With headquarters in Ottawa, Canada, Cognos has grown from a consulting company that provided information system consulting to the Canadian federal government into an international software and services corporation with more than 32 offices in 12 countries around the world. It seems fitting that a company with such a global presence should be led by an individual with a diverse international background. Ron Zambonini, president and CEO of Cognos, is an Italian who was born in Glasgow, Scotland. "This sort of dual heritage," Zambonini comments, "makes me more than a guy with a 'funny' accent who waves his arms a lot. My life path has taken me from different parts of Europe to the United States and Canada. Consequently, I think globally which is very important to Cognos' worldwide growth and to how we are able to satisfy customers from all over the world."

"From a corporate standpoint, we're pretty old for a software company. We began consulting in 1969, so we're almost 30 years old. Then about 18 years ago, one of our great guys, Bob Minns, currently our senior vice president of technology, had the idea of writing a tool to do the porting from IBM. And that was, of course, 4GL. That's how we became a products provider, and we've been inventing good products that help people get closer to their data ever since," Zambonini proudly states.

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