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Leading Pharmaceutical Company

How choosing third party support changed the IBM software licensing game – and saved one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies a lot of money.

Customer Profile



An ongoing mission to reduce costs and improve inter-business unit efficiency has led this pharmaceutical company to create a policy of rationalization and standardization. Heading up the initiative was their Global Business Intelligence (GBI) unit, who are tasked with migrating users to a single global standard for operations.

Currently, this pharmaceutical company relies on a range of Business Intelligence tools for reporting. With the assistance of the GBI, a plan has been implemented that will migrate IBM Cognos to SAP BusinessObjects by the end of 2018.

Leading Pharmaceutical Company

The Problem



IBM® Cognos Maintenance renewal was fast approaching

Unfortunately, this pharmaceutical company were not yet in a position to carry out the migration. Worse still, the IBM Cognos maintenance contract was coming up for renewal and negotiations with IBM were about to start.

The GBI team were under pressure from IBM to renew the contract, to upgrade their systems to the current supported version of the Cognos engine. They would have to pay its annual software maintenance fee of $1.4 million to keep Cognos in place - even if they only used the platform for a few more months.

The Solution



Spending $1.4 million on a product that would be shelved in months made no sense at all. Working alongside their Business Technology Procurement team we set to work investigating other options.

This team already had positive experiences of sourcing third party support for other applications and believed similar outcomes may be achievable for Cognos – a suitable third party provider could be identified.
credible supplier of third party IBM
support anywhere.

“We also checked our Cognos support history” according to the Director/Team Lead at GBI. “Our system is stable and mature. We’ve never raised a high priority issue with IBM requiring a custom patch or upgrade. With that in mind, we were confident that Origina could deliver on their promises” he continued.


Exiting IBM’s enforced upgrade cycle

Not everyone was excited by the idea of third party support. The HR business unit was already tied up in another application migration project for instance. But armed with a credible business case, their project teams successfully argued in favor of Origina.

Was the transfer of maintenance and support away from IBM as scary as expected? “Honestly, it was fairly smooth”, again according to GBI Director/Team Lead. “Our biggest issue was pulling together all the information needed to convince the procurement team, and then to hand over to Origina once support transitioned.”

The speed of the project was determined almost entirely by the pharmaceutical company. “We’re a large company, so we move slowly,” their project was completed according to our timeline. It would have been more painful if those key dates were missed.”


A massive saving that will fund the future

IBM quoted this global pharmaceutical company over $1.4 million for renewing their Cognos maintenance contract. The Origina offer of $672,000 gave this company

  • Better SLA’s than IBM’s standard software maintenance offering
  • Real savings that could be channeled to help with product migration costs
  • Technical and advisory assistance in migration process

“Origina’s service would save $728,000 – 52% less than IBM – so it was almost impossible to make a case choosing third party support” said GBI Director/Team Lead.

In fact, GBI expected the savings to cover the cost of completing the global migration from Cognos to BusinessObjects.

Origina helped them regain control of their Business Intelligence destiny released the money to fund their vision too.


Migration from IBM Cognos Support

So why did this global pharmaceutical company decide to terminate IBM?

“Obviously the quote provided by IBM for supporting a system we planned to retire was a huge motivating factor” said GBI Director/Team Lead “we simply weren’t willing to renew at that cost if we didn’t have to.”

$1.4 million dollars to support and maintain a system that would be retired in months makes no business sense at all. Especially when a cost-effective alternative had already been found through Origina.

The move away from IBM has been positive for the Technology Procurement Team; “They say what they do, and they do what they say. There are no surprises when dealing with Origina which makes us very happy”.

But would they recommend Origina’s services to other organizations?  The answer is unequivocal, “I certainly would.”

Leading Pharmaceutical Company

Client Feedback

"We’re getting more than we ever did with IBM! They help us understand and transform our estate and saved us between 40% and 50% off our annual IBM software maintenance costs.."

Matt Turner
Channels & IT Transformation


„Wir bekommen jetzt so viel mehr als von IBM! Origina hat uns geholfen, unsere Infrastruktur zu verstehen und zu transformieren. So konnten wir die jährlichen Kosten für die IBM-Softwarewartung um 40 bis 50 % reduzieren.“

Matt Turner
Channels & IT Transformation

Témoignage client

« Les bénéfices sont nettement supérieurs à ce qu’IBM nous a jamais apporté ! Origina nous a permis de transformer notre parc en nous fournissant des explications claires, et nous avons économisé entre 40 et 50 % sur le coût annuel de maintenance des logiciels IBM. »

Matt Turner
responsable transformation informatique et canaux

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Our clients save 50% on average off their annual IBM® software support costs
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Nos clients réduisent en moyenne de 60 % leurs coûts annuels de support des logiciels IBM®.
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