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Actuate Delivers Industry’s First Managed Spreadsheets to Satisfy Both Business and IT Reporting Needs

Bracknell, Berkshire, UK – December 13th , 2004 – Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: ACTU), the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications, today announced that the company has extended its industry leadership in spreadsheet reporting by adding key functionality to the company’s unique e.Spreadsheet product. The newest release of Actuate 8 e.Spreadsheet features Cell Locking and Matrix Script capabilities which enable companies to replace manual non-compliant Excel applications with an auditable and repeatable process for giving employees and customers the spreadsheets they demand.

Many companies have a love-hate relationship with spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are the number one analysis tool that the majority of users prefer because users can manipulate data and perform analysis easily. But CEOs, CFOs and IT managers find that traditional spreadsheets can pose significant compliance risk when used for reporting, budgeting and forecasting, customer and supplier statements, and employee compensation reports. Typical manual spreadsheet reporting processes are not repeatable and cannot guarantee accuracy. Manual systems do not provide a data audit trail which creates a high risk of inaccurate or inconsistent information being passed around the organisation.

“Actuate e.Spreadsheet fills an important need for organisations,” said Robert D. Kugel, CFA, Vice President and Research Director of Financial Performance Management at Ventana Research. “Used by themselves, spreadsheets pose control and accuracy issues unacceptable in today’s compliance environment. By providing features such as cell-locking and Matrix Scripting, e.Spreadsheet gives companies the best of both worlds. It addresses compliance issues efficiently while retaining all of the look, feel, and capabilities that are vital to the spreadsheets businesses use all the time.”


With new federal regulations such as the Sarbanes Oxley, businesses cannot afford the compliance risks of inaccurate reporting. Inaccurate reports also cause lags in a company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions as important business actions are taken on the basis of inconsistent data. In addition, companies have been reluctant to send live spreadsheets outside the firewall to customers and partners for fear of litigation, which could result from changes made to key information within the spreadsheet.

With the addition of Cell Locking and Matrix Script capabilities, Actuate 8 e.Spreadsheet provides customers, partners and employees with the analysis tool of their choice, without the risk of ‘multiple versions of the truth’ or the operational and regulatory risks associated with distributing spreadsheets that contain key metrics that the end user can easily change. Actuate’s e.Spreadsheet now delivers Excel spreadsheets that dynamically adjust to reflect changing business performance, providing business executives and managers with automatically generated spreadsheet reports that present performance metrics tailored to specific business rules.

"Our accounting & finance teams prefer the ease-of-use of true Excel spreadsheet reports, and with the new cell-locking features available in e.Spreadsheet Designer, our organisation will reap the benefits of a single version of the truth while maintaining the freedom to perform additional analysis," said Mike Hader, IT Manager for Software Systems at Odom's Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc. "Cell locking reduces the time we spend cross checking reports for data consistency, so it's really a win - win situation for end users and IT. The Matrix Script capability allows us to perform complex analysis in a very standardised way, saving end-users many hours of manual work."
e.Spreadsheet Cell Locking
The Actuate e.Spreadsheet Cell Locking capability enables companies to distribute live spreadsheets containing formulas and graphs that enable immediate ‘what-if’ analysis while also protecting specified cells against alteration. e.Spreadsheet Cell Locking enables the report designer to password protect particular cells within a spreadsheet and maintains a ‘Spreadsheet of Record’ with the original, time-stamped data. Users thereby maintain the freedom to conduct analysis within the spreadsheet without compromising the consistency of key operational data and business logic. Live e.Spreadsheets with Cell Locking can also be distributed to customers and partners allowing recipients to immediately conduct analysis – which improves customer service.
e.Spreadsheet Matrix Script
The key to intuitive performance reporting is the ability of the reporting solution to precisely reflect the structure of business processes. Currently, organisations are forced to manually recreate spreadsheets encapsulating complex business logic on a repeated basis, wasting valuable IT resources and opening the door to spreadsheet errors. e.Spreadsheet Matrix Script functionality allows companies to easily generate live Excel spreadsheet reports that display hierarchical performance data based on any dimension including geography, organisational structure, time or any other arbitrary dimensions specific to a business process. Matrix Script also enables the creation of spreadsheet reports that dynamically adjust based on the value of key metrics, providing users with immediate visibility into information that requires their attention.

“Actuate’s e.Spreadsheet product line enables us to meet our customers’ demand for easy-to-use portfolio performance analysis in a scalable manner, ultimately improving the overall customer experience,” said David Landy, Vice President of Investments Technology at Evergreen Investments. “The new features of e.Spreadsheet Designer will improve our abilities to meet user requirements efficiently. Using the Matrix Script capabilities, we can develop e.Spreadsheets that offer presentation quality views of data that focus customers’ attention on the key metrics that represent portfolio performance.”

"I’ve spoken with many IT professionals who are passionate about 'killing spreadsheets' inside their organisation,” said Mike Thoma, Vice President of Product Marketing at Actuate. “The savvy ones know that this would be political suicide since such a significant number of users demand these reports. By implementing Actuate e.Spreadsheet the organisation can keep Excel by automating this manual process, no matter how complex the spreadsheets. By giving users information in the format they need, organisations can guarantee 100% adoption of information which will help companies significantly improve corporate performance and customer service.”
Availability
Cell Locking and Matrix Scripting capabilities will be available in Q1 of 2005 in the next release of Actuate 8 e.Spreadsheet.
About Actuate Corporation
Actuate Corporation is the world leader in Enterprise Reporting Applications that ensure 100% adoption by users Actuate’s Enterprise Reporting Application Platform is the foundation on which Global 9000 organisations (companies with annual revenues greater than $1 billion) and packaged application software vendors develop intuitive, Web portal-like reporting and analytic applications that empower 100% of users with decision-making information. These applications are deployed inside and outside the firewall to improve corporate performance across a range of business functions including financial management, sales, human resource management, and customer self-service. When tested against other business intelligence products, Actuate’s Enterprise Reporting Application Platform has been proven to offer industry-leading scalability and the lowest Total Cost of Ownership. Actuate has 2,900 customers globally in a range of industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals
, insurance, and distribution services, as well as the government sector.
Founded in 1993, Actuate has headquarters in South San Francisco, Calif., and has offices worldwide. Actuate is listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol ACTU. For more information on Actuate, visit the company's web site at www.actuate.com.


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