Cognos, Zilliant Roll Out Analytical Apps

Cognos suite for SAP R/3 offers improved visibility; Zilliant 3 increases profits.

Customers looking to business intelligence to solve business problems have new options in analytical applications from Cognos Inc. and Zilliant Inc.

Cognos, in Ottawa, last week released analytical applications for SAP AGs SAP R/3 as well as a repackaging of its analytical applications designed to make it easier for customers to buy them. Both moves give users improved visibility into their customer relationships, finances and supply chain.

Zilliant, in Austin, Texas, meanwhile, will announce this week Zilliant 3, an analytical application that helps companies find the optimum price for their products or services that will generate the most revenue and profit.

The Cognos suite for SAP R/3 includes analytic applications for SAP sales, accounts receivable, general ledger, accounts payable, inventory and procurement. Cognos already offers analytic applications customized for Oracle Corp. and J.D. Edwards & Co. business applications.

Marsha Williams, vice president of IT at COBE Cardiovascular Inc., in Arvada, Colo., uses Cognos sales analytics with SSA Global Technologies Inc.s BPCS ERP (enterprise resource planning) application. Williams said Cognos support for multiple ERP vendors applications makes it easier for her company to analyze data from the many different transactional systems it has in place worldwide.

"When you have mergers and consolidation, you dont need to standardize on one transactional system," Williams said. "You can quickly create an interface to Cognos from whatever youre using and, boom, you get the data you need to run your business."

Cognos Analytic Applications for SAP R/3 are customized for SAP and include 2,900 business questions, 500 known key performance indicators and 200 prepackaged reports, officials said. Customers can integrate the applications into their SAP environments without scripting.

The applications include time trending, a graphical interface, self-service reporting and analytics, historical analysis, dimensionality and drill-downs, cross-functional analytics and reporting, and prepackaged reports addressing ERP customizations.

In conjunction with the SAP announcement, Cognos an-nounced new bundles of its analytical applications designed to improve cross-functional analytics capabilities.

The Customer Analytics bundle combines sales and accounts receivable analytics; Financial Analytics combines accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger analytics; and the Supply Chain Analytics bundle combines inventory, procurement and accounts payable analytics.

The Cognos Analytic Applications for SAP R/3 and the analytic bundles are available now.

Zilliant said the latest version of its namesake application will return to customers at least a 20 percent increase in profits within six months of deployment.

The software is used to set optimal prices, develop discounts and promotions, gauge a products brand value, set price ceilings and floors, and pick products for bundling.

The new version features a Profit Management Center, which employs a dashboard and alerts to provide visibility into revenue and profit performance and market changes that could affect a companys business.

This version can also forecast how changes in pricing, promotions and discounting will impact revenue and profits.