BI center for Asia-Pacific region launched in Australia

Business intelligence vendor Cognos Wednesday opened an innovation center in Australia to service customers in the Asia Pacific region.

The innovation center will localize the company’s BI services for 50 customers in Australia and New Zealand. Cognos opened its first innovation center in Stockholm in 2004 and opened another last year in Minnesota.

Prior to the opening customers accessed the centers via lengthy access points and multiple time zones.

The research facility will employ one full-time member and provide a forum for enterprise customers to access industry peers, analysts and ‘performance blueprints’, which are specific process and policy enhancement models sourced from clients. Suncorp group budgeting and forecasting manager John Herrmann said it will use the center’s network of peers and analysts to develop its own BI models.

“We will use the [center] to develop best practice concepts by working with other organizations with similar issues and challenges,” Herrmann said. “This will lead to the development of processes and models to help fast-track our vision for a totally integrated strategic planning and budget model.”

Deloitte enterprise applications performance management leader Ray Pineda said his firm developed a blueprint with Cognos by using its knowledge of financial risk, audit and control objectives and collated input from multiple clients and experts.

“This joint work represents leading practices compiled from related engagements with hundreds of clients,” Pineda said. “This blueprint provides a roadmap for customers that include necessary process and application controls to implement a consolidation system.”

Cognos global innovation center director Jeff Holker said while the blueprints are formed on enterprise experience, privacy is not a concern as identifiable information is removed.

“The blueprints are torn back to grassroots to protect company information or ‘dirty laundry’ so they end up hard templates, rather than case studies,” Holker said. “Companies enjoy contributing to blueprints, because they can create a focus of attention for problem areas in their industry.”

He said both the innovation center, which has 1000 global members, and blueprint concepts are unique, noting access to the facility is free of charge.

Cognos innovation center advisors include Beyond Budgeting, the Hackett Group, IBM, Palladium Group and Sonax who assist via roundtables, one-on-one workshops, and conferences.

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