Following its bid to get into the on-line analytical processing business with the purchase of Information Resources Inc’s Express product family (CI No 2,684), Oracle Corp has announced Financial Analyser, one of the Express products, as part of its Applications Release 10SC. It is a multi-dimensional analysis tool for financial forecasting, reporting and budgeting, which Oracle has integrated with its General Ledger. It enables management throughout an orgnisation to analyse figures according to how that particular business manager needs to see the information. Think of a spreadsheet with rows and columns and imagine the data represented as a cube that can be turned through multiple dimensions, so that a sales manager may be looking at sales by industry sector, and want to know how that breaks down by region, and then within region whether sales are to new or existing business. Using tiles on the screen, the user can drill down and rotate company data in real time, to come up with answers that can then be represented on a spreadsheet, graph, report or through an on-line query. Oracle said the system can be set up to ensure that managers see only the level of data relevant to them, for example details on their own sales region but only summaries of other regions. The product is unique, Oracle said, in its budgeting facility, which enables managers to access past years’ performance and to change factors to produce forward budgets. Oracle uses Financial Analyser itself to run its $3,000m global software business, and will be using it for all 1996 budgets, according to John Wookey, vice-president of financial applications development. It will sell it as a stand-alone product through its on-line analytical processing sales force, as an integrated product alongside Oracle Financials, and will target its existing financials customer base of 2,700 or so companies, 90% of which is believed to have Oracle General Ledger. Oracle Financial Analyser costs $10,000 for the first user of the integrated or stand-alone module, and $1,250 per user thereafter. The stand-alone version is available immediately and the integrated module from January 1996.
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