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Microsoft and Comshare Extend "Power Of Two" to Deliver Complete CPM Solutions to Australia

11 November, 2002 | Archived Post
From budgets to strategy, better business intelligence availableSYDNEY, Australia, Monday, November 11, 2002

On the heels of successful U.S. and U.K. launches, Comshare, Incorporated (NASDAQ: CSRE) the leader in software applications for Corporate Performance Management (CPM), announced today that Microsoft Limited and Comshare, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, made the  "Power of Two" program available to Australian businesses. The '"Power of Two," already known to many U.S. companies that use it to enhance their strategic planning, is an enterprise-class business intelligence (BI) platform for CPM. By combining the services of Microsoft's BI platform and the power of Comshare MPC™, organisations can now bring together strategy, operating budgets and forecasts into a single integrated IT environment.

Press Release:
The offering addresses analyst expectations1 that the market for CPM solutions is about to explode, and makes CPM a reality for organisations looking to implement a solution.  Comshare MPC and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with Analysis Services delivers state-of-the-art corporate performance management, which assists organisations in implementing and executing corporate strategy.

Australian customers that are already taking advantage of Comshare MPC include Boral, Lion Nathan Australia, Sony, Department Treasury and Finance Victoria, Brisbane City Council and GlaxoSmithKline Australian Pharmaceuticals.

"We chose Comshare MPC on Microsoft's business intelligence platform because it is a cost effective and scalable solution" said Graeme Neill, IT Project Manager Lion Nathan Australia.

"Comshare MPC on Microsoft SQL Server has provided a solid foundation for the whole closed looped process of planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting and analysis," said Sonia Steyn, Finance Project Manager Lion Nathan Australia.

Greg Ponych, Principal Finance Officer Budget of BCC, says that the MPC system has added value to the organisation by integrating its strategic and operational plans. "Users spend more time on significant business issues rather than wading through bulky reports," he comments. I can respond to a request from the Mayor in minutes rather than days."

The new GlaxoSmithKline System Administrator, Belinda DeJong, was able to instantly show her Finance Director new views of information including suitable variance calculations and graphical presentations as he requested them.  "This would have taken us a week using the old system." DeJong explained.

Organisations that deploy the Microsoft / Comshare CPM solution will see dramatic improvements in business agility and decision-making effectiveness that result from integrated planning, budgeting, forecasting, financial consolidation, management reporting, and analysis. Business managers will spend less time performing manual tasks, allowing more time to analyse results, evaluate alternatives and implement effective business decisions.

"Microsoft's vision is to provide solutions that deliver all the promised benefits of business intelligence including greater speed and quality in decision-making processes, lowered costs and improved competitiveness. We deliver on that vision by providing an enterprise-class BI platform that provides a reliable, scalable and secure infrastructure," said Terry Clancy, Product Marketing Manager for Data Access, Microsoft Australia Pty Ltd.

"There are many solutions for ad hoc browsing of multidimensional data, which essentially provide analysis of historical information. However there is a shortage of quality products like Comshare MPC that provide a view forward into the future with strategic planning, budgeting, and forecasting against the popular SQL Server 2000 multidimensional OLAP store; for this reason I expect a great deal of interest and adoption of this technology.  Together SQL Server 2000 and Comshare MPC provides an extremely powerful solution for today's business managers who need daily, in-depth analysis of their business data to be successful."

Raphael Gabay, President of the Beacon Group, said, "Partnering with Microsoft is a natural extension of the numerous customers Beacon and Microsoft share in common. The announcements of the Power of Two relationship will make clear to all companies looking for a CPM Solution that the best place to go for answers to this strategically important business requirement is the joint offering of Comshare MPC by Microsoft and Beacon."

"We have seen substantial growth in the market for CPM applications inAustralia over the past 12 months. The Beacon Group has had considerable success in expanding its MPC customer base to Top 100 organisations," said Sam Donley, Territory Manager, Comshare South East Asia. "We expect that this growth will continue in the Australian market, with significant demand for CPM solutions using Comshare MPC on the Microsoft BI Platform. There is no doubt that Microsoft, Comshare and Beacon are well positioned to define this market and secure our place as a market leader."

Microsoft and Comshare assist organisations in online analytical processing (OLAP) to formulate and execute their strategic vision. The benefits of this powerful combination include:
- Effective strategic planning through flexible business plan modeling
- Statistically accurate budgets and plans
- Better resource allocation by linking strategies to budgets
- Faster, more accurate results via automatic global financial consolidation 
- Easier identification of patterns, rules and relationships through better data sorting
- Intuitive, more natural query building
- Dramatically superior query performance
- Relevant, organised information for today's business users
- Insightful reporting and data analysis

About Comshare, Incorporated

Comshare, Incorporated is a leading provider of software that helps companies implement and execute strategy. Comshare's application for corporate performance management encompasses planning, budgeting, forecasting, financial consolidation, management reporting, and analysis. In business for over 35 years, Comshare is one of the top independent software companies, with Fortune 500 and Financial Times Top 1000 customers around the world. 
Comshare® is a registered trademark and Comshare MPC™ is a trademark of Comshare, Incorporated.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

For more information about Comshare:

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.
Note to editor: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

About Beacon IT Australia

Beacon IT Australia Pty Ltd is a member of the Beacon Group with offices spread across Asia Pacific. Beacon's expertise and experience in providing management analysis and planning systems is unrivalled, with over 35 years of experience.

In Australia, Beacon's client base includes the largest and most sophisticated users of budgeting and planning systems, including Brisbane City Council, Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria, RACV, Boral, Nufarm, GlaxoSmithKline and Sony.

For more information about Beacon IT Australia:

1John Van Decker, Meta Group, July 2002, Delta 1153, Business Performance Management Solutions said, "By 2005/06, organisations that have implemented business performance management (BPM) solutions will have enabled improved decentralised management approaches, being able to more effectively improve speed of reaction to economic and competitive pressures."


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