Geac launches MPC 7 performance management software
MARKHAM, ON and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, Sept. 9, 2005 - Geac(R) (TSX: GAC and NASDAQ: GEAC), a global provider of software solutions to the CFO, today announced the immediate availability of Geac MPC 7, a major new release of its flagship integrated performance management software. Early adopter customers praised Geac MPC 7 for its new enterprise collaborative planning capability, enhanced consolidation functionality and new reporting capabilities.
The new release of Geac MPC continues to build on the single application architecture that is the hallmark of MPC. It further enables large deployments of performance management applications across Global 2000 organizations without adding onerous application support and systems maintenance requirements. Geac MPC also retains its open architecture, allowing it to be implemented along side of existing applications and systems; as a result, customers can "extend and enhance" their systems, rather than undertake the more expensive and disruptive "rip and replace" approach.
Geac MPC 7 is an open, fully integrated, "closed loop"(1) performance management software offering, built as a single application on a common schema to ensure data consistency and to provide a rapid time to value for customers who are looking to unify their business processes. MPC 7 affords large enterprises the flexibility to put powerful performance management capabilities - including strategy, planning, budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting -in the hands of finance and business professionals across an organization, while preserving centralized control of critical information.
The new release of Geac's performance management application builds on its history of innovation and market success. For example, Geac MPC recently received the highest ratings among all competitive offerings in Ventana Research's 2005 Performance Management Vendor and Product Scorecard.
"By focusing our efforts on meeting customers' requirements for a highly functional, open and integrated performance management solution, Geac has successfully differentiated itself from virtually every other vendor - especially those whose primary agenda appears to be driving sales of their proprietary software tools, platforms, and applications," said Brian Hartlen, Geac's vice president of global marketing. "Geac's approach - allowing customers to extend their existing investment in platforms, applications and systems - stands in strong contrast to our competitors, who require customers to rip out and replace a lot of existing systems, effectively creating a closed environment. We made the strategic decision to design Geac MPC to be a single management system that would be open to, and integrate with, all of the different applications, database technologies, ERP, BI and reporting tools in which companies have already invested."
Geac MPC 7 supports Oracle and SQL Server databases, and works with Microsoft Reporting and Analysis Services, the fastest-growing business intelligence platform on the market(2).
Key Geac MPC 7 enhancements
The most notable functional enhancements in Geac MPC 7 are in its planning, financial consolidation and reporting capabilities.
"Geac MPC 7 advances how enterprise-wide strategic and operational business planning should be done," said Stan Elbaum, vice president at Aberdeen Group, an industry research firm. "By adding a Microsoft Excel front-ended collaborative planning capability to MPC, Geac MPC 7 helps organizations close the gap between the traditional 'top down' strategy process and 'bottom up' budgeting process by putting it all into one seamless application. The result is a collaborative, closed loop environment for planning, tracking, and predicting progress toward key management objectives."
New Geac enterprise planning capability
Geac MPC 7 offers a sophisticated planning application geared toward simplifying the planning process, from a single planner creating "what if" operational plans to multiple teams of collaborative planners around the world, driven through the defacto standard interface for planning: Microsoft Excel. A planner may set a high-level target needed to achieve a desired profitability percentage, for example, and then let the system adjust ("spread") the values of the chosen plan variables to achieve the goal. Planners may also add, delete, or change business assumptions and structures at will and in real time. This creates a much more nimble planning environment that also drives changes in operational plans and budgets for the enterprise. As a result, alignment throughout the organization occurs quickly and efficiently, and communication is dramatically enhanced.
Because the application is built on the Geac MPC financial application foundation with centralized controls, business users can collaborate on the same plan without having to keep track of how the changes made through the planning process will be driven into the "system of record." Geac's planning capability organizes and manages the sharing of structures and data across the planning environment, allowing the information to be used to seed the budget, measure operational plans, or build long-range strategic planning models.
Smarter financial consolidation
Geac MPC 7 also contains a "smarter" financial consolidation module. Responding to the increasing demands on the financial consolidation process, Geac has added the capability to calculate information within a focus range to get the answers required for any process. The result is much faster turnaround on calculating the impact of changes in data, logic or organization structure.
Tshifhiwa Makhari, an early adopter user of Geac MPC 7 at Barloworld, a US$3 billion international industrial brand management company, said: "Running partial consolidations, focusing specifically on the areas where information has changed, will reduce consolidation times by up to 30 percent."
Easier, more flexible reporting
Geac MPC 7 offers a new reporting capability that allows users to create sophisticated formalized reporting in whatever manner best suits the organization, providing optimal flexibility in terms of both report content and formatting.
Microsoft Excel power users often want to do highly personalized analysis and reporting from their performance management systems. MPC 7 extends the current Excel Services functionality to deliver Excel cell-based reporting capabilities. Users can leverage the data in the centralized application without giving up the flexibility they need to create virtually any layout they choose without the need for pre-built views, templates, or formatting requirements.
"Allowing free-form report creation in Excel gives our users the power to get at and use the information they need to drive our business," said Rob McCloskey, Manager of Financial Systems & Sales Reporting at Baker & Taylor, a leading full-line distributor of books, video, and music products to Internet and traditional retailers and library customers.
"We can gain tremendous benefit from using the full integration into Excel offered by Cell-Based Reporting in MPC 7. It allows us to generate pre-built, customized and highly formatted Excel report books in a very efficient and timely manner," added Barloworld's Makhari.
Simplified ERP integration
Geac MPC OpenLink is a Web-based mapping tool that simplifies the process of accurately moving data from multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other source systems to the Geac MPC application. OpenLink is designed to work with the most popular and widely deployed ERP and general ledgers on the market.
"We expect Geac's OpenLink functionality will save us a substantial amount of time in the consolidation process at period-end, as we empower our users to load their own Trial Balances from our ERP system directly into Geac MPC," said Marjory Jervis, Senior Financial Systems Analyst at Renishaw plc, a UK-based precision instruments manufacturer.
Geac MPC Fast-Track is a set of packaged application integrations between MPC and several Geac ERP offerings. Fast-Track integrations available with the Geac MPC 7 release include Geac E Series, Geac M Series, Geac SmartStream, and Geac System21.
Geac MPC 7 is generally available immediately from the Geac direct sales force and authorized distributors and partners worldwide. Additional product information is available at http://www.geac.com/page/management_applications_PM.html.
Geac (TSX: GAC and NASDAQ: GEAC) is a global enterprise software company that addresses the needs of the Chief Financial Officer. Geac's best-in-class technology products and services help organizations do more with less in an increasingly competitive environment, amidst growing regulatory pressure, and in response to other business issues confronting the CFO. Further information is available at http://www.geac.com or through e-mail at email@example.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements of Geac's intentions, beliefs, expectations and predictions for the future. These forward-looking statements often include use of the future tense with words such as "will," "may," "intends," "anticipates," "expects" and similar conditional or forward-looking words and phrases. These forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees. They are only predictions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and they may differ materially from actual future events or results. Geac undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained herein. Important factors that could cause a material difference between these forward-looking statements and actual events include, among other things: our ability to increase revenues from new license sales, cross-sell into our existing customer base and reduce customer attrition; whether we can identify and acquire synergistic businesses and, if so, whether we can successfully integrate them into our existing operations; whether we are able to deliver products and services within required time frames and budgets to meet increasingly competitive customer demands and performance guaranties; risks inherent in fluctuating international currency exchange rates in light of our global operations and the unpredictable effect of geopolitical world and local events; whether we are successful in our continued efforts to manage expenses effectively and maintain profitability; our ability to achieve revenue from products and services that are under development; the uncertain effect of the competitive environment in which we operate and resulting pricing pressures; and whether the anticipated effects and results of our new product offerings and successful product implementation will be realized. These and other potential risks and uncertainties that relate to Geac's business and operations are summarized in more detail from time to time in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and with the Canadian Securities Administrators. Please refer to Geac's most recent quarterly reports available through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov and through the website maintained by the Canadian Securities Administrators and the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited at http://www.sedar.com for more information on risk factors that could cause actual results to differ. Geac is a registered trademark of Geac Computer Corporation Limited. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.
(1) According to market research firm Aberdeen Group, a "closed loop" approach to performance management comprises four inter-related phases:
- Strategies and Objectives: establishing the strategic targets and assumptions
- Derived Targets and Metrics: determining the holistic and specific set of operational programs and metrics against which to measure performance; difference targets, and strategies
- Execution: the implementation /operationalizing of the plan
- Measurement and Analysis: determining how to go forward in terms of modifying future plans, assumptions, and decision-making based on evaluation of actual results
An Aberdeen Group industry benchmark study found that best-in-class companies deploying "closed loop" corporate performance management (CPM) systems realize on average eight percent higher gross margins than the industry norm, and have about seven points greater market share in their most profitable segments.
(2) Business Intelligence Software Market Grows 12 Percent in 2004 (Gartner ID Number: G00130216) by Colleen Graham, published August 15, 2005 - "New license sales for business intelligence software grew 12 percent from 2003 to 2004. Microsoft led with 53 percent growth for its BI platform offering in the composite BI market."
SOURCE Geac Computer Corporation Limited
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