Microsoft and Comshare(R) Extend 'Power of Two' to Deliver Complete CPM Solutions to the UK

From budgets to strategy, better business intelligence available within a single application

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 16, 2002 --On the heels of a successful U.S. launch, 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 UK 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(TM), organizations can now bring together strategy, operating budgets and forecasts into a single integrated IT environment.

The offering addresses analyst expectations(1) that the market for CPM solutions is about to explode, and makes CPM a reality for organizations 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 organizations in implementing and executing corporate strategy.

UK customers already impressed with using Comshare MPC on the Microsoft platform include Office Depot, Group Lotus, The Corporate Services Group PLC, Fibernet Group PLC, GWR Group PLC, and Telewest Communications PLC.

"We chose Comshare MPC on Microsoft's business intelligence platform because it is a cost effective, scalable solution that can be easily deployed throughout our European operations," said Rob Williams, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis - Europe, Office Depot. "The solution will significantly enhance the speed and effectiveness of our strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting processes, allowing users to spend more time analyzing information and so make better decisions, sooner and more often."

"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 Nick Bray, Finance Director, Fibernet Group PLC. "Actual data is obtained very quickly from multiple ledgers, is consolidated and available in numerous formats -- by function, geography, account code, cost center, and so on. These are available to the business by the fifth workday with full comparison to budget."

Organizations 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 analyze 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 Gordon Smillie, Director, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft Ltd. "SQL Server 2000 with Analysis Services 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."

"The UK offering enhances our strong partnership with Microsoft UK, with over 80% of UK customers now purchasing the Microsoft platform for Comshare MPC," said Brian Hartlen, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Comshare. "We expect to continue strong growth of Comshare MPC on the Microsoft platform as the interest in corporate performance management solutions intensifies in the UK market. Microsoft and Comshare are well positioned to define the market and our place as a leader."

Microsoft and Comshare assist organizations 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, organized 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 corporate performance management application 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 Microsoft Gold Certified Solution Partner for Business Intelligence and a Microsoft Data Warehousing Alliance Platinum Partner. For more information on Comshare, call 1-800-922-7979, send email to or visit Comshare's website at .

Comshare(R) is a registered trademark and Comshare MPC(TM) is a trademark of Comshare, Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

(1) John 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 decentralized management approaches, being able to more effectively improve speed of reaction to economic and competitive pressures."

CONTACT: UK: Louise Wells or Nicky Clark of Comshare UK,
  +44 (0) 20 7349 6000, ; US: Sandy Ellinger of Comshare
  Corporate Communications, +1-734-769-6194, ; or
  Christina Cameron of Weber Shandwick Worldwide, +1-617-520-7109, 

  Web site: