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New OLAP Player Paris Aims at Mid Market Financials.

Doylestown, Pennsylvania-based Paris Technologies Inc becomes the latest entrant into the online applications processing marketplace this week when it officially launches its PowerOLAP software. Aimed at mid-market companies who don't have huge budgets, PowerOLAP is ready integrated with the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the user interface, and with mid-range accounting packages such as Solomon, Platinum and Actuity. It also includes a dynamic link to databases from multiple vendors.

Paris was formed two and a half years ago from its parent company Educom Group International Inc of Sydney, Australia, originally a training company and still the holding company for Paris. Educom spent ten years reselling the TM1 high-end RAM-based analytical processing software - technology which Hyperion Software Corp licensed in 1994, and which Applix Inc eventually acquired in 1996 from Sinper Corp. Applix used the technology to launch what it called the first ever integration of a web spreadsheet with real time OLAP capabilities, and later introduced the TMI Perspectives product, installed as an add-in to Lotus 123 or Excel.

But Paris says it decided to build its own technology, including high-end capabilities but aimed at mid-market companies of between $25m and $250m in revenue. It integrates a multidimensional database with links to relational and the Excel spreadsheet - although other front-end tools can also be plugged in with a bit of development work. Mid-market companies are able to set up a budgeting system within a few weeks, compared with months for Oracle Xpress, according to David Libesman, president and COO of Paris. Unlike TM1, and most other OLAP tools, which are primarily used for viewing data, PowerOLAP enables managers to use the spreadsheet to feed data back into the OLAP cube for financial modeling, "what if" analysis and ad hoc reporting. Links with back-end databases can be real-time, set minute-by-minute, or scheduled. Paris also offers a tool for synchronization with offline mobile spreadsheets. Any version of Excel - not just Excel 2000 - can be used.

The company has been shipping the product for four months, selling through financial value added resellers. It says its already sold a 100 user budgeting system in Hong Kong. Typical prices are $1,590 for a single user system, including all integration. Three user systems cost around $7,000, and training costs are low, the company claims. Libesman says he's looking beyond the financial market to manufacturing, payroll and sales automation markets, and setting up links to consultancy firms. Paris, which currently has 140 employees, aims to establish itself in US, Asia, European and Australian markets, and has plans to go public in around a year. It still has a good revenue stream from its training business to help with the funding.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 3, 1999
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