Software gives 'what if' scenarios a workout

A home grown software company claims it has developed a corporate modelling solution that supersedes the usual forecasting tools such as OLAP (online analytical processing) used to accelerate the business decision making process.

Developed by Sydney-based Mondelio, the software combines a fully functional relational database and modelling capability that allows organizations to manage both their past and future in one integrated solution.

The company's CEO Garth Laird, who established Navision, which was acquired by Microsoft at its peak in 2002, said organisations today spend 80 percent of their time analyzing and reporting historical data and only 20 percent of their time planning.

"Our solution reverses this and facilitates the move away from focusing on past events to building strategies for the future," he said.

"It supersedes spreadsheets and OLAP combining these functions with databases, macros and reporting software."

Organisations can actually create "what if" scenarios to forecast the impact of variable events which Laird said is critical in the wake of major corporate collapses in recent years.

The forerunner to the locally developed solution was SuperModeller first created in 1995. "CFOs have to improve forecasting accuracy and external finance reporting, because a lot of organisations currently have inadequate systems in place," he said.

"With an increase in corporate governance in all areas from IPOs to annual reporting, many enterprises are scrambling to not only mitigate risk but to create an advantage for themselves."

A local hotelier, Voyages Hotels and Resorts used the software to model the impact of September 11, the Ansett collapse and SARS.

Voyages IT and finance general manager Damien Thomas said the company used the software during the tourism downturn when occupancy rates in the industry were down more than 30 percent.

"My finance team was able to channel its resources into looking at where we're going and, for a company that is focused on growth in a recovering industry, that is the type of intelligence we need," Thomas said.

Mondelio's client list includes Dick Smith Electronics and Epson Australia and in the last six months the company has signed up Wattyl Paints, Harris Scarfe and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Also on the homegrown front, there are success stories coming out of the Australian Technology Showcase (ATS), an international Web site campaign to promote leading-edge Australian technology.

Success stories include Wotif.com Pty Ltd, Perth smartcard company the ERG Group and TechnoCash Pty Ltd which is developing Internet payment technology. Details at http://www.ausindustry.gov.au

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More about AnsettAusIndustryAusIndustryAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionDick Smith ElectronicsEpsonERG GroupHarris Scarfe AustraliaMicrosoftTechnocashWattyl Australia

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