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TM1: next step in the evolution of FPM

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Financial Performance Management (FPM) has emerged as an all-important
subset of the broader performance management (PM) market. Ventana Research
describes FPM as a set of capabilities that define company's key performance
indicators (KPIs); formulate strategic plans and forecasts; and handles
performance reporting.

According to the research group the above all optimise the office of
finance's work, leading to operational efficiency and company-wide
execution.
Says David McWilliam, MD of Cognos: "However, FPM also forms part of the
office of finance's traditional financial processes needed to run the
business.  Thus, FPM encompasses both the expanded capabilities – as
outlined above – and the more traditional duties of finance."
And now taking the capabilities and intelligence of FPM even one step
further is the Cognos' incorporation of a powerful analytics backbone. By
analysing and optimising processes, the office of finance can help business
managers drive profitability and growth initiatives.
However, in order to achieve this, finance needs a combination of data
scalability, ease of use, real-time responsiveness, and interactivity.
To address the above, Cognos, has incorporated TM1 – a powerful software
suite that provides scenario modelling against large data sets while making
data and business structure changes in real-time.
TMI is built on 64-bit, in-memory OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) server
that provides a real-time approach to consolidating, viewing, and editing
enormous volumes of multidimensional data.
Indeed, TM1 adds analysis and business optimisation capabilities across
Cognos' solution-set offering the following important value propositions:
* Real-time performance;
* Scalability for large data volumes;
* Non-technical user-centric design;
* An Excel-based approach to application development; and
* Deployable in a stand-alone configuration or integrated with dedicated
Cognos planning, consolidation, analysis and reporting products.
Furthermore, analyst Butler Group states in its recent "Technology Audit"
that "strong OLAP capabilities and the speed of the TMI engine underpin the
inherent strength of this technology".
Butler also comments that as a result of the software's ability to execute
calculations in real-time, dynamic analysis is possible.  Furthermore, says
the group, tight integration to Excel enables users to work without stepping
outside of traditional comfort zones.
With TM1, Cognos is evolving FPM into a solution that provides a structured
and automated approach to key financial processes from planning, budgeting,
and forecasting to consolidation, reporting, and analytics.
In a nutshell, Cognos' TMI offers the following capabilities to the office
of finance:
* Optimising planning and budgeting, the software provides the ability to
read/write in real-time;
* What-if scenario modeling for forecasting purposes;
* In-memory multi-dimensional cubes applied to analysis and reporting;
* Centrally-managed business hierarchies, rules and calculations;
* Built-in data and metadata integration; and
* Leverages Excel functionality and skills.