Cognos, fabricante de Business Intelligence y de Corporate Performance Management, anunció en el pasado Forum 2004 de la empresa el lanzamiento de su nuevo Microsoft Excel Add-In para Cognos Enterprise Planning. Con este lanzamiento Cognos proporciona a sus clientes el conocido entorno Excel con funcionalidades añadidas en sus herramientas de gestión de rendimiento corporativo. Con un navegador y, a partir de ahora, con Excel, Cognos Enterprise Planning permite una completa gestión y control corporativos al aprovechar herramientas de uso sencillo, generalizado y de amplia disponibilidad.


COGNOS FORUM, ORLANDO, Fla., June 29 — Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management, today at Cognos Forum 2004 announced it has extended its industry-leading enterprise planning solution with the launch of Cognos Enterprise Planning‘s new Microsoft Excel® Add-In. This release expands Cognos’ leadership in enterprise planning by embracing Excel to provide users with a familiar work environment with added functionality. By delivering plans using a Browser and now Excel, Cognos Enterprise Planning provides complete enterprise management and control by leveraging easy to use, broadly deployed tools available to every user.

Cognos Enterprise Planning’s new Excel interface allows customers to leverage the familiarity and high adoption of spreadsheets, while dramatically improving plan accuracy by integrating, personal spreadsheets into the enterprise plan. In most organizations spreadsheets have become the plan and budget development tool of choice for finance professionals. While Excel remains an ideal tool for personal use, deploying and managing the information for enterprise planning leaves the organization with blind spots into its future performance and vulnerable to unintentional error.

The combination of Cognos Enterprise Planning’s ability to manage the security, data and user experience through the browser remains key to delivering enterprise plans to 1000’s of users. Now, with Excel, organizations can leverage their spreadsheet systems to initiate a plan, extending the value over time «beyond spreadsheets» to embrace driver-based performance planning that delivers high frequency, high participation, and control.

«Improving the effectiveness of planning and budgeting can have an immediate, positive impact on the performance of the entire organization. What most companies view as a rote administrative function can and should be used as a core component of performance management,» said Robert D. Kugel, CFA, VP & Research Director, Financial Performance Management, Ventana Research. «In companies that have adopted enterprise planning solutions, we see improved efficiency, and more importantly increased effectiveness. Cognos’ new Excel extensions will enable spreadsheet-oriented organizations that have been reluctant to adopt a dedicated enterprise planning application an easy transition. This is a major step towards sustainable performance management practices for improved profitability.»

According to a Ventana Research report(1), the main obstacle to making planning and budgeting processes more effective is the spreadsheet-based systems utilized by most organizations. The report adds that stand-alone spreadsheets are great for individual, ad hoc computation and analysis, but they are inherently flawed in executing collaborative, enterprise-wide processes such as planning and budgeting. This is because they prevent finance organizations from intelligently applying the information collected, and make it too difficult to revise plans quickly in a coherent fashion when conditions change.

«In our organization today, Cognos Enterprise Planning provides the right level of control and access through the browser interface — enabling us to shorten the planning cycle for our end users, thus quickly returning their focus on operating restaurants,» said Tim O’Keefe, finance manager, Chipotle Mexican Grill. «We expect the new Excel interface to enhance, optimize, and extend the capabilities of Excel by providing an additional level of support for our planning process by enabling us to easily deliver spreadsheet models that require the unique functionality of Excel. In addition, because Excel is a competency we can expect all employees to possess or acquire, we anticipate the new interface will not limit — and may increase — the number of users we have involved in the planning process.»

    Cognos Enterprise Planning’s Excel interface delivers new functionality and enhancements, such as:
     * Enterprise Management and Control with Spreadsheets:  Cognos Enterprise Planning Series brings process and data integrity to a cumbersome, yet critical business activity.  Cognos’ new Excel interface leverages each of the enterprise properties from Cognos Enterprise Planning that enable highly scalable and flexible planning, including workflow and collaboration, data management and version control, and modeling flexibility to support a wide range of integrated enterprise planning solutions.
     * Integrating Cognos Planning Functionality within Spreadsheets:  Now within Excel, users can perform «what-if» analyses by directly entering commands into cells.  Additional planning capabilities such as annotations and Cognos’ powerful «BreakBack» technology that enables users to easily perform top-down planning are now directly available from within Excel — extending Excel while still leveraging  the capabilities of the spreadsheet.
     * Linking Personal Spreadsheets into Cognos Planning:  The new spreadsheet interface lets users of Excel link their personal models and supporting details directly into the enterprise plan. The enterprise plan is synchronized as information in spreadsheets change, thus linking in sophisticated spreadsheet models and easing migration to an enterprise-wide standard for planning and forecasting.
     * Full Scorecard and Report Integration:  Cognos Enterprise Planning’s Excel interface is tightly integrated with the Cognos Enterprise Business Intelligence Series, including Cognos ReportNet and Cognos Metrics Manager.  Users are able to perform instant analysis against the plan in real time, leveraging Cognos’ powerful market leading solutions for production reporting, analysis, scorecarding, event detection, and notification.
     * Leveraging Cognos Enterprise Security with Excel:  Single sign-on user authentication allows administrators to control security across all Cognos solutions.  This means shared security across Cognos products with a single collection of common users, user class definitions, and appropriate control of individual users’ ability to view and or modify data.  Users only need to logon once to access applications.  Access to all planning information within Excel is integrated with Cognos’ security model — providing the right level of data access to valid users.

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