Dispelling the myths: IBM’s ongoing investment in IBM Planning Analytics with Watson, still powered by IBM TM1

By and Dan Rebella | 4 minute read | December 9, 2020

A few competitors are trying to sow doubt about IBM’s commitment to IBM Planning Analytics with Watson – which is powered by IBM TM1 – as well as the product’s future. Let us set the record straight—IBM Planning Analytics with Watson is here to stay and has been named a market leader in integrated planning and analysis. In fact, IBM is increasing its investment in the offering, and will continue to do so, while leveraging the same robust IBM TM1 technology that has been the backbone of this product since its inception, 37 years ago.

Like any great product with a long history, IBM Planning Analytics with Watson has evolved over the years. For example, prior to 2016, the product was known as IBM Cognos TM1. The last version of “TM1” to be shipped was version 10.2.2 but the TM1 technology and experience continues to ship under the IBM Planning Analytics with Watson name. In September 2017, we announced plans to end standard support for this older version and transition it to extended support for three years via subscription and support (S&S) service extensions. There’s no intrigue to be found here. We are simply ending support for an older version of software and enabling customers to seamlessly move to the new version.

IBM Planning Analytics with Watson is an AI-infused integrated planning solution. In addition to streamlining our customers’ planning processes, it is also providing customers with the functionality to dive deeper into their data to forecast with greater accuracy. IBM Planning Analytics with Watson enables customers to scale as they grow and change, while giving them the flexibility to plan without changing their business process. But you don’t have to take our word for it. In 2020, IBM received “top ranks” in 13 KPIs from BARC’s The Planning Survey 20 including top scores in performance satisfaction, planning functionality, competitiveness.

“We invited several companies to present their solutions to our management and business users, and asked them to demonstrate how their system would benefit various divisions of our company. It was clear that IBM Planning Analytics offered very strong functionality that would suit our requirements, including exceptional versatility – and it was also more cost-effective than competing offerings.”

 – Fredrik Larsson, Group Business Controller, Bravida

Still, some competitors are working to create confusion. That’s why we want to take a moment and respond, specifically, to some of the myths that have arisen around the ending of support for this older version of the IBM Planning Analytics solution —a solution, by the way, that is enabling more than a million users and thousands of organizations of all sizes and in all industries, to solve their real-world planning challenges.

Myth 1: End-of-support for IBM TM1 10.2.2 means the end-of-life for IBM TM1.

False. In September 2017, IBM announced that effective September 30, 2019, it would end support for IBM TM1 10.2.2. IBM TM1 was rebranded to IBM Planning Analytics with Watson, but IBM has not discontinued use of the IBM TM1 technology. In fact, it is quite the opposite—IBM TM1 continues to be the server that powers the analytical capabilities of IBM Planning Analytics with Watson and we’re continuously working to improve its performance and capabilities—high availability and containerization are just a couple of things on our future roadmap. This robust, in-memory calculation engine can enable IBM Planning Analytics with Watson users to build sophisticated, multidimensional models for data analysis on virtually any combination of data hierarchies and dimensions. IBM Planning Analytics with Watson is simply the next generation of IBM TM1…just with a new name!

Myth 2: End of support for IBM TM1 10.2.2 means a costly upgrade to a new product, IBM Planning Analytics with Watson.

False. IBM has announced end-of-support for IBM TM1 10.2.2; however, as with all IBM TM1 releases, customers with current S&S entitlements can move to the latest version (now called IBM Planning Analytics with Watson) at no additional cost. Despite the name change, the process has remained the same—customers simply install and go, using their current model.

Similarly, as with all IBM TM1 releases, for customers who are unable to move to the latest release or wish to remain on an older version, service extensions providing on-going support and critical defect fixes will be available for up to 3 years beyond the end-of-support date, September 30, 2019.

Myth 3: My existing IBM TM1 models will not work if I move to IBM Planning Analytics with Watson.

False. Existing IBM TM1 models will continue to work when customers move to IBM Planning Analytics with Watson. Moving provides all the capabilities of IBM TM1, plus all of the new components that have been introduced into the solution, including IBM Planning Analytics WorkspaceIBM Planning Analytics for Microsoft Excelhierarchies and our newest capabilities predictive forecasting, guided planning and more robust dashboarding options we introduced in October 2020, plus more; however, you are not required to adopt the new components for IBM Planning Analytics with Watson to function properly. Modeler licenses provide entitlements to IBM Planning Analytics Workspace, so users can test and explore the new the capabilities before deploying broadly or pushing to a production environment.

We hope this helps clarify the myths that have been circulating about IBM Planning Analytics with Watson, in our opinion, the best planning solution on the market. Stay tuned: there are big things in development in our labs for IBM Planning Analytics with Watson.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to your IBM sales rep, or schedule a one-on-one consultation