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Wed 8 Aug 2007 03:51 PM

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BSG overhauls Middle East strategy

Business intelligence software provider swaps Cognos-focused model for vendor-neutral approach.

One of the region's leading business intelligence (BI) software providers has ditched its Cognos-focused model in favour of a vendor-neutral approach. Business Systems Group (BSG), which has worked with Cognos for the past 18 months, will now offer solutions from several other vendors after launching a Business Intelligence Centre of Excellence in the Middle East.

BSG believes the centre will allow it to provide a broader spectrum of professional services to its customers, including consultancy, implementation, platform administration and configuration, performance tuning and training services.

Raheel Khan, regional manager at BSG, insists the repositioning of its model will give the 20-strong company an additional focus on the mission critical areas of strategy, process, technology and metrics. "This announcement will help bring together thought leaders, strategists, development personnel, industry domain experts, and accomplished practitioners of BI and performance management under one roof," he explained.

BSG has worked exclusively with both Cognos and its arch rival Business Objects since its inception 12 years ago, but believes the policy of working with just one specific brand has had its day. "Now at this point we realise we need to be vendor-independent because we are still getting enquiries for Business Objects services and implementations - and other software enquiries - for which we have to say no because we are doing Cognos," said Khan. "So we decided to take a vendor-independent route because we have the expertise in Cognos, Business Objects and now with Oracle because we have partnered with them as well."

Khan says Cognos was informed of its intentions last month and stresses BSG's commitment to maintaining the relationship: "In fact, next week we have a meeting with them to discuss the way forward because we are still the only authorised training centre for the entire Middle East for Cognos. We still have the skill set, the trainers and the training centre fully equipped so we will be talking to them about continuing that. We will continue as a training centre irrespective, but if they want us to carry the authorised training brand then we are happy to do that," said Khan.

With business intelligence and performance management software deployments becoming increasingly complex, BSG is confident that its centre of excellence will help customers significantly reduce their risk and improve their return on BI deployments projects.

BSG says the centre will be manned by experienced and high performance teams that can provide insight, guidance and services in the data management, business intelligence and data warehousing disciplines through a proven set of best practices. Its employees are certified in one or more technology products from vendors such as Oracle, Business Objects, Cognos and Informatica.

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