Extensity rolls out new ERM solution

Extensity will unveil the newest version of its ERM (employee relationship management) solution Monday designed to help companies boost bottom-line results through integrated tracking and controlling of employee-based financial processes such as expense reporting and time sheets.

In addition, Extensity will announce that it has embedded technology from BEA Systems Inc., Business Objects SA, and Sun Microsystems Inc. in the new Extensity 6 suite to provide richer reporting, improved usability, and enhanced deployment, according to company officials.

For most corporations, up to 40 percent of all expenditures -- such as travel, overtime, and procurement -- is in the hands of the employees, said Mark Oney, senior vice president of engineering at Emeryville, Calif.-based Extensity. But despite this, these have been areas that finance departments have traditionally not had a great deal of control over because data was housed in disparate systems, Oney added.

"[Extensity 6] is optimizing the relationship between employees and their company," he said. "Our customers have been able to realize a very hard ROI ... by applying our applications like expense reporting, travel planning and processing and time sheets."

The new solution is designed to deliver rich analytics and real-time monitoring across the corporation. Through an optimized reporting database, Extensity 6 provides analytics via standard reports or a variety of customized reports using either a customer's own tools or the embedded Business Objects tools.

In addition, company officials can leverage a dashboard that provides a real-time view into time-sensitive data such as time sheets that have not been submitted or outstanding credit card charges that require immediate action.

BEA's Java-based WebLogic Server provides the base for Extensity's back-endserver components and brings the Java and Java Enterprise standards to the development, integration, deployment, and management of Extensity's applications. Extensity 6 also leverages WebLogic's clustering, monitoring, and management tools to ease administration. Since BEA WebLogic 6.1 is an embedded component of Extensity 6, customers get the benefits of WebLogic's scalability and performance, without the complexity of setting up an application server, Oney said.

From Business Objects, Extensity is leveraging WebIntelligence, the integrated query, reporting, and analysis solution for the Web, and Business Objects InfoView, a business intelligence portal that collects and consolidates organizations' business intelligence information and presents it to users.

The new solution embeds Sun's J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition).

A.T. Kearney Inc. has been using the online time sheet and reporting technology from Extensity since 2000, and the company plans on deploying the new Extensity 6 suite in July.

"A.T. Kearney now has a single, easy-to-use system that we can use to manage time reporting, expense reporting, travel pre-approval, and purchasing pre-approval," said James Haddow, director of global procurement at A.T. Kearney in Plano, Texas. "It's very accessible to all of our employees globally. Between the travel and the nontravel expenses that are captured through the system, it probably represents 75 percent of our external purchases of products and services. It does have a significant impact on our bottom line."

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