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 Commander Budget Addresses Enterprise-Wide Distributed Budgeting
 ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Comshare (NASDAQ: CSRE), a leading developer of business intelligence applications software, today introduced Commander(TM) Budget, a powerful, client/server application that automates all aspects of enterprise-wide distributed budgeting.
 Commander Budget operates entirely on networked Windows and DOS- based personal computers. It is designed to overcome the inherent limitations of spreadsheet-based budgeting systems, and to support organizations that are re-engineering their mission-critical applications for the client/server environment.
 Commander Budget's innovative architecture features a multi-user relational database, powerful built-in distributed budgeting processes, and open connections to several data entry, modeling, spreadsheet, reporting and analysis capabilities. This allows Commander Budget to support all business users involved with corporate budgeting and forecasting -- from senior executives to cost center supervisors -- and provides top-down control and consistency without sacrificing bottom-up flexibility and empowerment.
 "Comshare has more than 20 years' experience in helping companies build customized budgeting solutions, and Commander Budget reflects that depth of experience," said Richard L. Crandall, president and chief executive officer of Comshare. "Commander Budget automates the mechanics of budgeting -- even in complex distributed environments -- and provides managers and executives with a wealth of reporting, query and analysis capabilities that go far beyond simple spreadsheets. The goal is a more strategic budget, better acceptance of the budget process and goals throughout the company, and an ability to exploit modern budgeting practices such as multidimensional business segment budgeting."
 Commander Budget provides a range of power, capacity, flexibility and productivity unavailable in spreadsheet-based solutions or other competitive products, making it the most comprehensive offering in the emerging market for packaged budgeting applications. Commander Budget's uncompromising focus on satisfying corporate budgeting requirements is a result of Comshare's years of experience, plus extensive market research conducted during the past two years.
 Commander Budget's key features include:
 Central Relational Database Repository: All budget data, including both budget numbers and text commentaries, is maintained in a secure, multi-user relational database, which is currently based on Novell's Btrieve database manager. Future versions of Commander Budget will support additional database managers through the Microsoft ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) standard.
 Built-In Budget Processes: Commander Budget includes powerful built-in budgeting processes, such as an intelligent general ledger interface, as well as automated multidimensional consolidations with allocations, currency conversion and intercompany eliminations. All built-in processes are designed to work in a distributed, multiple-LAN environment for geographically-dispersed, multi-division corporations.
 End-User Setup and Maintenance: Commander Budget, like all Comshare business intelligence applications, is designed to be used and maintained by non-technical business analysts and managers rather than professional MIS staff. Application setup and maintenance is conducted through fill-in-the-blank forms and visual interfaces -- such as a drag- and-drop graphical organization chart. This improves the productivity of budget support staff and makes the application more responsive to changes that occur during the budget cycle.
 Open Spreadsheet Interfaces: Recognizing the existing investment companies have made in spreadsheet-based budgeting, Commander Budget includes direct, bi-directional interfaces to Microsoft Excel on Windows-based personal computers, and to Lotus 1-2-3 in both the DOS and Windows environments. In addition to its generalized spreadsheet interfaces, Commander Budget offers a facility for creating both Windows and DOS-based fill-in-the-blank data entry forms that include built-in validation and on-screen data entry aids. This combination of spreadsheet support and forms-based data entry eliminates the learning curve for most budgeting users, improving productivity and increasing end-user acceptance throughout the corporation.
 Built-In Multidimensional Modeller: Although most departments and cost centers can perform traditional budgeting with two-dimensional spreadsheets, corporate and divisional budgeting requires the ability to plan across multiple spreadsheets, especially for users who employ newer budgeting practices such as multidimensional business segment budgeting or activity-based budgeting. Commander Budget accommodates this need with a built-in "industrial strength" multidimensional modeller -- Comshare's Windows-based Commander Prism. Commander Prism provides a visual interface for slice-and-dice query and analysis of up to nine planning dimensions, and incorporates state-of-the-art "What If" tools such as an innovative "Goal Seeking" feature that automatically scales cost center budgets to achieve a consolidated, corporate-level target.
 Pricing and Availability
 Commander Budget is available immediately and priced according to the number of budget users. A 50-user license is priced at $60,000.
 Commander Budget joins Comshare's Commander series of business intelligence applications used for information delivery, analysis and management. Commander Budget shares a special relationship with Comshare's Commander FDC (Financial Data Control), an application used for statutory consolidation and management reporting of actual financial results. Commander FDC and Commander Budget are built on the same underlying database structure, permitting them to seamlessly share data and common application structures -- such as the company organization chart -- for integrated management, analysis and variance reporting of both budgets and actuals.
 Comshare is a full-service international software developer specializing in busiess intelligence applications, such as financial reporting and consolidation, profit management, enterprise budgeting and management reporting, as well as EIS. Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Comshare is recognized for creating the EIS market. The company has an installed base of more than 2,000 corporations worldwide.
 Commander is a trademark and Comshare is a registered trademark of Comshare, Incorporated. Other brand and product names are the property of their respective owners.
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 /CONTACT: Ricia Hughes of Comshare, 313-769-6068, or Comshare Marketing, 1-800-922-7979; or Tim Hurley or David Copithorne of Copithorne & Bellows, 617-252-0606, for Comshare/

CO: Comshare, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: CPR SU: PDT

ML -- DE011 -- 1239 12/07/93 11:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 7, 1993

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