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Anaplan Review
This product offers us easy integration with Salesforce and is felxible.

Valuable Features

  • Ease of integration with Salesforce (Sales Cloud).
  • Flexibility - the ability to run several different sales forecasting models, but have those parts roll-up to a corporate model.
  • Extremely customizable (add fields, add dashboards/components, etc.)

Improvements to My Organization

  • It has supported a global process change to sales forecasting and created a single method for this.
  • It has created a global standard in corporate dashboards that all regions agreed to run the business from.
  • It has simplified the sales forecasting process.
  • It has increased visibility at a corporate & global sales leadership level where previously it was not possible in MS Excel.
  • It has helped speed up business and reduced the time it took to report on and view the sales forecast.

Room for Improvement

Anaplan needs to place more limits on builders/developers in some cases because we found that if we continued to customize a given sales forecast model it would degrade performance slightly as we continued to add dimensions to our forecasting model.

Use of Solution

We have used the solution for more than two years.

Stability Issues

For the most part Anaplan had reliable up-time and stability so this was not an issue.

Scalability Issues

Small changes could create massive amounts of data without the Anaplan Builder knowing that they did that. This could push us over space/storage limits quickly.

After going live in August 2015 we had to double storage capacity and rebuild the entire forecasting model six months after go-live in Spring 2016 due to a poor initial design that led to wasted storage and less optimal performance.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Anaplan provided us with some great resources and Professional Services resources to get our initial sales forecasting model off the ground.

Previous Solutions

Previously we used MS Excel. We switched because we needed global visibility, forecasting accuracy and a cloud/SaaS/online solution for our sales organization.

The organization & forecasting solution in Excel had gotten so complex, took too long to aggregate and was giving Sales Leadership false forecasts (based on bad data).

Initial Setup

Initially we thought it was straightforward, but it ended up being complex, but not because of Anaplan. The challenge was getting a Global Sales organization to agree on a single way to do sales forecasting. That took almost eight months to nail down. Once that was done, it only took six weeks to get the Anaplan sales forecating model setup and rolled out to our users.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Be mindful about storage limits initially. Also, make sure you decide how many Administrator licenses you need. If I recall, the Admin/Developer license costs ten times more than a standard user license so make sure you know how many of those you really need at your company to make cost effective decisions for your organization.

Other Solutions Considered

We also looked at Salesforce (native forecasting solution), Adaptive Insights and an IBM solution.

Other Advice

Get Anaplan Professional Services to start, make sure to pay for additional Anaplan training sessions and continue to invest in training for your organization. These skills are not easy to pick up so getting help to start your project is highly recommended.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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