Bracknell, Berkshire, UK â October 17th, 2005 â Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications, today announced the first Spreadsheet Application Platform that gives corporations the ability to automate the production, distribution, updates, workflow and collaboration associated with enterprise-wide spreadsheet processes. Actuate 8 now allows organisations to create specialised spreadsheet applications that contain server-managed workflow, guided analysis and automated write-back to central data stores. A new class of closed-loop spreadsheet applications will allow companies to eliminate unnecessary errors, risks and expenses caused by traditional spreadsheet use, while preserving intellectual investments.
Nearly every organisation relies upon manually created spreadsheets that include time-tested business logic to drive critical business processes. Unfortunately these manual processes introduce errors, inconsistencies, and compliance risks for corporations. End-users refuse to give up Excel, but CFOs require repeatable business processes that can be audited, and IT managers need to centralise spreadsheet processes in order to leverage the enterprise infrastructure.
Actuateâs Spreadsheet Application Platform provides organisations with a flexible development environment to build customised enterprise-level applications that utilise familiar spreadsheet interfaces and give IT better management control over Excel. Companies can use the platform to develop a range of applications that automate specific business processes such as sales forecasting, capacity management, portfolio management, customer self-service, and order processing. CFOs enjoy a reduction of spreadsheet errors, increased cross-enterprise consistencies, and improved efficiencies in spreadsheet production, review and distribution.
"Spreadsheets are core to many of our business processes and are among companyâs most popular personal productivity tools," said Mike Hader, director of IT at Odomâs Tennessee Pride. "But unmanaged and undocumented spreadsheets can cause significant operational risks. Actuateâs Spreadsheet Applications give us the ability to automate many of our field broker and accounting processes through workflow-enabled spreadsheets. The automated write-back function helps minimise errors by allowing users to centrally update information."
"While we all have benefited from the desktop computing revolution -- publishing, managing, distributing, and using desktop documents like spreadsheets now present significant challenges to business today," said Eric Rogge, VP and research director at Ventana Research. "Technologies such as Actuate's Spreadsheet Application Platform allow organisations to support user preferences for spreadsheets, but at the same time better fit them into compliance, business process and information management requirements."
"Spreadsheets have become a mainstay technology for most businesses," said Jeff Morris, director of product marketing at Actuate Corporation. "Today companies use spreadsheets as a portable container for data, business logic, processes, communications and decision-making. Contrary to other Business Intelligence vendors, we believe that extending the functionality of traditional spreadsheets through the creation of fully automated spreadsheet applications is what CFOs, operational managers, IT professionals and end-users truly want."
The Actuate Spreadsheet Platform extends the companyâs existing e.Spreadsheet and iServer technology, which automates the architectural design, production and scaleable distribution of spreadsheets, to include automated workflow, collaboration and centralised data updates. New functionality includes:
- Spreadsheet Write-back â Captures and centrally stores spreadsheet changes, user annotations and change logs. Automates spreadsheet consolidation while preserving existing business processes.
- Server-managed Workflow â Reminds users to update and submit changes through event-based scheduling. Updates any central data store through processing rules and generates new spreadsheets as the process requires.
- Spreadsheet Guided Analysis â Validation rules reduce errors introduced by users. Worksheet and cell locking prevent fraud. Preserves business rules to keep processes and Excel models intact.