HBO Central Europe

Industrial sector: media

Area of solution: design and analysis system at regional level

Client
HBO CE is the network of the HBO, Spektrum and Supermax cable television channels in Central Europe. HBO provides services in six countries for millions of subscribers with the collaboration of three partner studios (Sony, Disney and Time Warner) and other studios, such as Universal, MGM, Paramount and Fox. Within Central Europe, HBO’s services are accessible in Hungary (since 1991), Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Issue
HBO, after setting up its regional seat in Budapest, developed a standard budget and reporting system based on MS Excel. In every country where HBO’s services were accessible, the financial departments used the SUN software for accounting, and Vision XL for making management reports. HBO made monthly report packages. The budget report was prepared once a year. The reports made by the individual countries were sent to Budapest in Excel format. In connection with the new system, HBO set the following goals: introducing a new software package and the replacement of the old ones in all countries where HBO provides its services; integrating system architectures and improving automation; integrating the new software with the SUN-based bookkeeping system; adapting an efficient, good quality and timely reporting system; improving efficiency and the quality of work processes supporting the making of timely reports; ensuring access to detailed financial data at all management levels; the new system must be suitable for serving 55-65 users during periods of preparing the budget and reports

Solution:
IBCnet Kft. realized the developments using the global market leader Cognos financial planning and reporting tools. During the project, the regional planning and analyzing system for the HBO, Spektrum and Cinemax channels of the Central and Eastern European region was created, a uniform and integrated financial reporting system was elaborated, first of all with the use of factual data obtained from the SUN Oracle system. With the help of the Cognos tool a new financial planning system was created.

Achievements:
a uniform and integrated financial reporting system for HBO CE companies; transfer of the current monthly closure procedure from Vision XL and MS XL environment to Cognos environment; the currently used uniform financial planning system with the help of the new tool; preparing the annual GAAP reports with the help of the new tool; the possibility to make monthly GAAP reports; preparing the currently used monthly financial reporting package to be sent to the owners; preparing quarterly and six-monthly financial forecasts (REFO, Projection) for the owners, cost allocation to be calculated for HBO CE

Advantages:
financial planning takes place on a standard web interface and in central models; it uses uniform algorithms for calculations; it handles the necessary entitlement and competence levels; an increasing number of plan versions can be compared in the system; the process of preparing monthly reports has been significantly accelerated; instead of making reports, the emphasis is on analyzing them; the planning and reporting system is completely closed; information can be retrieved from elementary (transaction) level; a uniform and central data market has been created, where data relating to several years is stored at transaction level.