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Business intelligence software developer Cognos announced Jan. 17 the acquisition of Celequest, developer of an operational dashboard appliance.

The acquisition closed on Jan. 16. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By adding privately held Celequest to its roster, Cognos will achieve several objectives: a longer reach into channel markets, a better breadth of offerings for midmarket and on-demand customers and, at the end of the day, faster business intelligence capabilities.

Celequest, based in Redwood City, Calif., develops a BI appliance that utilizes in-memory, or streaming data, technology that stores data in memory rather than at the database level. The result is much faster query times on BI requests, with the capability to support thousands of concurrent users with little latency of information. Since the capability, dubbed Lava, comes in the form of an appliance—essentially hardware that plugs into a network—users are able to deploy BI functionality in a short time frame (days, according to Celequest’s Web site).

There are three versions of the Lava appliance: an SMB (small and midsize business) edition, a standard edition and an enterprise edition. Each includes performance dashboards, an application workbench to set up data integration and an analytics server that houses the in-memory technology.

Cognos releases new business intelligence programs for SAP customers. Click here to read more.

Last year eWEEK discovered that SAP AG, the business applications software giant, is in development with in-memory technology that could, eventually, do away with the need for an underlying database in an SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation. While SAP has its own BI appliance, the BI Accelerator, that uses in-memory technology, it turns out Celequest also offers its own version of Lava that allows SAP Business Warehouse data to be cached in Celequest’s in-memory analytical engine. That partnership with SAP could help Cognos reach a whole new customer base.

Celequest also develops a Lava edition for—an offering that provides Cognos with an on-demand BI product that could be applicable to the SMB market as well as enterprise customers. At the same time, Celequest is certified on AppExchange,’s on-demand application marketplace—another channel opportunity for Cognos.

Separately, announced Jan. 16 its Winter ’07 release that includes the arrival of Apex, the company’s proprietary (though Java-based) on-demand programming language and development platform. As part of the Winter ’07 event in San Francisco, Cognos announced support for AppExchange that includes a new Data Adapter that enables Cognos 8 BI users to access Salesforce data and combine it with other historical and transactional data. Cognos 8 BI is also interoperable with Celequest’s Lava appliance.

“[Celequest] is a great complementary acquisition for Cognos,” said Rob Rose, chief strategy officer at Cognos. “This gives us the opportunity to reach a new class of users who need to continuously monitor performance against key metrics and make decisions based on real-time, operational information.”

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