoke about the way that Lotus Connections has been the fastest growing internally-developed software in IBM, which in turn says something about this style of communication.  

By including it as part of Cognos 10's base set of capabilities, people can immediately find out more about the people that are posting reports or analysis, can engage coworkers in an Activity, and in short can most easily take the next step from seeing the results to connecting with others and being able to take action on it.

Jeff said that the teams conceived of this 20 months ago and have been actively working together to bring it out.  He and Mychelle highlighted that Lotus Connections is coming in the box with Cognos 10 - it's not something businesses will need to get separately or pay extra for.