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Big Blue and Cognos get closer

IBM has agreed to resell data-analysis software from Cognos, the companies said Tuesday. The deal builds on a previous agreement under which the two companies cooperated on marketing and technical compatibility. Under the new agreement, IBM Global Services plans to resell Cognos' "business intelligence" tools, designed to provide business managers overseeing sales, marketing and human resources with reports from various information technology systems.

As part of the partnership, Cognos plans to tune its software for better peformance on IBM's line of database, server and other IT infrastructure software. Big Blue and Cognos claim that the combination of their products can help companies improve profits by increasing sales via call centers or reducing inventory at manufacturing plants.