Sybase SA's BIPractice and Cognos SA look set to shake up the local BI landscape with a new technology partnership. Sybase SA has been appointed as a Certified Cognos Partner for the Cognos 8 BI Suite of products.

Cognos SA, MD, David McWilliam, says that all Cognos customers are in the business of managing information in one way or another.
"Our customers have to do a lot of information management to accommodate our product set, which supports all the components of corporate performance management including planning and budgeting, measuring and monitoring, and reporting and analysis and Sybase's BIPractice division can offer complementary information management services in this regard."
He adds that with the combination of Sybase SA's information management expertise, and Cognos' corporate performance planning and management offering, Sybase's BIPractice is in the position to offer a leading, end-to-end BI solution.
"The attraction of the South African partnership is Sybase's established position in the SA market place as an expert in the information management arena and its BIPractice division's proven track record as a provider of the backend infrastructure, as well as information management, BI services, and specialised knowledge," he says. "This can help Cognos customers improve company performance and enhance their technology investments."
The agreement also allows for certification of Sybase SA's BI consultants via the Cognos Academy.
"Internationally, Cognos has a formal technology partnership with Sybase, as globally Sybase is one of the platforms that we have undertaken to work with from an infrastructure and information management point of view," says McWilliam. "Sybase provides a stable and reliable open enterprise architecture with Sybase IQ, a popular analytics database engine and ideal repository for the Cognos tool set."
Sybase CEO ASlanb Cowley adds: "We are committed to developing and maintaining relationships with companies which have a strong foothold within the enterprise information management space, therefore the combination of Cognos with Sybase together make a strong partner model.
"Cognos has a huge deployment base in South Africa and while Sybase SA's BIPractice has all the back end and infrastructure components including the design, data quality, data movement, meta data and data storage, Cognos products live perfectly on top of that to expose that information to the end user base."
He says the Cognos Suite is mature and rich in functionality and well regarded in the market with a large installed base. "The Cognos 8 BI Suite plugs in on top of our BI infrastructure to take advantage of the new wave of BI which focuses on day to day operational reporting
"Our approach is always to take best-of-breed products that have open interfaces," explains Cowley. "The combination of Sybase as information management specialists, together with Cognos' leading performance management solution, means we will be able to meet the distinctive needs of our customers in purchasing and servicing their BI and performance management solutions under one umbrella."
According to both Cowley and McWilliam, customer response to the new partnership has been very positive so far.
"Customers like the fact that they can come to the BIPractice and have a single point of contact for their end-to-end BI requirements and not worry about dealing with maintaining multi vendor relationships," says Cowley. "They can get leading backend and front end products, as well as first and second line support, certified training, consulting and sales."