Speak privately with C-level executives in public companies and common themes invariably surface, regardless of company size or industry-specific conditions: a tightened regulatory climate, investors' intolerance for unpleasant surprises and relentless pressure for improved earnings. In the finance organization, common sub-themes similarly emerge: the challenges of delivering ever more timely and transparent reporting data, the task of uncovering increasingly fine-grained pockets of potential value and efficiencies - with the "low hanging fruit" already picked clean - and the pressure to keep pace with ever-shortening finance IT life cycles.

The best C-level executives understand that meeting these challenges is a matter of organizational mindset and commitment, but they also know that it is a matter of enabling technology. It is little wonder that an increasing number of companies are demanding more robust and better integrated capabilities to plan and manage business performance, and that enterprise performance management (EPM) software [also known as corporate performance management (CPM) and business performance management (BPM)] constitutes one of the faster-growing segments within the information technology sector.

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