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IBM Launches New Dimension Management Software for Business Users


IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint provides business users with a single place to create, maintain, govern and share business dimensions for a consistent view of business performance

BURLINGTON, Mass. -Cognos, an IBM (NYSE: IBM) company in business intelligence and performance management solutions, today unveiled new collaborative business modeling software for business users to create, maintain, govern and share business perspectives and quickly organize strategic information for improved decision-making and performance management.

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint is a new performance management offering that addresses the increasing globalization, industry consolidation and data governance challenges today’s businesses face. These modern organizations need an intuitive, workflow-oriented business process that lets financial analysts, line and brand managers or data modelers structure their own view of key information and supports the multiple levels of authorization required to manage business performance across the organization. These capabilities are essential whether the organization is determining an effective way to standardize relationships between operating companies, or managing product and customer dimensions and their associated roll-up structures.

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint provides the business user with comprehensive dimension management capabilities that helps them maintain collections of business hierarchies and dimensions to yield new insights, easily reach all data, and quickly align both systems and people to the latest view of the business across finance and operations. For example, operations managers might want their sales hierarchies to reflect the latest re-organization, while financial analysts might want to re-align their cost centers so they have visibility to both the planned and actual views.

The product is complementary to master data management solutions, like IBM InfoSphere MDM Server, which synchronize master data domains such as customers and products across operational and transactional systems enterprise-wide. Specifically designed for performance management, IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint enables business users to manage the constantly changing dimensions that are most important to their business role for a consistent, shared viewpoint on results, operations and strategy. These dimensions could be associated with current or future cross-organizational views of reports, plans or forecasts for business domains such as cost centers, channels or financial assets.

“With IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint, it is easy to see how our product managers could modify business dimensions by altering their view of product lines and reviewing how their changes affect the other parts of the business,” said Paul Epp, Cognos Applications Manager, Graymont. “Without disrupting the underlying data or troubling IT, our business users could nominate how product lines can be remixed through a simple drag and drop process and then create a workflow to ensure that the right business owner is alerted to the proposed changes and has a chance to approve the recommendations.”

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint is built on the IBM Cognos 8 enterprise-class platform. Its modern, SOA architecture provides an open approach to data access so architects can leverage existing standards and business process management solutions. Changes to dimensions can be tracked back through IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence so business analysts and system administrators can validate proposed changes and make master dimensions available for reporting, analysis, enterprise planning and dashboards across the entire performance management system.

To address governance and data integrity, IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint centrally stores dimensions to enable a common view across the organization. It also replaces any manual efforts with reviewable, automated and auditable processes. This lets data stewards or business analysts ensure compliance with organizational and external governance standards. A documented audit trail provides one-click access to data lineage while security features ensure proper version control and management oversight on changes and approvals to maintain system integrity. The workflow also supports collaboration and approvals across multiple sets of users.

“As an IT manager, IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint alleviates my concerns knowing that select users can access the appropriate dimensions in accordance with our established security and administration policies,” said Susan Dean, Director, Business Intelligence, MedAssets. “We can confidently and securely enable deeper collaboration, faster analysis and adaptability for our business users on our existing, trusted performance management platform, without the need to burden previously engaged IT resources in the day-to-day changes to business views.”

“IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint aligns the business to own and operate dimensions on their own terms,” said Leah MacMillan, vice-president, product marketing, Cognos, an IBM Company. “This new addition to our portfolio lets the domain experts work at the speed of the business and powers a more dynamic decision-making process across business functions - whether it is a financial analyst nominating changes to the chart of accounts workflow or a product manager moving consumer products into different business groups and analyzing the associated impact.”

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint extends the performance management capabilities of IBM Cognos 8 v4, announced today. See today’s related release at: []. It is a key component of IBM’s Information Agenda, a new approach consisting of industry-specific software and consulting services geared to helping customers use information on demand as a strategic asset across their businesses.

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint will be available in Q4, 2008.


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