Cognos Introduces New Performance Management Solution for Strategic Financial Planning

    - New Cognos Performance Blueprint enables reliable, connected
enterprise-wide strategic financial planning -

    BURLINGTON, MASS., December 11 /CNW/ - Cognos(R) (NASDAQ:   COGN) (TSX:
CSN), the world leader in business intelligence and performance management
solutions, today announced the availability of a new performance management
solution designed to help model, evaluate, select, and monitor business
strategies for driving profitable growth.

    The Cognos Strategic Finance Performance Blueprint provides a complete
performance management framework for strategic financial planning that
supports a Web-based process for the systematic evaluation of long-range plans
and strategies, analysis of various scenarios, supporting decision-making and
monitoring success. As the starting and ending point for long-term planning
across the enterprise, strategic financial planning helps companies establish
performance targets and resource allocation guidance for developing
operational plans and budgets. Strategic planners rationalize key objectives,
weigh investment alternatives, and translate higher-order goals into discrete
financial targets, resource plans and performance metrics for the rest of the

    While strategic financial planning is typically performed by a small
group, its outcome has major significance for the entire organization and its
stakeholders. The Strategic Finance Performance Blueprint was a critical
factor when UNITE Group PLC, the leading student accommodation company in the
United Kingdom, sought to implement a planning solution for strategic decision
making requirements that would impact a business serving more than 38,000
university students. The company's planning initiative required the
implementation of a comprehensive and connected strategic finance process.

    "We selected Cognos Planning and the Cognos' Strategic Finance Blueprint
as our planning solution for several reasons - namely, the robust and seamless
connection between operational plans and budgets and strategic finance models
and the pre-built analytical capability. The fact that Cognos involved leading
experts and clients from around the world in collaborating on it was evident
in how well it met our needs," said Zoe Fitzsimmons, MI Design Manager at
UNITE. "Having gone through a comprehensive comparison exercise during the
vendor selection, there did not appear to be a competing product that could
provide us with similar capability or greater confidence. The Strategic
Finance Blueprint was fundamental to UNITE's software purchasing decision
because it enables the type of investment decision modeling that is core to
the company's future business model."

    Strategic financial planning is an iterative process that unites top-down
target setting, long-term goals and bottom-up plans and forecasts based on the
latest information over shorter horizons. The workflows and analytics support
identification of gaps between performance aspirations and emerging reality so
initiatives can help management course-correct. Optimal results are achieved
when a uniform planning platform is in place.

    According to research by The Hackett Group, world-class finance
organizations are 88% more likely than their peers to have an integrated tool
to support the strategic planning, tactical planning and budgeting processes.
This integrated process and technology environment enables world-class finance
organizations to support a planning process that is more accurate and costs
34% less than that of peer group companies. Ultimately, this results in an
industry-relative equity market return that is 2.4 times larger than the
industry norm.

    Most companies, however, see results that are anything but optimal, since
their strategic financial planning processes are often plagued by limited
information access, lack of version control, long cycle times, and lack of
confidence in model accuracy. The Cognos Strategic Finance Blueprint based on
Cognos 8 Planning, eliminates these roadblocks by facilitating information
access, easing version control, ensuring calculation reliability and
integrity, and increasing confidence in the quality of the management
information base.

    "The Strategic Finance Performance Blueprint provides a reliable approach
to enterprise-wide, strategic financial planning and is an ideal replacement
for spreadsheet-based approaches to long-term enterprise financial planning,"
said Doug Barton, vice-president of product marketing, performance management,
Cognos. "Integrated seamlessly with the Cognos Performance Management System,
the blueprint is fully flexible and scalable across any organization using
Cognos 8 Planning, and enables executives and decision makers to evaluate
their success in meeting goals when connected with operational plans, budgets,
and forecasts in a single reliable, planning framework."

    In addition, the Strategic Finance Performance Blueprint:

    --  Facilitates long-range strategic planning (e.g., over a ten-year

    --  Evaluates the impact of multiple strategies

    --  Allows for comparison and analysis of what-if growth scenarios

    --  Facilitates evaluating internal or external growth opportunities

    --  Enables mergers & acquisition (M&A) planning.

    --  Provides an assessment of the current portfolio - allowing for
analysis and impact of divestitures

    --  Includes tax, funding, and credit rating impacts

    --  Includes a full set of consolidated financial statements with
distinct views for base growth, acquisitions, and divestitures

    The Strategic Finance Performance Blueprint is available immediately to
customers. More information can be found at

    About Cognos Performance Blueprints:

    Cognos offers a full suite of Performance Blueprints to address planning
and performance management process areas that directly impact an
organization's ability to create business value. Both functional and
industry-specific process areas can now be automated, streamlined and
transformed to help organizations quickly create more business value.
Developed by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management, the
Cognos Performance Blueprints are a key component within the Cognos
Performance Management System, which combines technology, best practices,
analytical applications and solutions, and a broad network of partners into a
single performance management solution. For further information on the Cognos
Performance Blueprints see

    About Cognos:

    Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and performance
management solutions, provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software
and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and
operational performance.

    Cognos brings together technology, analytical applications, best
practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers a complete
performance system. The Cognos performance system is an open and adaptive
solution that leverages an organization's ERP, packaged applications, and
database investments. It gives customers the ability to answer the questions
-- How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do about it? -
and enables them to understand and monitor current performance while planning
future business strategies.

    Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries, and
its top 100 enterprise customers consistently outperform market indexes.
Cognos 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.

    Note to Editors: Copies of previous Cognos press releases and Corporate
and product information are available on Cognos' Web site at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Cognos, Inc. Connie Costigan,
613-738-1440 or Lois Paul & Partners Doreen Maciak,
781-782-5832 or Investor Relations: Cognos, Inc. John
Lawlor, 613-738-3503

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