Cognos, an IBM company, has announced the availability of IBM Cognos TM1 9.4, an enhanced version of its performance management solution for enterprise and mid-market organizations.
The latest version of IBM Cognos TM1 9.4 features enhanced intuitive analysis and reporting capabilities, higher levels of compliance and software standardization, and integration with IBM Cognos 8 BI. Based on a patented, 64-bit, in-memory multi-dimensional OLAP server, Cognos TM1 gives users real-time insight into the impact of their financial performance management activities including planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation.
Powered by the TM1 analytics engine, IBM Cognos TM1 9.4 enables strategic analysis of financial, transactional, operational and other large-volume business data, allowing users to see sophisticated views of mission-critical information. As a result, users can perform 360-degree analytics, spotting trends that can optimize budgeting, planning, reporting, and forecasting processes and outcomes, the company says. TM1 9.4 also includes enhanced administration features, usability improvements for Excel and Web users, and compliance with Vista and Office 2007.
"We were able to implement IBM Cognos TM1 in an accelerated timeframe to handle our budget and internal financial reporting processes for our restaurants," said Joe Furmanek, director of finance at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants. "The ability to process revisions to our budgets due to changes in assumptions, especially commodities for all of our 265 company restaurants, and view consolidated statements within minutes instead of hours was a big benefit," he said. "Our field managers now receive financial reports much sooner after period-end, which allows them to make any necessary adjustments to their operations quickly while it can still have an impact in the current period. We're currently migrating our Key Indicator reporting process to IBM Cognos TM1 9.4."
One of TM1's most significant new features is "Active Forms," which provide a number of new or updated capabilities for both power users and end-users. These include reports with asymmetrical drill-down; parameter-driven row definition; intuitive style-based report formatting; an identical user experience in both thick or thin client; and server-side zero suppression for improving end-user responsiveness. These functions are valuable for a fully interactive environment that innovates on TM1's historical strength in Excel-based application authoring.
Other TM1 9.4 updates include:
· Enterprise-ready Web deployment: New functionality provides maintenance-free reporting and input template creation that works both in the Excel and Web environments. IBM Cognos TM1 Executive Viewer has moved to an XML format for view definition and rendering, thus providing an easy way to create programmatic maintenance and deployment routines.
· SOX compliance: Two new features improve product compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley-related regulations for GRC (governance, risk and compliance). A new logging facility captures all non-data maintenance activity for comprehensive audit capabilities. The IBM Cognos TM1 audit log tracks who changes your metadata, and when it was changed. This includes instances such as adding elements to a dimension, changing parentage of elements, adding or deleting public subsets, or changes to your rules or processes.
· Global Support - Fully Unicode-compliant, TM1 9.4 supports expanded string lengths beyond the previous limit of 255 characters. Two new languages-simplified Chinese and Japanese-have also been introduced.
· Business users and executives at both large and midsize enterprises need to keep track of complicated data in real-time, and then be able to leverage it based on their goals and objectives," said Doug Barton, vice-president, product marketing, Cognos. "The newest version of IBM Cognos TM1 arms these users with the most powerful and actionable data to drive improved performance across the organization."
For midsize organizations, a mid-market version is available with all the capabilities of the TM1 9.4 solution. The IBM Cognos TM1 MidMarket Edition is a cost-effective alternative to spreadsheets and offers an affordable, single, Web-based solution with a range of new options for information analysis, presentation, and report delivery. Since minimal IT support is needed for installation and setup, the demand on overstretched IT resources is greatly reduced. As a result, end users can develop performance management solutions without having technical skills. The IBM Cognos TM1 MidMarket Edition also provides role-based security and a clear audit trail to facilitate accountability and accuracy within your organization.
IBM Cognos TM1 9.4, which was beta tested by several customers including Blue Mountain Ski Resort and Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, is generally available now directly from Cognos or its network of partners. TM1 9.4, like all Cognos solutions, has 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. For more information on TM1 9.4, visit http://www.cognos.com/products/tm1/.
About Cognos, an IBM company
Cognos, an IBM company, is a world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions. It provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. Cognos also offers financial and performance management solutions for mid-market organizations to help structure and automate key financial processes--from planning, budgeting, and forecasting to consolidation, reporting, and analytics. Cognos mid-market solutions streamline information gathering, aggregation, and analysis so that small and midsize companies can focus more attention on running and growing their business. For more information on Cognos' mid-market solutions, visit http://www.cognos.com/products/tm1/cognos-tm1-midmarket-edition.html. Cognos was acquired by IBM in January 2008. For more information visit http://www.ibm.com/software/data/ and http://www.cognos.com/.