Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Microsoft Case Studies: Microsoft BI vs IBM Cognos

Here are links and extracts for a handful of Microsoft Case Studies where PerformancePoint was selected over Cognos.  I know there are many many more such stories, but these are well-documented anyway...

Community Health Networks
Overcoming Cognos

GPX Tires
To help find a new BI solution, the company enlisted the help of SHEA Business Solutions. The Microsoft Certified Partner conducted a comprehensive review of available database and reporting products (including solutions from Cognos and Business Objects) before determining that Microsoft Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007 was the best fit for GPX’s IT environment.

Tyson Foods
Another problem related to company growth was the challenge of making sense of so much data. Tyson used Cognos as its corporate business intelligence (BI) tool, but the program required a steep learning curve. Many employees beyond the Cognos experts could benefit from BI insights, but the IT staff did not have time to develop custom Cognos analysis cubes and dashboards for every department. In fact, the overworked IT staff had far more project requests than it could handle. It was eager to discover and deploy new technologies that would either shorten development cycles or empower users to create their own solutions without IT help.

In the finance department, having data in analysis cubes improves the company’s ability to audit financial data because information is consistent and more secure. Security is also enhanced by the ability to use Excel Services to hide information from unauthorized users. Financial analysts can publish reports to the intranet versus attaching documents to e-mail messages, which speeds access and reduces e-mail volume. Many analysts are using SQL Server Reporting Services in place of Cognos because it is less expensive and easier to use.

Responsiveness of financial analysis has also improved since Tyson began using Office Excel 2007 with SQL Server Analysis Services. “Performance has been amazing—the Analysis Services reports come back instantaneously, whereas the Oracle and Cognos reports could take anywhere from minutes to hours,” Barron says.

Ste Michelle Winery
Ste. Michelle evaluated business intelligence software from IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, DataJungle (now called Blink Logic), and Oracle but decided that those options were either too expensive or too inflexible to meet its needs over the long term. Instead, the winery turned to a solution based on Microsoft Business Intelligence.

“The Microsoft Business Intelligence solution gave us the best combination of price and performance of any of the options that we considered,” says Alan Stefanin, Database Architect, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We have a best-of-breed strategy, and Microsoft Business Intelligence fit into that perfectly. A significant share of our IT infrastructure is based on Microsoft technologies, and this solution would operate easily with what we already used.”

Ste. Michelle put the Microsoft Business Intelligence solution into production for just half the cost of most of the alternatives that it considered, representing a savings of U.S.$100,000 in the first year, according to Gregg. He attributes the savings to several factors.

The Credit Valley Hospital
The Credit Valley Hospital worked with a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner, Systemgroup Inc., to implement a new business intelligence (BI) solution. After reviewing several options, including tools from Cognos and SAS, Credit Valley decided on Microsoft® Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007 as the most flexible and cost-effective performance management option.

In seeking an automated solution to replace the paper-based system, Swisscom first evaluated business analytics solutions from some of the major management performance software vendors, including IBM Cognos, SAS, and SAP Crystal Reports. Dörfer says: “These vendors supply big toolsets, but most of them have many functions that we simply did not need. We wanted a business intelligence (BI) environment that met all our needs for flexibility and scalability as well as supporting a simple dashboard solution for performance management of our IT systems.”

The Prime Minister's Office
The first step was to select a technology vendor that could deliver a reliable solution in just two months, in time for the next quarter’s performance report. Another critical requirement was to have an Arabic interface for the solution—Arabic is the official language of the UAE. After testing technologies by rival companies such as IBM-owned and Ontario-based Cognos and Finland-based QPR, the PMO chose Microsoft as its project partner.

Lotte Hotel
“The Cognos Powerplay tool, which we used in the past, was too high-priced so it was expensive to upgrade,” says Kim. “SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services had no cost burden and at the same time it was a strong alternative enabling us to easily convert our existing OLAP [online analytical processing] environment, after which we applied reporting tools to create Lotte Hotel’s overall BI [business intelligence] environment.”

some additional Microsoft BI Case Studies



  1. Am I mistaken or Performance point is a non existing product by MS?

    Have you ever considered SiSense? check them out, you will be surprised.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for your information, i am working on cognos , after taking cognos online training @