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Version 8.1.0 of IBM Cognos ICM, formerly Varicent, was released on Friday May 16th. It has become common practice to have approximately two major releases each year and several smaller releases between them. Updates roll out as needed between releases. The most important fact to remember is that the product is continuously improving to meet client needs. Enhancements start from two primary sources: implementers and business users requesting a product enhancement. Read more

While working as a Compensation Administrator, I used IBM Cognos ICM, a sales performance management software solution, to empower account executives to understand their compensation plan quickly, so they could get back to selling. The visualizations and rankings available in IBM Cognos ICM are excellent sales enablement tools for motivating individuals at all levels of a business. When leveraged correctly, these resources allow territory and channel managers to speed the production and delivery of scorecards and other reporting deliverables, leading to faster, more strategic decision making. Read more

On April 13, 2012, IBM announced the acquisition of Varicent, a leading provider of sales performance management (SPM) and incentive compensation (IC) analytics software. The Ironside Group loves this move as it further sets IBM business analytics solutions apart from the pack. This acquisition is continued proof of IBM delivering on its strategic growth objective of expanding its analytics portfolio to help enable a “smarter planet”. When reviewing this acquisition, it appears the most quantifiable value proposition marketed is heavily weighted towards improving back-end sales operations; “reduce sales operations administration by 40-50%, reduce commission calculation and erroneous payments by 90+%, etc.” This article is going to focus on what I believe to be the real value of a commercial IC and SPM solution. Read more