Cognos TM1, Finance's Best Friend
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 28, 2018

Cognos TM1, Finance's Best Friend

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Planning Analytics Local

Cognos TM1's ability to store and provide fast access financial data both on-premise and in the cloud makes it best-of-breed when it comes to implementation flexibility. For example, with Cognos TM1 is an in-memory OLAP data structure so data access is quick which helps out when it comes budgeting season and your FI application is getting hammered. All the while you can have one data solution that pulls data together with data from Hyperion Planning (Oracle) and Microsoft Dynamics (MM) into the same system as part of a financial consolidation project.
  • Cognos TM1 is great for planning, both workforce and financial, as it allows for complex hierarchies to be built and maintained via automated routines and simple scripts.
  • Cognos TM1 ability to directly connect to an external system and extract data allows you to roll your own ETL processes and keep the bottleneck (that is IT) out of your financial consolidation project.
  • Cognos TM1 has the ability to be both cloud based and fully on-premise which is of great for institutions that are cloud adverse and want an alternative Adaptive Analytics.
  • The memory and core management of Cognos TM1 could be improved to make system administrators happier.
  • It could be cheaper on PVU basis or licenses could be more flexible to the needs of finance.
  • The user community for Cognos TM1 is not lead by IBM, but instead the users/developers themselves. I think IBM could improve this somewhat by organizing things a bit better.
  • The company saw positive ROI of around $100K during the first quarter following the implementation of Cognos TM1.
  • The flexibility of Cognos TM1 to meet the complex planning needs of a customer allowed the implementation to be headache-free.
  • Cognos TM1's use of Excel helped the finance department get onboard and pick things up quickly. This accelerated user adoption and lessened the need for paid training.
  • Cognos TM1's development language is script based so anyone familiar with VBA for Excel for data processing/transformation can adapt and pick things up quickly.
Cognos TM1's ability to store and provide fast access financial data both on-premise and in the cloud makes it a great fit in a company with a small FI team. Compared to Adaptive Insights the management of Cognos TM1 is simpler and for most financial consolidation projects a full-time application administrator is not required as power users can do most things without intervention.
There are good support people in Ottawa, but having access to the development team and a TAM make the support. Without that access I don't think IBM Support would be as highly rated.
Cognos TM1's ability to store and provide fast access financial data both on-premise and in the cloud makes it a great asset during month-end or year-end closing. The speed at which it can be updated and reflect GL changes for reporting makes it well suited for PL and BL reporting. For example, when it comes budgeting season and your FI application is getting hammered a speedy application makes your user base happy. However, Cognos TM1 is not well suited for reporting when you have to store a lot of granular data, think retail transaction level stuff, as Cognos TM1 is an OLAP data structure rather than relational.

IBM Planning Analytics Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
10
Financial budgeting
10
Forecasting
10
Scenario modeling
10
Management reporting
10
Financial data consolidation
10
Journal entries and reports
8
Multi-currency management
10
Intercompany Eliminations
10
Minority Ownership
8
Local and consolidated reporting
10
Detailed Audit Trails
7
Financial Statement Reporting
10
Management Reporting
10
Excel-based Reporting
10
Automated board and financial reporting
10
Personalized dashboards
10
Color-coded scorecards
10
KPIs
10
Cost and profitability analysis
10
Key Performance Indicator setting
10
Benchmarking with external data
10
Flat file integration
10
Excel data integration
10
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
10

Evaluating IBM Planning Analytics Local and Competitors

Yes - Infinium Financials was replaced because that technology was AS/400 based and difficult to adapt to a changing company.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
The skill of the development team that IBM recommended for our project really sold us on Cognos TM1.
I would avoid the technology bake-off and have each technology used in a simple POC to show how each would handle our company's specific needs.

IBM Planning Analytics Local Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Escalation required
Yes - I pay for premium support, because it gets me access to higher level support faster and I get a TAM assigned to my account.
Yes - Yes and no. It depends on the bug and whether is was solvable is a configuration change or was in need of a code fix from IBM.
It was month in and our Cognos TM1 application was logging out users and the reason wasn't obvious. I called my TAM and the issue was resolved without an intra-day application restart and the user interruption that can cause.

Using IBM Planning Analytics Local

ProsCons
Like to use
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • Data entry into the system was easy and I could bulk upload via flat files.
  • Moving data between accounts within the system was simplier than other systems I've used.
  • Intercompany eliminations via Rules was a godsend compared to the report level math I've had to maintain in the past.
  • If you end up having to write a bunch of scripts that rarely get used in lue of users to manual things, then it can't be frustrating.
  • User account setup can be cumbersome due to amount of configuration necessary to make the IT Security team happy.
  • Cognos TM1 has be a system that is easy to maintain, but it is only as easy as the accountants make it. Getting them to understand that is it not an Excel workbook in the sky can be challenging.
The application is easy to install and to develop with. Your super users have the ability to manage the data and the user logins without IT help.