Cognos has taken a swipe at its rivals by claiming that its strategic partnership with Microsoft gives it a clear advantage when it comes to recruiting additional partners.
The business information software group insisted it was in a better position than its competitors Business Objects, Hyperion and Oracle, as it released details of a tool which enhances the reporting capabilities of its key PowerPlay and Impromptu software.
Peter Weston, marketing manager at Cognos UK, said the company had been leveraging its strategic position with the software giant since the launch of SQL Server 7 in October last year and, as a result, had sought to recruit MCSPs that wanted to develop their data warehouse business.
Weston said: 'In addition to our distribution and partnership channel models, we are finding that partnerships with MCSPs are an increasingly important part of our business. It is a very complex relationship because these partners are not resellers. We think of them as builders who don't supply their own bricks.
'A sub-set of Microsoft partners have shown an interest in data warehousing using SQL Server 7, and we wanted to identify who they are so we could expose them to Cognos,' he added.
Weston said Microsoft was favoured over other database vendors such as Oracle and IBM because there was less overlap. 'We are compatible with all platforms, but we will only use Oracle at the customer's behest, and IBM always wants the whole market so there is too much competition.'
Rob Zalums, UK managing director of Cognos, denied that the alliance meant Cognos was too close to Microsoft. 'We do need to define the grey areas and let customers know where Microsoft stops and we start, but if we don't stop innovating, Microsoft will be eating our lunch tomorrow.'
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