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Cognos consolidates financial performance management

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Cognos has announced key product integration and customer initiatives with recently acquired Applix, extending the company's expertise in financial performance management (FPM).

The combined offerings create a predictable, financial view of performance by structuring and automating the processes that help companies plan, forecast and control enterprise resources, analyse and optimise, and report on corporate performance with confidence.
The newest Cognos solutions extend planning, consolidation, and reporting processes and gives customers new and enhanced capabilities for complex, interactive business modeling and analytics which can be applied to solution areas like customer and product profitability, sales mix, and price / volume variance analysis among others.
Cognos TM1 Server, TM1 Excel, TM1 Web, and TM1 Executive Viewer, the latest additions to Cognos' offering from the Applix acquisition, are available immediately and leverage a patented, 64 bit, in-memory multidimensional server.  Cognos TM1 offerings, like all Cognos solutions, have strong self-service values that allow business analysts to create and evolve the performance management solution with the changing business requirements without extensive IT support.
Cognos is also extending its functional and industry Performance Blueprints with TM1 technology so that customers can leverage the planning and analytic power of Cognos TM1. Cognos Performance Blueprints address planning and performance management process areas that directly impact an organization's ability to create business value.  The first TM1-enabled Performance Blueprint will extend life sciences blueprints that address a critical sales and marketing investment area for Samples Allocation and Sales Quote management.  The new blueprint will be available to customers free of charge in calendar Q1.
"The Cognos plan for integrating the Applix solution is based upon three main tenets that are aligned with customer requirements," says Kathleen Wilhide, research director, Compliance and Business Performance Management Solutions at IDC. "First, to provide their customers with enhanced and optimized analytic capabilities supporting their applications, second to augment the current offerings of the Cognos product suite in the areas of planning, budgeting, consolidation, and new areas such as profitability, and third to continue to evolve and enhance the TM1 solution, honouring existing development roadmaps as they unfold the integration plan and  articulate a vision for a broader set of applications and capabilities."
To map out future solution milestones, Cognos has formed a special customer advisory board for joint Cognos/Applix clients to provide guidance on integration strategy and product innovation roadmap.  Leading organisations such as American Express, Amgen, BAE Systems, NSTAR, Wiley and Zimmer are now members of the advisory board.
By mid-2008 Cognos expects to introduce new capabilities to customers and partners.  Areas of investments may include innovation in the core Cognos TM1 solution set with improved, interactive web-based reports, distributed administration, and support of multi-lingual implementations for global, multinational customers.  Cognos will deliver increased levels of automation between purpose-built Planning, Consolidation, and Reporting applications and Cognos TM1. This will ensure finance and business users are in greater control of performance management data supporting these core financial processes.
And, finally, Cognos TM1 Server data access will be supported by Cognos 8 Business Intelligence.
Joint partners of Cognos and Applix also understand the value that the integrated solutions bring to their customer base. "Having become very familiar with Applix TM1 capabilities in the past year and as a long time Cognos partner, we see the integration plans as very compelling. The combined strengths of TM1 and Cognos allow us to offer our customers a best-in-class performance management solution while leveraging common platform services," says Mark Mueller, president of DataClarity, a Cognos Platinum Reseller Partner.
 "Our vision for financial performance management is to provide integrated solutions for the core processes that finance engages in to drive enterprise performance and to extend those solutions through the use of Cognos 8 BI and its broad user reach," says David McWilliam, MD of Cognos South Africa. "Our announcements today ensure current customers can continue to transform their performance management processes with confidence in Cognos FPM solutions."