IBM's (IBM) purchase of Cognos (COGN) pretty much puts the final nail in the coffin of the independent, publicly-traded BI (business intelligence) firm. SAP's (SAP) recently announced purchase of BOBJ (BOBJ) was the other big one.
Frank Scavo at the Enterprise Systems Spectator offers some perspective:
Like Hyperion and Business Objects, Cognos is used by organizations with a variety of enterprise systems. In fact, many smaller ERP vendors have partnered with Cognos in the past to provide data warehouse and business intelligence functionality for their solutions. For example, Lawson (LWSN), MAPICS (now part of Infor), and ROI (now part of Epicor (EPIC)) all use Cognos as part of their total solution. Even SAP has a partnership with Cognos as part of its business warehouse offering.
From this perspective, IBM--which for the most part does not compete with business application software providers--is a good home for Cognos. IBM is more of an infrastructure and tools provider for other software vendors. I would expect, therefore, that IBM would continue and even expand these partnerships.
Also read this post from Data Doghouse from a week ago about speculation that Cognos could go, and what independent BI markers remain out there.