Next version of Cognos to 'embed' SPSS, and social networking

But next ‘major’ release won’t include a cloud-based service

he next major release of IBM’s flagship business intelligence platform, Cognos, will add social networking features, “embed” predictive analytics features from SPSS Inc., but it won’t include a service delivered via the public cloud, IBM said.

In an interview Tuesday, Rob Ashe, general manager of IBM’s Business Intelligence and Performance Management division, said that IBM is “exploring opportunities to deliver a generalized BI service.”

It’s just research at this stage, what we could do in a public cloud environment," he said.

IBM hasn’t decided on a name for the next major release, said a spokeswoman, though she added that “it will not be an 8.x upgrade.” Ashe declined to disclose a target release date, but said it will include improvements in several areas:

* Easing the import of data, especially unstructured data, into Cognos;
* Social networking features to "allow workers to collaborate around analytics," Ashe said. This would involve technology from Lotus Connections that would "fit inside the Cognos environment," he said.
* The "embedding" of features from another IBM acquisition, SPSS, into Cognos. For example, "someone inside Cognos will, with a click of a button, be able to apply an SPSS algorithm or statistical model to the same Cognos report. You won't have go to go outside of Cognos," Ashe said. SPSS will eventually be "integrated across the Cognos platform," he said, from Cognos' planning modules to the workforce performance solution.

Ashe said no products have been cut due to the merger of SPSS with the former Cognos.

On the cloud area, Ashe said that enterprises are already using Cognos in private cloud deployments. Independent software vendors that are IBM partners, such as Concur, are offering cloud-based services that use Cognos on the back end.

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