Overall Satisfaction with Anaplan
We use Anaplan for financial planning and analysis and sales forecasting. This touches all elements of our P&L from revenue, cost of goods, operating expense and headcount planning. We also generate balance sheet and cash flow statements in Anaplan by bringing in limited amounts of GL data. The inherent benefit is seamless and on the fly flow through any data changes from the bottom to the top line.
- Being cloud based, Anaplan allows all users to see changes implemented immediately without having to wait for a refresh process to occur and be updated in an external reporting source. That being said, Anaplan is capable of publishing data to external data warehouses for reporting purposes which we utilize as well.
- Anaplan's lists allow for changes to hierarchies (e.g. products, cost centers, accounts) instantaneously and is as easy as drag and drop. Current and historical data is updated simultaneously.
- Anaplan's modules allow for complex formulas and modeling. In particular for us, with employees worldwide, salary, commission, lunar bonus, tax and benefit calculations at the country level are very beneficial.
- Not unique to Anaplan, but being a cloud based application, it is not a data warehouse. Bringing in millions of GL or order management data is not particularly advised.
- Anaplan could use a little more flexibility in being able to map and push data between modules. In particular for me, being able to map specific periods and ignoring others would be beneficial. As it is now, all periods map one to one by default.
- Anaplan could also use some more flexibility in utilizing versions within modules. As it is now, it is an all or nothing proposition where no version in a module defaults to the current version. In certain cases, I would prefer to have a couple forecast versions, but exclude a budget version from being in a module.
We had been Cognos 10 and Powerplay users with similar multidimensional modeling capabilities. However, it required remote users to have VPN to access which was not always an optimal situation. Being cloud based, Anaplan allows all users to access it through their web browsers without the need for a VPN connection.
Anaplan is well suited for all aspects of financial planning to drive quality financial statements. There are areas of improvement which is true of any financial planning software. Anaplan is aware of users' needs and requests and has addressed these in future updates. As mentioned before, using Anaplan as a data warehouse to store and manipulate millions of records is not practical.