Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Anaplan seeks to bridge gap between financial, operational planning 

Anaplan, a business planning software company based in California, is setting its sights on bringing more data and granularity into the decision-making process of its enterprise customers in line with its refreshed roadmap and continued investment strategy.  

With over 2000 customers across 56 countries, 50 of which are in the Philippines, Anaplan delivers financial planning and analysis services through detailed and data-driven hyperscale models that have an overview of the entirety of a business.  

In the pursuit of building an autonomous enterprise for businesses, the cloud native platform explores data from both the financial end and the day-to-day operations to produce operational insights, forecasts, and business strategies. 

The solutions of Anaplan revolve around Connected Planning, a strategy that brings together the people, data, and plans to improve the performance of a business. This concept veers away from a data consolidation focus of traditional planning, and leans towards analysing and determining risks and opportunities to enhance future performance.  

At home, Anaplan will be leveraging on its partner ecosystem to drive the implementations of Connected Planning for its local customer base. While all of the company’s offerings are subscription-based available through its purpose-built platform, a small portion of its business is dedicated to professional services and implementation.  

“Anaplan, at its core, what we do is we focus on helping connect financial decision making to the day-to-day business operations and help financial leaders and business leaders work together to solve some of their biggest and most pressing challenges in the market today,” Evan Quasney, global head of products and solutions at Anaplan, said in an interview with Newsbytes.PH.  

According to Quasney, Anaplan also helps businesses by understanding how to maintain product profitability amid price increases, which are essentially uneven across the board — like labor and raw material costs. 

He also cited a study conducted by Deloitte which surveyed chief financial officers (CFOs) which shows that 82% of these high-level executives agree that challenges surrounding hybrid work transition and supply chain volatility could have been improved with stronger communication between departments. 

With Connected Planning, organizations now have complete control over orchestration in ensuring the best financial outcomes, executed using a single trusted system of record, and actionable real-time signals.  

“There’s great opportunity to take these concepts and deploy them to businesses of all sizes and scales,” Quasney replied on the presence of Anaplan’s solutions in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.  

Anaplan’s single platform covers a wide array of organizational segments; from demand planning, sales forecasting, supplier collaboration, pricing and promotions, marketing performance, capital expenditure planning, talent strategy, incentives and rewards, and compensation modelling to name a few.  

“The majority of our focus has and always will be in finance. We’ve seen great success over the last few years expanding out of finance into supply chain and sales, as to the other key areas where we’ve driven our growth,” Quasney remarked.  

When it comes to enterprise spending for connected planning, Quasney says there are three key motivations that are increasing demand for better decision-making: the volatility from external causes that force business to adapt faster, the ongoing journey from on-prem to the cloud, and that Anaplan continues to be a single platform that does not run multiple independent systems and instead allows customers to start in one place and deploy more capabilities over time – drastically reducing transitional risks.  

“Since we went commercial in 2011, we have really grown tremendously. We had our initial public offering back in 2018, and we are now again a private company. I’ve been in Anaplan now for just about five years, and in the time I’ve worked in this role, I spent a lot of time working and building our supply chain capabilities,” he added. 

In June this year, software investment firm Thoma Bravo completed the acquisition of Anaplan in an all-cash transaction valued at roughly $10.4 billion. At the time, the company’s chairman and CEO Frank Calderoni announced that he was stepping down from his role while Charles Goodman was appointed as the new chairman and interim CEO.  

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