Overall Satisfaction with Anaplan
- Anaplan is currently being used to improve Revenue Forecasting, Accounts Receivable Tracking, Headcount & Workforce Planning, Compensation Modeling, Core FP&A, Award Buyouts & Claw-back, Equity/Share-count modeling.
- Slated to be used for Expense Planning, Occupancy Planning, and others.
- The product is used predominantly by the Finance and HR organizations but across the entirety of the organization for revenue planning.
- The problems it solves are: Adding consistency to advanced calculations, bespoke to each deal, are now simplified utilizing a user-friendly entry form. Reduces non-value add tasks such as data tagging, reformatting, and consolidation, Allows us to reduce operational risk by shifting from a spreadsheet-based process to a cloud-enabled process, Gives us the power to utilize additional security and leverage automated integrations to & from external platforms.
- Anaplan allows for incremental/iterative development which has allowed us to engage with stakeholders and customize the interface to their needs.
- As we expand our organization Anaplan allows a federated approach to data collection and collaborative business processes that were not able to be achieved with regular spreadsheets.
- Our data & analytics team can easily access the API for data import and export + the out of the boxer tableau connector to create highly valuable reporting.
- Advanced calculations for financial fee amortization.
- Integrations with ledger and other source systems.
- Real-time interaction with data for scenario and modeling purposes.
- Rapid recall of data for ad hoc/on-the-fly analytics.
- Highly formatted reporting: Easy output / sharing of PDF/spreadsheets.
- Out of the box configurations for repeatable items (time, geography, show/hide).
- Ability to push data from model to model rather than just a pull.
- In house expertise with ability to implement rapidly.
- Simple interfaces are easy for end users to understand.
- Flexibility to grow the platform quickly without much impact.
- Reduced weekly management reporting prep by 2 hours.
- Reduced 10-15 spreadsheet based processes.
- Mastered 100+ data points for deal lifecycle.
Other platforms offer some scale vs Anaplan by adding great user interfaces and many out of the box functionality (Time filtering, versions, predefined tables (modeled sheet), chart of accounts (debit, credit)). However, very structured architecture makes edge use cases harder to achieve with these tools (e.g. Alternative views of hierarchies, complex amortization/financial product modeling, or multi-method planning).
Pros of other tools:
1. 3-Statement modeling is easily achieved because core structure is based on GL chart of accounts, and a centralized organizational structure.
2. Ease of use for reporting (drag and drop, good formatting, in-line comments, great drill-through)
3. Less maintenance/setup of modules because of the pre-defined nature of the sheet types (Pre-Defined Time + Attribute Search & Filters)
4. Late-stage/advanced dashboards are easy to create and visualize the data quickly; More options with colors (but Anaplan will be comparable soon).
5. Process flow & task managers are robust, good tracking of open items and great option to walk users through their deliverables even if they only use the tool infrequently.
6. In line comments, visualization, break back, splitting rows is more intuitive to planners and does not have to be custom built in additional fields/system actions.
Cons of other tools:
1. Structured data models and security on tenants with level/attribute/account security presents potential risk for highly sensitive data.
2. Limited options to store attributes on dimensions or in modules makes it hard to have the tool as central source of data (e.g. Customers and roll up to projects, but cannot create user facing interface to master and add data (Dates, Names, Sponsors, etc.))
3. Limited self-service integrations (Does have good catalog of pre-defined connectors, and the ability to define Excel Template Loaders); Limited ability to do repeatable tasks via action (Load data from module to module).
4. Highly structured architecture forces data to flow to GL Account structure for reporting. (Can report out of the dimensionalized cube, but requires a bit more thought and maintenance)
5. Limits on formatting types for columns/sheets. Being pre-defined by vendor it is harder to create the flexible interfaces you can on Anaplan & OneStream.
6. Application of formulas across the core level (org hierarchy) structure can be cumbersome & require on-going maintenance but is crucial for the aggregation of data out of the modeling sheets (cube & modeled types).
Do you think Anaplan delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Anaplan's feature set?
Did Anaplan live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Anaplan go as expected?
Would you buy Anaplan again?
- Anaplan is well suited for central corporate functions such as Finance, HR, Compliance, Spend Management.
- Anaplan is well suited for highly repeatable tasks, with consistent logic sets.
- Anaplan is well suited scenario and on the fly analysis of large data sets.
- Anaplan is less appropriate for advanced modeling not in line with general practice (e.g. Custom Contract Handling, Intricate Supply Chain).
- Anaplan is less appropriate for highly formatted/regulatory reporting.
- Anaplan is less appropriate for master data governance.