REVIEWER: Jeff Brobst, vice president of business performance management for Symantec Corporation.

BACKGROUND: Symantec is a world leader in providing solutions that help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries and employs more than 15,000 people.

PLATFORM: We use Microsoft Windows servers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Symantec deployed a continuous planning system that provides greater visibility into financial performance. With more than 800 users worldwide, the system provides the ability to quickly replan our business as market conditions change. It automates considerable back-office code to enable multiple data sources and finance processes to work together. Hundreds of automation processes are defined to perform planning data backups, calculation, extraction and movement of data between Oracle Hyperion and our data warehouse applications. We installed the Star Finance Command Center in late 2008 with the goals of reducing the complexity of the system, providing more timely and central views across multiple processes, and making the system available to a wider audience of nontechnical users.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The product provides a single interface to link, schedule and monitor multiple financial application processes that span our various server ecosystems. The Star Finance Command Center includes a central server repository that provides automation source control for all our scripts and program executable files. Out-of-the-box automation features reduce the need to write custom code, making it easy for nontechnical Finance users to understand and use. With role based security access controls, the software lets various business users and system administrators have access to only those parts of the system that they are allowed to see.

STRENGTHS: The ability to centrally define, manage and view all the interrelated processes is a huge strength of the Star Finance Command Center.

WEAKNESSES: When the product was first installed, we had firewall connectivity issues with our stringent VPN environment. Star Analytics provided a software point release that addressed the issue by offering various levels of secured network protocol support.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected the Star Finance Command Center because there was no other product that offered the ability to greatly reduce the amount of complex code while providing a secure interface that was easy for business and technical users to manage and maintain our multiple finance application environment.

DELIVERABLES: By deploying the Star Finance Command Center, Symantec has reduced the number of manual scripts that support our Oracle Hyperion environment by 95 percent. This has significantly reduced the cost and complexity of our finance systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The Star Finance Command Center is the second product that Symantec has purchased from Star Analytics. The product support and customer service has always been outstanding.

DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is thorough and easy to follow. We were able to train our key users of the software with a half-day training class.

Star Finance Command Center

Star Analytics, Inc.

1810 Gateway Drive, Suite 260

San Mateo, CA 94404

(650) 539-4600

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