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Atkins Gains New Control Over Project Performance, Thanks to Immediacy of Actuate e.Spreadsheet

Better Analysis and Understanding of Results Leads to Quicker Month-end Close and a Much Simpler Report Process

Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the leader in delivering Rich Internet Applications Without Limits™, today announced that multinational engineering and design consultancy, Atkins, is reaping significant cost savings and operational benefits from a new project performance reporting application rolled out to 2,500 users across its business, underpinned by Actuate e.Spreadsheet. The system has exceeded Atkins’ expectations, delivering a highly configurable web-based solution, which delivers the right information in a full Excel-like experience.

Actuate e.Report has provided reliable, timely, professional-looking reports for internal and external use at Atkins for four years. As well as making its business more efficient and responsive, e.Report has enabled Atkins to add new value for its clients by keeping them up to date with the status of particular projects. In 2007, Atkins derived more value from its investment in Actuate, by using Actuate e.Spreadsheet to collapse the timeframes involved in pushing out end-of-month project summary reports to finance and project managers. This was driven by demand from the business, as part of a five-year strategy to enhance project performance.

The Atkins IT team wanted a solution that would enable the easy creation and distribution of Excel reports, replacing the old architecture, and providing better all-round support while allowing for future enhancements. Derek Fontinelle, senior analyst programmer at Atkins explains, “We were keen to protect all that the end users liked about the old process, particularly the appearance of the reports and the rich Excel output. If anything, we wanted to improve on this, by making the reports more readily available to those that needed them, via secure Internet access and a common interface.” Derek continues, “Actuate e.Spreadsheet was the obvious solution. We already had extensive experience of Actuate using e.Report, which we were extremely happy with so we didn’t feel the need to go back out to market to try other solutions.”

“Previously it could take up to four days to collate the extensive data required in project summaries before they were distributed to our finance people,” Derek explains. “As a result, in some cases it could be two weeks before the relevant information was fed to the individual project managers – half way through the new month! Actuate e.Spreadsheet has helped us shave at least four days off that process, while freeing up finance managers’ time.” Most importantly, a faster month-end close and earlier access to management accounts means Atkins project teams are now better informed and can take proactive, pre-emptive action if performance is going off course or profitability is being eroded through poor cost management.

Vincent De Gennaro, Actuate’s VP of EMEA is delighted with the continued benefits that Atkins is realising from its Actuate investment and comments, “Atkins is a shining example of an Actuate reporting implementation that started with enterprise reporting functionality and has since expanded to encompass e.Spreadsheet to automate and manage spreadsheet reporting and give users the Excel experience they demand. As a result, Atkins has much greater understanding and visibility of results delivering better intelligence, better service and bigger profits.”