New Cognos Middle East boss sets goals

The new Middle East boss of business intelligence (BI) software vendor Cognos has put channel development at the top of his agenda as he settles into his new role.

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By  GITEX Times Staff Published  November 21, 2006

The new Middle East boss of business intelligence (BI) software vendor Cognos has put channel development at the top of his agenda as he settles into his new role. Derek Morrison, who previously headed Cognos’ commercial sector sales operations in the UK, is at GITEX this week to meet with potential new allies and strengthen ties with existing partners. He believes his appointment sends a clear signal that Cognos is firmly committed to investing in the Middle East software sector. “By me coming on board, Cognos wanted to make a point that the region demands somebody senior,” he explains. “We could have appointed another general manager, but the idea was to take somebody from a senior role in the UK and make a statement about how serious we are about the region and expansion in the GCC. Partners have taken it as a very positive step and they understand our drive is about creating a strong partner network across the whole GCC.” Cognos currently works with seven major partners in the Middle East and expects to announce more tie-ups in the coming months as it places increased emphasis on markets outside of the UAE. The vendor has just signed JD Edwards specialist Systime to give it coverage in Lebanon where it sees a buoyant financial services sector in particular. “We look for partners that can deliver added value to Cognos and to the end-user, not just someone that is there to sell a CD,” continues Morrison. “My immediate priority is to push Cognos to areas where we have had a limited presence, such as Saudi Arabia and the Levant countries. There is a huge opportunity out there for Cognos to strengthen its position.” This is the second year that Cognos has exhibited at GITEX and Morrison believes the show offers the company an excellent platform to get its message across. “Our perception from exhibiting last year is that we can directly link revenue to foot traffic on the stand,” he says. “This year there was an expectation from clients, partners and our prospects that we should be at GITEX. If we were not here then we would be missing opportunities.” The Gulf market for BI software is estimated to be worth US$33m a year, according to IDC.

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