BI merger fallout continues; MicroStrategy guns for competitors' workers

MicroStrategy launches campaign to recruit Business Objects, Cognos employees

The fallout from the recent announcements that SAP AG and IBM have agreed to buy business intelligence vendors Business Objects SA and Cognos Inc., respectively, continued this week with MicroStrategy Inc.'s disclosure that it plans to aggressively recruit employees and customers of the acquired firms.

IBM just last week announced that it had agreed to buy Ottawa-based Cognos for $5 billion in cash, while SAP disclosed its plan to acquire Business Objects for $6.7 billion a month earlier.

As part of its expanded recruiting program, MicroStrategy plans to host open houses at its offices in seven U.S. cities and in 10 international cities on four continents on Nov. 29 and 30, the company announced. It also set up a dedicated task force to receive resumes and follow up on all leads within 48 hours, according to the McLean, Va.-based BI vendor.

MicroStrategy is aiming to hire Paris-based Business Objects and Cognos sales, consulting, engineering, legal, marketing and administrative employees "who feel threatened by the uncertainty in this space," said Vince Gabriele, MicroStrategy's vice president of worldwide human resources, in a statement.

The move is one of several steps that MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor outlined in an internal memo obtained by Computerworld detailing how the company plans to take advantage of the acquisition plans announced by SAP and IBM. The company sent the memo to internal employees last week.

Saylor also noted in the Nov. 13 memo that MicroStrategy also plans to actively court the customer base of Business Objects and Cognos, who may be unhappy with the acquisitions.

"We expect our former BI competitors will struggle to integrate with their new parent companies and execute their new proprietary business strategies," Saylor wrote. "Their new owners will almost certainly orphan some customers by discontinuing certain product lines and support for other products, and customer segments can be expected to be gradually choked off over time. New features, better performance and new products [from Business Objects and Cognos] often will have to take a back seat to investments in common infrastructure, cross-product communication and application integration."

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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