Cognos tightens planning software integration

By Stacy Cowley, IDG News Service |  Software

Analytics and reporting software vendor Cognos Inc. released the latest version of its Enterprise Planning Series suite on Tuesday, boosting the integration between Cognos' flagship applications and its newer additions based on technology the company picked up in its acquisition last year of Adaytum Inc.

Cognos, in Ottawa, released last year a branded version of Adaytum's software, but Tuesday's Enterprise Planning Series 7.2 release is the first edition to fully connect Cognos Consolidation (formerly called Cognos Financial) with the Adaytum-based Cognos Enterprise Planning software. One customer, Murray Inc. Financial Systems Manager Rose Melillo, said the difference between the early integration and that offered in the 7.2 release is "night and day."

"Now it's really useable," Melillo said. "For someone like us, with (Cognos Consolidation) set up, we did not want to reinvent the wheel over on the planning side. Now we can pull up Consolidation information and push small parts of that out to planning, so we can run real-time what-if scenarios, which are wonderful."

Murray is a Brentwood, Tennessee-based maker of lawnmowers, snowblowers and other consumer products. The company has used Cognos' financial reporting software for several years, and has helped the business cut its monthly financial closing time from two weeks to three days, Melillo said. What Murray didn't have until now was the real-time ability to examine the effects of changing sales forecasts on its bottom line.

"We were having a hard time piecing out, 'What if we were going to sell six percent more riders, what will that do to our production and our estimates?'" Melillo said. "It's something people are begging to get to, to figure out how they

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