First Financial Planners standardizes on Information Builders' WebFOCUS for enterprise business intelligence

WebFOCUS and iWay Anchor Next-Generation Brokerage Platform

NEW YORK, NY, July 12, 2004 -- Information Builders, the leader in enterprise business intelligence (BI) and real-time operational reporting, today announced that First Financial Planners (FFP) of St. Louis, Missouri has selected WebFOCUS as its corporate standard for business intelligence and enterprise reporting. First Financial Planners chose WebFOCUS based on the software's proven ability to create, schedule, and deliver a wide range of reports to financial planners and associates at 300 branch offices across the United States.

"Whether it's back-office or front-office, WebFOCUS is becoming our enterprise standard for reporting," said Kurt Hansen, senior vice president and chief information officer at First Financial Planners. "It's the tool we'll use to solve many different problems related to reporting and information delivery."

FFP evaluated BI technology from Business Objects, Cognos, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM before selecting WebFOCUS. According to Hansen, what set WebFOCUS apart was its efficient, Web-based architecture and broad set of capabilities for organizing and presenting information. "We're using technology to gain a competitive advantage, and we believe our new IT platform will allow us to leapfrog other brokerage firms," Hansen added. "Information Builders is supplying the single most important piece of technology that we've licensed to make that happen: data access, integration, reporting, and business intelligence."

FFP particularly valued the tight coupling between WebFOCUS and related technology from iWay Software, an Information Builders company and the world's leading adapter vendor. "Most vendors are either good at reporting or good at integration," said Hansen. "Information Builders is the only vendor we have discovered that can do both well. Their technology enables us to rationalize many types of data, turn it into powerful knowledge, and present it to our reps in a cohesive way."

FFP's first BI application to go into production is a consolidated statement that financial planners can use to combine information from brokerage accounts, variable annuities, limited partnerships, fixed insurance products, and other types of financial products onto a single statement. FFP developers are using iWay to bring all the data together, and WebFOCUS to generate the consolidated statements.

FFP is also planning to use WebFOCUS for all of its back-office reporting, such as to create enterprise financial statements and to support regulatory compliance initiatives. Developers are working on an executive dashboard to allow senior managers to examine information at a high level across the entire business.

"Information Builders handles more than just integration or reporting," Hansen said. "It's a growth engine for our company. We're absolutely convinced that Information Builders' products are going to help us understand our customers, support our branch offices, and automate our business to a degree that most brokerage firms haven't even begun to think about."

About First Financial Planners

Established in 1983, First Financial Planners has worked hard to become one of the largest independent financial planning firms in the nation. Today, the company includes two major businesses: FFP Securities, Inc., a full- service broker/dealer and licensed insurance agency; and FFP Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm that handles fee-based planning, money management, and individualized financial plans to help clients meet specific financial goals.

About Information Builders

Information Builders, a $300 million company, is the leader in enterprise business intelligence and real-time Web reporting. The company's WebFOCUS product - the industry's most secure and flexible - is able to meet all the reporting needs of the extended enterprise, ranging from analysts to power users to the widest deployments for hundreds of thousands of users. Additionally, WebFOCUS' empowerment of organizations seeking to leverage all of their data by accessing it all - from legacy to data warehouse - is unmatched.

Information Builders' award-winning technology has successfully provided quality software and superior services for 29 years to more than 12,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100 and U.S. federal government agencies. Headquartered in New York City with 90 offices worldwide, the company employs 1,750 people, and has over 350 business partners.

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