New Cognos Planning Series delivers a flexible, connected planning environment for enterprise customers

- Enhancements deliver greater visibility, predictability across the extended enterprise -

BURLINGTON, Mass., Dec. 13, 2004 -- Cognos (Nasdaq: COGN; TSX: CSN), the world leader in business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM), today announced it has extended its industry-leading planning solution with the launch of Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3.

Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 extends a customer's ability to connect global operational and financial planning processes in real-time for immediate visibility into resource plans and future business performance. New distributed administration capabilities allow customers to securely share responsibility for plan administration across functions, geographies, and business units in a single, unified planning environment.

Organizations worldwide have long been challenged with connecting or linking planning initiatives and instead have relied on spreadsheets, which require time intensive maintenance and audit and often reflect a static, functionally siloed view of the business.

According to a recent report(1) from Forrester vice-president Paul Hamerman, "many companies are moving from spreadsheet-based budgeting processes to more sophisticated planning and budgeting packages. Companies are adopting better technology to manage these processes, and the processes themselves are evolving. Financial planning processes are becoming more frequent, as companies transition from annual budgets to rolling budgets and forecasts. In 2005, more companies, especially in volatile consumer-oriented and high-tech markets, will abandon traditional budgets in favor of more agile planning and measurement systems, including forecasts and business performance management."

Cognos customers are aware of the delays, management control issues and performance risks associated with spreadsheet-based planning. They are addressing this "connected planning challenge" by implementing cross functional, enterprise scope planning that links models for important operational plans such as headcount and compensation, sales forecasting or cost center budgeting. This approach to connected planning efficiently and effectively supports the participation of thousands of front-line business managers in an intuitive, relevant driver-based plan process. Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 streamlines key financial and operational processes by providing component-based planning to link these planning models in real-time across the global scope of the organization.

At Manpower this capability supports the synchronization of planning drivers, assumptions and values across a broad set of plan components. Located in 67 countries, Manpower is a world leader in the staffing industry.

"One of the many benefits Cognos delivers to Manpower is time saving. Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 enables us to share data in real time between operational plans as well as between operational plans and the overall corporate plan," said Vivian Adashek, Manager in U.S. Accounting for Manpower's North American operations. "We have more than 1,000 users who take advantage of this real-time access, and they are able to do so independently without the help of our IT group. Users can easily conduct real-time data transfer between driver-based operational plans for integration into a single financial statement view. The distributed administration capabilities provide secure, real-time, integrated management of this process."

In addition to Manpower, Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 has been tested by a range of global organizations including CBH Consultants and Shell Oil. Product focus groups with organizations such as BMG, Cheesecake Factory and Deloitte also helped direct and validate the customer-centric innovations in this release.

CBH Consultants, a Cognos Pinnacle Award winner based in Laguna Hills, CA, has two Fortune 500 customers that did beta testing so they can quickly take advantage of modular component-based planning.

"Real-time planning and reporting is very fast with Cognos Planning Series 7.3," said Joe Baird, president of CBH Consultants. "The new product is even more scaleable, and large logical models can be calculated automatically, in minutes. Our testing validated planned modifications for a large, global media company, giving its users instant answers to help make faster, more confident decisions. All our customers will want to move to the new version to unlock new sources of value in connected, component based planning."

Specific new enhancements to Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 include:

-- Component-based Planning: The modular nature of component-based planning provides greater effectiveness in designing plan models and improves efficiencies in plan orchestration. Users can start planning where the business pain is greatest and then connect their plan to other planning processes across the organization in a graduated manner for more relevant, efficient and rapidly deployed planning processes.

-- Distributed Administration: This new function places control in the hands of those tasked with supporting a distributed and comprehensive deployment of enterprise planning. Access and responsibility for plan administration privileges can now be assigned and shared across planning applications and processes through the Cognos Access Manager security framework which provides a common layer of role-based security across all Cognos solutions.

-- Uniform CPM User Experience: The new Cognos Planning user interface provides a consistent user experience across Cognos Performance Management and Business Intelligence applications. Users can quickly and easily leverage their expertise and familiarity across a set of related performance management tasks: planning, reporting and analysis and scorecarding. The new interface addresses the unique requirements for planning such as multiple planning models, annotations and data interaction with a tab-oriented, Microsoft Excel-like look and feel. In addition, customers now have full access to Cognos PowerPlay to analyze plan data across multiple nodes and entities, while deeper integration and automatic generation of reporting models brings plan data to the greatest number of finance and business users via Cognos ReportNet.

Cognos Planning Series 7 Version 3 is immediately available for customers direct from Cognos or its extensive network of partners.

(1) Forrester Research, Trends 2005 Financial Management Systems, Paul Hamerman, November 5, 2004.


Cognos, the world leader in enterprise business intelligence and corporate performance management, delivers software and services that helps companies drive, monitor and understand corporate performance.

Cognos delivers the next level of competitive advantage -- Corporate Performance Management (CPM) -- achieved through the strategic application of BI on an enterprise scale. Our integrated CPM solution helps customers drive performance through planning; monitor performance through scorecarding; and understand performance through business intelligence.

Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in over 135 countries. Cognos enterprise business intelligence and performance management solutions and services are also available from more than 3,000 worldwide partners and resellers. For more information, visit the Cognos Web site at .

Cognos and the Cognos logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cognos Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


Web Site:

Carrie Bendzsa
Cognos, 613-738-1440

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