IBM yesterday launched IBM Cognos Express, a business intelligence and planning solution specifically designed and priced for mid-sized clients. Deployed in a matter of hours, the solution offers clients a low-cost and low-risk, integrated approach to planning, analyzing and reporting performance, identifying trends and, ultimately, helping businesses make smarter business decisions, the company says.

A recent IBM Global CIO Study involving 2,500 CIOs from 78 countries found that 83% of mid-market executives ranked “business intelligence and analytics” as their top priority for improving competitiveness and cutting costs. Faced with limited budgets and overstretched IT resources, mid-sized organizations are seeking faster and more affordable analytics solutions that can help them cope with information overload.

The new IBM Cognos Express solution is designed to provide pre-configured business analytics and planning capabilities in a single offering, thereby enabling mid-market executives to quickly launch their business analytics strategy, and then evolve it as their needs grow. The solution plugs into an organization’s existing infrastructure, and can be up and running in a few hours. New capabilities can then be added over time as business requirements change. The new solution also offers a centralized, Web-based console that manages all administrative aspects of installation, deployment and ongoing management, minimizing the need for IT staff assistance.

“Midsized organizations are the engines that will lead the global economy back to growth and prosperity. Even in today’s unsettled landscape, midsized companies are striving to better harness their information so they can continue to innovate and grow,” said Ben Plummer, director of IBM’s Cognos mid-market business unit. "We are committed to helping our mid-market clients harness the power of analytics with immediate, less-costly access to business insights, with the predictive abilities they need to make better, sharper, timelier decisions.”

Through its self-service environment, IBM adds that the solution allows clients to easily build reports, analyses, dashboards and multi-dimensional plans on their own, saving time and ensuring they remain responsive to competitive pressures. It also comes with an in-memory analytics server that allows clients to centrally manage data, business rules, and calculations.

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