What’s new in Microsoft Forecaster 7.0

Interesting, this is the first time I have heard about this product.  Anyone out there actually try it?   It is far from as deep of an experience as PerformancePoint Server Planning, but it looks like a very nice start for small businesses.

Product Overview
Microsoft Forecaster is the fast and affordable budgeting and planning application that can help organizations take control of their finances, contain costs, and prevent fiscal surprises. Equipped with Microsoft Forecaster, companies can budget and plan for the future more efficiently and accurately.

Setting realistic financial expectations requires valid data and current assumptions that are closely aligned with a sound business plan. However, organizations often base their new business plan on the budget from the previous year. They then make incremental changes to the budget to align with alterations to their business strategy. This method can often introduce error and cause the budget and business plan to conflict. A more solid approach is to link strategic business objectives to data tied to the strategy.

With Microsoft Forecaster, front-line managers can build budgets that are based on their specific objectives and first-hand knowledge of market conditions. The result is improved accuracy and a higher level of commitment to the budget. And as the business climate changes, managers can respond more effectively by adjusting forecasts and budgets.

Product Site: http://www.microsoft.com/forecaster/product/overview.mspx

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