Cognos Shores Up its BPM Stack with Frango Acquisition

Cognos taps the services of a Swedish consolidation and financial reporting specialist to strengthen its BPM stack

As it has done so often before, Cognos Inc. has tapped the services of an outside company to shore up its own business performance management (BPM)—or corporate performance management (CPM), in Cognos-speak—credentials.

Last week, Cognos bought Frango, a Stockholm-based vendor that specializes in consolidation and financial reporting offerings. Frango joins a long line of Cognos acquisitions: Over the last 20 months, Toronto-based Cognos has made no less than four CPM-related acquisitions, starting with the former Adaytum, a provider of enterprise performance planning solutions, in December of 2002. Earlier this year, Cognos acquired privately-held Softa Group Ltd., a performance management vendor based in the UK, along with the technology assets of privately-held Business Planning Solutions.

Frango, for its part, brings an established and sizeable European customer base to the table: more than 1,300 customers and 230 employees in 16 European and Asian countries.

More than anything else, however, Cognos officials laud Frango’s technology expertise, claiming that the company’s offerings allow Cognos to significantly strengthen its product set with new consolidation and financial reporting solutions. For his part, Mike Schiff, a senior analyst with consultancy Current Analysis, says that this is true—insofar as it enhances Cognos’ overall technology portfolio and ratchets up its European presence.

At the same time, Schiff notes, Cognos will have its work cut out for it—particularly with reassuring its own and Frango’s installed bases. “[Cognos] should also reassure the current Cognos installed base that it intends to augment its offerings with the technology it acquires with Frango, not replace them,” writes Schiff, who notes that the BI giant could find itself competing against some long-time partners in the operational applications space. “Cognos should clarify to partners, particularly operational software vendors, that it remains committed to retaining strong links into all the major operational systems.”

As for Frango’s 230 existing employees, Schiff says that many may want to keep their options open. “According to its latest 10-Q, since acquiring Adaytum Cognos has ‘involuntary separated’ 90 of its approximately 300 employees, and while a single point does not a trend make, it certainly represents a valid sample point that Frango’s employees are likely to consider when determining their own commitment to Cognos,” he concludes.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.