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6/5/2008
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Adaptive Focuses On Collaboration In Upgrade Of Financial Planning Service

Adaptive Planning 5.0 offers what the company calls "connected intelligence," which is the ability to tap into the pool of knowledge among employees within an organization or among outside financial professionals.

Adaptive Planning has upgraded its online financial planning and reporting service with a number of collaboration features, including the ability to connect to colleagues outside an organization for advice on best practices.

Adaptive Planning 5.0 offers what the company calls "connected intelligence," which is the ability to tap into the pool of knowledge among employees within an organization or among outside financial professionals. The new features address the need with many organizations for better collaboration in the financial planning process.

A recent study by Ventana Research found that most companies believe planning and budgeting are important to business success, but one in five are at the lowest level of maturity in the process. A majority of the participants in the study, for example, continue to use spreadsheets, despite the fact that users of dedicated applications are far more likely to produce more accurate plans and budgets.

Adaptive's latest upgrade integrates new collaboration features, including discussion forums, online documents, shared attachments, project management and search capabilities, into the planning and reporting processes, the company said. In addition users have the option of reaching out to other financial professionals, accessing best practices and benchmarking information via a public online community.

"By better connecting teams and experts across the globe, we are introducing the 'wisdom of the crowds' to the world of finance," William Soward, president and chief executive of Adaptive, said in a statement.

Advantages of the upgrade's new team collaboration capabilities include the creation of a searchable repository for institutional knowledge associated with budgets, forecasts, and reports; an auditable archive of planning and reporting interactions; and greater alignment around companywide plans, goals and objectives, the company said.

Adaptive has incorporated in its online service what it calls a "public financial best practices community" that enables financial professionals to interact and share ideas. The new collaboration capability includes access to best practices articles, discussion groups, expert perspectives, polls, videos, and more.

Improvements within Adaptive's planning and reporting application include what the company calls "modeled sheets," which are meant to simplify the process of multidimensional modeling. In addition, greater flexibility has been added to the process of allocating personnel and other expenses across projects, funds, programs, or similar categories.

The new planning and reporting capabilities and the public community are currently available. The private team collaboration features are scheduled to be available in July. Adaptive planning offers a test drive of the online service.

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