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March 01, 2007

PowerHouse customers eye new alliance

Migration business picked up during 2006 for several segments of the 3000 community. One group of customers who made plans and began projects: PowerHouse sites, especially those who want to stick with the Cognos language while they make the shift to other platforms.

Speedware's Chris Koppe, director of marketing a frequent presenter at 3000 events, has told customers one of the fastest migrations is a "stick-to-your-fourth generation language." Speedware-to-Speedware success stories quote fast turnarounds. Recently Speedware's migration unit started to migrate Cognos customers with the same strategy.

This Speedware-Cognos alliance announcement prompted concerns from a portion of the PowerHouse customer community. On the PowerHouse mailing list, a few customers said they feared the deal will accelerate Cognos’ detachment from PowerHouse futures.

Robert Edis, an independent PowerHouse consultant, took note of Cognos’ Automated Development Tools (ADT) income dropping out of Cognos’ shareholder reports, along with eliminated or reduced mentions of these ADT tools in Cognos conference presentations, sales force pitches and product lists. He sketched a forecast of PowerHouse futures.

Cognos took the concerns in stride and pledged loyalty — point by point — to a product still earning revenues for the company.

“Business is business,” PowerHouse product manager Bob Deskin said to customers on the mailing list. “Now that [Speedware] are primarily in the migration business, it makes sense since we have many common customers. It's a good partnership."

Edis speculated the Speedware alliance would mean less Cognos effort toward the Cognos Automated Development Tool (ADT) products.

Edis noted the following trends:

1. ADT income no longer included in shareholder reports
2. ADT tools disappear from product list on Cognos Web site
3. ADT tools no longer mentioned by sales people
4. ADT tools no longer included in conference presentations
5. Dramatic slowdown in development/enhancements/new features
6. Deal made with Speedware —once only mentioned by Cognos in disparaging terms — to support ADT tools. Speedware advertising in past put down PowerHouse and encouraged Cognos customers to port PowerHouse apps to "modern" tools (i.e. Java).

My prediction:

7. Development/enhancement work on PowerHouse stopped completely by Cognos
8. Cognos and Speedware announce deal where Cognos sells PowerHouse to Speedware.
9. Speedware takes over support (taking a few of the youngest and most promising ADT developers from Cognos to boot) and license income.
10. Speedware induces PH customers to "modenise" their PowerHouse apps by offering special deals and perhaps increasing annual license fees on PowerHouse.
11. PowerHouse RIP

Edis wondered if his forecast was pessimistic. “Maybe the Cognos-Speedware deal is just a case of ‘if you can't beat them, join them.’ “

Not RIP, but a reply

PowerHouse product manager Deskin noted in reply to Edis concerns thatPowerHouse is healthy product still earning for Cognos:

#1 - True, but then we don't break out any specific product unless we want to highlight major sales (like a new product)
#2 - We have our own Web site @ powerhouse.cognos.com
#3 - We have our own sales people
#4 - A business decision based on attendance
#5 - Not true as can be seen by what's in E. See some of my Supportlink articles.
#6 - Business is business. Now that they are primarily in the migration business, it makes sense since we have many common customers. It's a good partnership.
#7 - Eventually everything comes to an end. But we have a while to go yet.
#8 - #10 - Are you trying to start rumours?
#11 - Not for a long time yet. Too many customers and too much income regardless of who runs the show.

12:06 PM in Migration, Newsmakers, User Reports | Permalink

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