Third in a Series: IBM takes out Cognos for $5 billion

Remember that last independent business intelligence company, Cognos? It’s now going to be IBM’s software unit.

IBM said on Monday it would buy Canada’s Cognos Inc for $5 billion, snapping up the last major independent maker of business intelligence software. This followed SAP’s deal to buy Business Objects last month for $7 billion, and Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion Solutions for $3.3 billion in April.

The software giant’s $5 billion acquisition of Cognos shows how difficult it is becoming for midsize software companies to survive on their own.

End of best-of-breed companies ?

The software industry, once populated by hundreds of so-called best-of-breed companies, is now dominated by a handful of giants, including Microsoft , IBM, SAP, and Oracle, with vast portfolios of products.

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