Brierley claims switch to rival over ‘strategy’

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By  Published  September 8, 2006

Business intelligence firm Cognos is looking for a new Middle East boss, following the decision by its former regional manager to switch to rival vendor Business Objects.

David Brierley last week began his new role as regional general manager for Business Objects Middle East, having decided to switch, he claimed, over “differences in strategy” between himself and senior management at Cognos.

More specifically, Brierley claimed that he felt Cognos did not share his vision of investing in resources to support customers directly, preferring to rely on partners to provide such support.

While acknowledging the merits of such an approach, Brierley referred to it as a “Mercedes vs BMW decision” – claiming that he preferred to work with Business Objects.

“This is not a decision based on technology, it is all about strategy,” he said.

Thierry Nicault, regional director, Business Objects Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that the firm was looking to invest heavily in the region. “We have today a team of ten people, covering a wide range of functions,” he said.

The company wanted to enhance that team, he added, saying that Brierley would play a key role in its future planning for the region.

Ged Simmons, Cognos’ director for financial services, general business and the Middle East, said the company was actively looking to recruit a repla- cement “commensurate with the seniority of the role”.

Peter Ball, a 20-year veteran at Cognos with prior experience of the region, has been appointed as an interim manager.

IT Weekly spoke to Simmons prior to Brierley’s confirmation of his joining Business Objects.

While Simmons admitted that he expected Brierley to switch, he said the firm wanted to appoint somebody with “more rounded management skills”.

He dismissed suggestions that Cognos was not fully committed to the region, and said it was about to announce several customer wins in the Middle East.

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