Cognos Licensing: Get More for Less

Over the past few years, IBM has been restructuring its licenses to offer more flexibility and access to features. You can boost your modernization efforts by upgrading your Cognos Analytics license to Cloud Pak for Data and taking advantage of its bundled structure. Often, you don’t have to pay extra to upgrade—and in the long run, may even reduce your licensing costs.

Including in the Cloud Pak platform are dozens of products including Watson, Db2 Warehouse, DataStage, Master Data Management and Red Hat OpenShift. Leveraging these additional capabilities opens the door to modernization advantages including increased design productivity, multi-cloud flexibility, faster workload execution, and reduced storage and operational costs.

And the best part about Cloud Pak? You don’t have to change your existing environment. You may maintain your on-prem deployment and adopt the new features when and if you have the need.

In this on-demand webinar, learn all about Cloud Pak for Data. You will learn

  • Which additional products are included (and there are many)
  • How you can modernize at your own pace
  • The special discount pricing Senturus offers


Rick Marcuson
IBM Licensing Expert

Rick Marcuson has more than four decades of experience working with IBM software and hardware solutions, both as an employee and as an IBM business partner. Deeply familiar with IBM’s licensing structures and products, he has a unique perspective for how to maximize benefits and create financial efficiencies with IBM.

Machine transcript

Welcome to today’s Senturus Webinar series. This topic today is Cognos Licensing: Get more for less.

We will be using the GoToWebinar control panel to keep this interactive, so feel free to ask questions while the webinars and progress. We don’t reply immediately, will cover either in the Q and A section at the end, or via a written response document that will then post on

The first question we usually get is, can I get a copy of the presentation? And the answer is absolutely. It’s available at

Go to the Resources tab and then select Knowledge Center, or you can just click the link that was posted to the GoToWebinar control panel.

Today’s agenda, we’ll cover some brief introductions.

We’ll do an overview, what discussed Cloud Pak for Data, touch on some pricing, we’ll wrap up with a quick Senturus overview, and some additional resources, and then we’ll turn it over to a live Q&A session.

Joining us today is Rick Marcuson.

Rick has more than four decades of experience working with IBM Software and Hardware Solutions both as an employee and as an IBM business partner Is deeply familiar with IBM’s licensing structures and products and he has a unique perspective for how to maximize benefits and create financial efficiencies within IBM. My name is Todd Schuman, I’ll be your host today.

I run the install upgrading optimization practice here at Senturus.

May recall me from previous webinars, fast and furious 38, Redshifts, Drift, and Harry Potter and the prisoner of bad database design.

All jokes aside. We’ve got a great presentation for you today. So Rick, take it away.

Thank You, Todd. I appreciate the time and the opportunity to address all of you.

Today, I’d like to talk a little bit about licensing with IBM products and some of the things you can do to take advantage of some of the newer technologies that may be available for your environment.

But, there’s a lot of other products, like, websphere, and DB two, and M two, and whatnot.

IBM has a modernization path that goes into what they used to call all the Cloud Pack products.

They’ve changed some of the names, but the dominant thing we’re looking at right now is it is moving causes into Cloud Pak for Data, and we’ll take a look at a lot of things. When we do that, the licensing change that gives you a lot of benefit.

One of the things we’re going to talk a little bit about is deployment.

Most of you have probably deployed all of your applications in Cognos and in a virtualized environment.

Containerization will be touched on a little bit. I’ll show a couple of things on that.

It’s really important, but if you move and modernize from Cognos to Cognos modernization in Cloud Pak for Data, you’re going to see a lot of benefits, and, depending on what your situation is, It could be any of the ones on the right. There’s a lot of them.

There’s even more than I have time put on there, so, what we’re going to look at is taking a look at upgrade eligible products from IBM, Cognos being one of them.

We take a look at what impacts the cost of this product, and what happens when you do an upgrade?

So, the foundation of all of this is, the assumption that you already have Cognos today, either user or viewer or administrator or whatnot.

For that, you pay an annual subscription support fee.

IBM’s current policy is if you are fortunate to be able to the discount mode not paying IBM list price then your SNS will go up with a 10% increase every year until it gets to list price.

And depending on where you started, that may be never, depending on if you were in the 50, 60% range, because you can’t ever get back to list price.

But, if you, we’re in the 15, 20, 30% range. You might already be active, but what we do is we take a look at the cost that you have today.

Then we compare that to what the uplift cost.

Because IBM does charge a fee to go to the upgraded products and we’ll talk about what that is, and what that impact is, and what we can do to help you mitigate that.

But when you do it, you’ll see the solid black line, which was your subscription support now would be replaced by the dotted blue line, which is a standard, normal upgrade.

And that would be what your pricing algorithm looks like.

We look at the uplift. We look at the consolidation that happens when we look at the capacity components of it.

We look at the deployment and some things that might happen there.

And when you do all that, our target is to take all the customers that we work with and show them how they can do the upgrade.

And ended up with the dotted green line, which says that you’re going to pay the same thing that you were paying to do the upgrade as you were paying to be on subscription support.

So we want to take the, the cost equation completely out of the decision, whether or not to go.

And you will see some of the benefits you have if you go. But we want to take money out of being a a roadblock.

Then as we go through this scenario and you take a look at, you might find that things change over the years.

And as you start to use some more of IBM’s tool, if you continue to do exactly as you’re doing now or using the same volumes and velocity you have now you may actually see a substantial reduction in your cost year to year.

And so, that’s our target, to get to the, same as your S and S, and then, hopefully, move to a point where you see that you can actually see some cost changing in your licensing and hardware support.

one of the things I want to point out just very quickly is containerization does end up being a part of this, it doesn’t have to be something you have to do right now.

Some of you may have looked at containerization already, Um, some of you may already be doing some containerization, The important thing is how do you go there and what do you do to try to get support, to do the containerization?

one of the things that’s driving this licensing change for IBM is their acquisition of Red Hat.

And part of Red Hat, which is OpenShift, is IBM’s containerized product.

You can do containerization with your applications today by downloading Docker, downloading Kubernetes, and getting a lot of free shareware open source code.

But when you start to do work with it, there’s a lot of things you have to start thinking about, OK. Some things happen, you need support, you have to buy it, You have to call in and get support.

You might want, and you go into production environment, you want to have that, have everything set up, right.

So there’s a lot of things that will, if you do the download and go to open source, you’re kind of in the blue line, where a lot of, there’s a couple of things that come with the product, but most of the year on your own, to pick it up.

If you move and go to the IBM Red hat OpenShift, then all of those components now are supported and provided by the IBM corporation.

And that takes an awful lot of pressure off of you finding and managing and maintaining all that.

And it also takes the cost out because the cost of red hat OpenShift is included in the upgrade, and so it’s something not to be concerned about, it may, not be something that you do right away, But, when you go, there, it will be a change of life.

So, today, you have Cognos and you have specifically Cognos alone, if you do an upgrade to IBM’s modernization tool.

Then you pick up a lot of other products, the primary pieces, the clawback, for Data Enterprise, which includes some components like that are important to Cognos and analytics, like data virtualization.

The Cognos dashboards, some of the Watson components, etcetera. All of which can be used to help augment and enhance your analytics component. And there’s a lot of work to be done that this is not going to be a function feature function scenario on that.

But you pick up additional licensing.

You also pick up some tooling that helps you do some, some containerization and some things that help move your product around and you have the ability to mix and match products within the set.

So, from a cloud, from a Cognos analytics standpoint, if you do an upgrade, it comes with a lot of components. You modernize to cloud native architecture, although this can be run on prem. It’s not something that needs to be run on a cloud base. You don’t have to run it on AWS, or Azure or IBM Cloud. You can, certainly may, but you don’t have to, this could be run on prem or in the cloud environment. It becomes your choice.

But the licensing allows you to do it. You can modernize, especially if you’re going into containerization at your own pace and you’ll see how IBM supports that from a licensing perspective.

There’s a lot of new functionality that’s available and analytic side from an IBM perspective. They do some Cognos with, with the Business Planning and a few other things.

They’re putting all of their efforts into doing enhancements to the products in the cloud pack or the modernization product sets, so, the standalone products are going to be good.

They’re going to be supported, But, the new things, the kind of, really jazzy things, will help your business, will most likely be added, and they do that by adding additional functionality in new products that set beside it.

Um, one of the things that does happen, it’s really important through this is that it is a licensing change when you go to Cognos modernization.

Today, you have a license agreement with IBM Assess Cognos and, and you have all the detailed says, What you can do within that when you get Cognos?

Modernization is a new license agreement that says, You now have access to under the under the covers of the contract, Cognos and Cloud Pack for data, so, it points you now to two additional documents.

one of which you already have, which is Cognos and the other is called for Data. And, it tells you what you can do and what you can use it for and how it’s measured and all of those things.

But, essentially, you have the ability to continue to use Cognos exactly as you’re using it today in this licensing environment.

You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready to make changes, but when you’re ready to make changes, there’s a lot of new enhancements Come along.

An example that we forever different people talk about is just what happens when you do deployment of cloud of cargo said and Linux on the left side is what you’re used to that value normally Dettori Cognos and the native an installation that today’s standalone product.

If you move into a containerized environment, you see an awful lot of things start to happen that are, that that will really be timesaving and effort savings for you.

Automated upgrades, alerts monitoring, change management, so on and so forth.

So, there’s some things that go into the deployment side, that that, that make your Analytics better and much easier to manage, so that if you start to expand, and, you continue to improve your products, and, your offerings, you can do that in a much better environment.

From a licensing perspective, the conversion gives you two things.

I’m going to show you the example of a customer that’s got 366 are authorized users of Cognos.

When I migrate them, when they change, they go from 360 authorized users. That’s all I have today.

They end up with, For example, if they want to stay just running, as they are now, They keep the 366 authorized users, but they also get access to 34 VPCs of Cloud Pack for data, which provides, as we said before, the, Watson, the data virtualization, and so on and so forth.

And those are, use inside your analytics as much as you want.

Another example would be, when you want to migrate, well, when you do that, they basically give you dual licensing.

So you can start migrating your, bare metal stuff, your existing environment.

To a containerized environment, you don’t have to worry about license counts. You can’t, you get 366 was your account, That’s what you end up with, you don’t have to go by another.

52. we used is your development licenses to do the migration.

So, IBM duplicates, all of those licenses. This is just one example of what you can go do.

But, but, I’ve just got very, very flexible about how they allow you to work with the product and how you have the ability to move forward into a more modernized environment.

So, when we take a look at deployment and this is where money starts to take, take place, OK?

In your typical environment, today, in a virtualized scenario, you tend to stack applications into one virtual environment that have light characteristics.

Might be the version of the software you’re running on, it might be the database, it might be the applications.

But you stack them in individual virtualization virtualize silos because you don’t want to contaminate or interact with another silo of virtualization because of things that could happen. And so, over time, this is a lot better, Have one big machine, running everything in it, but you tend to isolate applications and you tend to load them on in a virtualized environment that’s unique for what you’re working on.

Um, the thing that most customers have found and this is a study that’s been done over time, that that when you do this there’s a tremendous amount of wasted, memory, wasted, CPU, utilization wasted, wouldn’t it.

That’s that.

It hasn’t been as big a deal as it used to be because hardware kept getting less expensive.

In the end, the cost of the resources it takes to manage and maintain all of your different applications and make sure that one doesn’t interfere with another one inappropriately is expensive because the people costs kept going up. And so, it was easier, just to keep throwing more and more hardware at it.

Well, when you move to a containerized environment, that all changes, because what happens is you in, you take the applications, and you move them in, wrap around with a container, and containerize all of the components with that. That application needs to be run, and it stays inside that container.

And it isolates itself from everything else that’s running. So you now have the ability to run at the same way as we showed in the first one where I’ve eight virtualized environments on a 16 core machine. I can still run eight.

Applications are eight containers on a 16 core machine. But I also have the ability since they are isolated, now to start stacking and utilizing my hardware much more efficiently.

So when I start to modernize, I move into containerization, I can now run more on the same amount of hardware, which starts to change my licensing.

If I’m in a VPC environment, which some of you who are in VPCs, authorized users, That doesn’t change so much.

But you get to change the cost of the hardware, because, if all of a sudden, now, I had a 16 core machine that was required to support my applications, I now can run it on a four core machine.

I suddenly has 16 or 14, 12 cores worth the machine available to use for other applications, or other things, or just complete depreciation.

If I want to Excel, bye containerized.

I have the ability to start to use my equipment more efficiently in my software licensing more efficiently.

I can then, once I’ve done that, on the same equipment, or same licensing, start to do things like, maybe, increase my, My Volumes and Velocities by expanding my volume and throughput.

Or, am I have the ability to add new functionality?

So, I have new pieces I want to use, like Watson or, like, virtualization. I don’t, I can use them on the same equipment, and, I don’t have to go out and buy a lot more equipment.

two fields support that.

So, it starts to change the entire financial leverage of what you’re working with.

What I wanted to do now is take you through, real, quick financial analysis example of what it looks like. And, then, we’ll open it up for some questions.

The Cognos it’s important to note that the Cognos Analytics modernization is something that will do a lot of things for you.

So, if we look at the costs, OK, in this example, this is a live customer. A real customer, that they had, the 366 users.

They had eight administrators and 358 authorized users, that would convert into the Modernization Tool, plus 34 VPC to Cloud pack for data.

Now, if, without any of our special sauce put it into it, you’d see that the normal upgrade, because IBM charges a percentage of it from your last paid, in this environment will be costing the customer close to 23% a year.

Now, the value that you get out could easily be far more beneficial than that 23% inquiry.

But even that being said, sometimes it’s really hard to get the budget gods to get some acceptance and get some changes.

So, we go through and put some of our own incentives back into it and we really re analyze it and say, well, how can you do this differently?

And, in this same customer, we’re able to take their Cognos and run it so that it costs the same for their existing product.

Until, actually, because there are some things that IBM does on the up list, every year, you run into a natural, a natural decreased by sometime around the fifth or sixth, fifth, or sixth year.

And in this case, in year number six, you start to see reduction, and it will be less expensive from there on then that, than staying on a subscription sport.

Now, there are other things that can happen. Like, for example, in this particular client, They have a lot of other IBM products and so, when we combine all of those together, and we take a look at how those pieces work and what they can do, you see that there can be some substantial savings are allocated. So, depending on what your situation looks like, our target for everybody on this call is that we would like to show you how to take your Cognos.

Tort doesn’t cost you anything from a licensing perspective to do the modernization And Potentially, you’ll save a lot of money on it, and that’s kind of the scenario that we’d go through. Each customer obviously, is different.

You should should, you should expect the results that we give you after we do the analysis for you, and not before Important things on, how do you get there. It’s a very, very simple process.

You basically get together with, Senturus, we go through and do the analysis for you, we show you what the pricing will be, give you a firm contract or firm, quote.

You sign a quote, and then you go on.

And the nice part about it is, Nothing changes at all, if you don’t want it to change, but it only starts to change when you want it to change.

At the same time, the best part is, you can then do those changes at your convenience, rather than waiting for a renewal date for an upgrade.

OK, so that’s essentially the, licensing story, it’s fairly simple. It’s fairly straightforward.

We’d love to take you through it, an example with your own business, and we’ll talk a little bit about how we can do that.

Thank you so much.

Next slide.

Just a couple of slides, too talk about some Senturus what we do. Senturus provides hundreds of free resources on our website and our Knowledge Center that aren’t comparisons. We had been committed to sharing our expertise for over a decade.

Just go to some slash resources to check them out.

We’ve got some upcoming events.

Join us for these upcoming webinars so you can register on our website, using the query to improve Power BI performance on December 15th with Patrick Hours and Cognos Loving 24 is going to be released very soon. So we’ll have an IBM Product Manager on us with us on January 19th to show us the new features in that.

So click those links if you’re interested in Weiner’s Register.

A little background on Senturus. We concentrate on BI modernizations and migrations across the entire BI stack.

We are a full spectrum of BI services, training and Power BI, Cognos Tableau, Python, Azure, and Proprietary Software to accelerate a bimodal BI and migrations.

They were typically shine in a Hybrid BI environment.

We have been focused exclusively on business analytics for 20 years now. Our team is both large enough to meet all your business analytics needs, yet small enough to provide personal attention.

And we are hiring, if you’re interested in joining us for looking for the following positions, are financed consultants part of the new Cloud cost management products and practice.

You can check out the job descriptions on our site and e-mail us your resume at jobs at

And Q&A time.

We’ve got a few questions here, and if you have a question, feel free to put it in now.

I’m going to just kind of feed this to you.

Question number one, is there a general IBM offering, or is it only available through Senturus?

This is a general IBM offering. The offering through Senturus is the analysis and the and the and the things we do to get you down to zero dollars cost, OK?

The product itself as a standard IBM offering that can be purchased from IBM directly or any other business partner.

The net result, though, is how do we get it down to zero dollars?

Another question here.

If we do this upgrade, what kind of changes do we have to have IT make?

Initially, nothing is, as I mentioned before, it’s a licensing change where you have a new license agreement that points to the existing license agreement that you have says you can continue to use Cognos. Exactly. You’re using it today.

So, you don’t need good thing.

I have a customer that did an upgrade, was on another IBM product, is on ODM about two years ago. And, they did not want to do any upgrades. They didn’t want to do any containerization. They wanted to do nothing, but they were able to increase their capacity by doing it. So they made the change, and they continue to run ODM, exactly.

They ran it a year and a half later they came back and said, Hey, we’re starting to containerize everything.

How do we do this, and how do we manage it?

And they were delighted to find that they already had licenses of Red Hat OpenShift supported them. And they then started doing the things they needed to do, because they were running out.

They were writing performance issues, and they’ve now fixed all that.

The system is running really, really nicely, but it took them 2.5 years now since the time they bought the upgrade. So, the first year and a half, they did it, exactly.

As they did, and they could have continue that, or, until the product is stopped, is no longer supported that, But there’s nothing that the IT department has to do initially.

Only if you want to start using new functionalities, like, like containerization, or you want to start using some of the new application components, do you need to get IT involved?

Another question here, is it possible if we still have support, but it’s on 10.2?

I believe 10.2 is still support.

I think all of the versions that, Assuming, that, assuming that the way, the licensing works, again, because it is a straight continuation of the license you have. If they supported version from IBM that it will continue to be supported. There is no change. You don’t have to go to 11. You don’t have to do any of those things. Now, that the scenario that’s coming up in January is new product functionality, which obviously, you always want to take a look at that.

IBM tends to support older versions until they tell you they’re not, and when they’re not, they usually give you, I think at least one year notice says, there, they’re doing this, as long as supported version is included in the licensing.

Have a follow up to that first question about the or is it an IBM offering? Such as, without some Senturus. There’s a 15 to 30% uplift cost question mark.

Yeah, IBM’s IBM standard offering on this is that they take your last paid, your last, your last SMS invoice. And you ever uplifted 35%.

And so what we do is we go to work on that to get it down to show that at the famous What you’ll be paying for SNS now, but, yes, that’s the standard offering from IBM Direct and all other IBM business partners.

Now getting unsaid. one side note on that having now done this for four decades plus IBM does the special bids and there are unique considerations and so that’s a very generic kind of standard out of the box, kind of a deal.

You may have, you know, 100,000 users of Cognos and you’re paying millions of Dollars in IBM’s decided to give you a much deeper discounts, but that that’s a whole different story. I’m talking about what the normal business cycle is for IBM.

No other questions in here right now.

OK, well, Good, Thank you very much, everyone. We appreciate your time. Happy, holidays is Getting that time of the year. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and Happy holidays for all of you that are going to be enjoying time off.

Yeah, thank you so much for it. If anybody does have questions next couple of minutes, feel free to put it in the chat. And we can get back to you at a later time.

OK, Thank you.

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