Overall Satisfaction with Anaplan
At Tableau, we use Anaplan for our Sales Planning function. For our company, this encompasses the functions of Workforce Planning, Territory Assignment, Compensation Plan Administration, and Quota Setting. Sales Planning was Tableau's first Anaplan use case, and since adopting the platform, we've also had use cases in Finance, Marketing, and IT. Anaplan helps us address both collaboration and version control issues. For some use cases, the key benefit is having a primary data source that can be iterated upon several times by a number of different stakeholders. For other use cases, the key benefit is having a significant number of collaborators, who can all rely on one single source of truth. Overall, Anaplan provides our company with the data integrity we need while still remaining flexible enough to update quickly to accommodate our rapidly changing environment.
- Version Control -- by having one cloud-based source for our primary data, there rarely are questions about which data points to use. Everyone understands this and can reference our single source of truth.
- Flexibility -- Anaplan is great in maintaining a balance between being a formal system, but being flexible enough to update quickly. We adopted Anaplan shortly after our IPO, when our company was still changing rapidly, and have been able to incorporate all of our business process changes into the tool.
- Collaboration -- Anaplan allows us to have hundreds of users logged into the tool, updating information all at the same time. This was particularly useful during our account based planning implementation, when we had a number of sales managers and reps contributing their forecasts all at once.
- Enablement -- Anaplan should invest more in both its training capability and training content. Anaplan is not the most difficult tool to learn, but having more foundation in this area would make the ramp-up process significantly easier
- Storage -- Anaplan is not a data warehouse. This is understandable given data warehousing is not their primary value proposition, but many times we run close to the storage limits of Anaplan, and it would be great if Anaplan had different storage size options for its workspaces.
- User Interface -- Anaplan's user interface could be streamlined and improved to become more intuitive and accommodate more shortcut keys.
The primary alternative for similar use cases is Google Docs. The vast majority of Anaplan use cases I've implemented have had their customers try Google Docs. For simpler processes, with fewer collaborators, and fewer significant changes, Google Docs can be sufficient. However, if the use case reaches a certain level of complexity, both in terms of the number of users and changes, it becomes harder to manage in an online spreadsheet. For complex use cases, Anaplan is definitely a superior option.
- Any process that you expect to change frequently.
- A process within a dynamic environment, such as high tech / the startup world, where you expect significant business process changes.
- Any process that requires a significant number of collaborators.
- Any process where you intend for users to update logic with Excel-like formulas.
- Any process where using Google Docs has failed to accommodate your needs for data integrity.
- Data visualization - Anaplan has capabilities here, but other tools are more focused on this.
- Data storage - Anaplan is not a data warehouse and has limits on what you can store.