Anaplan’s Connected Data and Planning Facts

Our world is in constant flux, things we could not imagine a few years ago are now part of our daily lives. Technology has enabled us to take for granted the use of smartphones, the cloud, electric cars, and many other advances in technology. As an example, skeptics of a decade ago would have found it hard to believe a smartphone could have enough computing power to allow them to run their spreadsheets or provide a fast enough wireless connection for them to watch video streaming.

In either case, getting used to game-changing innovations takes time, both for consumers and for professionals. While it sounds simple, sometimes we forget that innovation is a process that requires patience.

In any case, I will follow a set of facts in this blog that individually are easy to agree with (I hope), but together will provide a bigger picture on why business planning is moving towards “connected business planning” platforms, as it did when the phone industry moved from simple phones to smartphones.

1. The Information Age and the Big Data Era are upon us

More and more automated processes control our lives daily, and we are surrounded by them everywhere. Internet networks with increased speeds, databases with layers, cloud environments, social media networks, etc. — all of which have the ability to collect massive amounts of data. There has actually been more data created within the past few years than throughout human history.

Companies are moving away from monolithic technology stacks built for “one size fits all” to a broader set of different solutions that are specifically tailored to host different types of data and to meet the important needs of each department within a company.

2. Managing Big Data requires a Big Ecosystem of applications

It is not unusual for the Supply Chain environment to add to the volumes of data generated within an organization. Below are some examples:

Information about our customers: We have a really good idea of who they are. CRM tools enable us to gather all of their information. In order management systems, the purchase data stored can be retrieved, revised, and placed.

By using Warehouse Management Solutions, we can see how much storage and distribution capacity a business has and how much time it takes to restock the warehouse. With the data collected by the Transportation Management System, our business can monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the distribution network, which enables us to know exactly where materials and goods are along the distribution journey.

3. Having more tools means more siloed data. Can you relate?

The accumulation of Big Data, and the need to keep businesses competitive, leads companies to store more data within every platform. Consequently, the IT landscape must include new systems to meet this need.

Because of the variety, quantity, and quality of the data stored across the systems and the different architectures, sharing and consolidating information across platforms has become increasingly difficult, more time-consuming, and prone to errors.

To boost collaboration and transparency, it is imperative to overcome the issue of data isolation across tools and ensure enterprise-wide data consistency and visibility. An organization needs robust and reliable data on which it can run insightful analyses and make the best possible decisions in order to reach the next level of operational effectiveness and provide analysts and management with a layer spanning across the entire organization.

“Software may be eating the world, but APIs are giving it teeth,” said Ben Kepes (technology evangelist, investor, commentator, and business advisor). An organization needs to improve its data integration within an organization by utilizing flexible and multi-purpose Integration Platforms as a Service (IPaaS) solutions.

Businesses using IPaaS and applications compatible with it are realizing an average ROI of 300% by:

  • Increased revenue from discovering new revenue streams and innovations.
  • As a result of their move to the cloud, they have saved millions on infrastructure and management costs.
  • Increasing IT staff productivity and saving money by 70% by shortening development timelines.

It is indeed interesting to see the figures and benefits listed above, especially when there are still companies overwhelmed by their haphazard data lakes and software applications that impede innovation and speed to market. The latest trends and benefits, however, extend far beyond those.

4. Integrating apps within a platform

It is crucial for an organization to increase connectivity across tools and use “time-proof” and “multifunctional” solutions to improve its performance.

How does this work? Rather than continually adding stand-alone solutions to our IT landscape, it is possible to find platforms that accommodate multiple business processes within one platform. Additionally, should new business opportunities arise, the platform can be used to model them, rather than investing in new technology.

In contrast to the old “one size fits all” solutions, these solutions can easily be customized to meet the specific business requirements of each business process. As a result, each of them gets the level of detail, workflow, inputs, and reports they require while ensuring that the highest levels of privacy, security, and auditability are available, for each use case that is required.

5. The Connected Planning era has begun

The Anaplan platform is a 100% cloud-based platform that is based on a powerful 64-bit calculation engine, a multi-layered security architecture, and extensive data integration capabilities.

When it comes to data integration, Anaplan offers a wide range of options: from its own UI for data import/export to its built-in integration with all major Data Integration Platforms:

  • Manual interfaces for importing and exporting data
  • Anaplan Connect
  • Anaplan Hyperconnect (Informatica)
  • Connector built into Mulesoft
  • Built-in Dell Boomi connector
  • Built-in SnapLogic connector

After having discussed what we have so far, you hopefully have a clearer sense of the benefits of Anaplan’s high connectivity. In addition, thanks to its outstanding technical capabilities, the Anaplan platform is able to host and link all kinds of operational plans across the organization, creating a single version of the truth.

Conclusion:

It may be too bold for you to read some of the statements above such as “Anaplan platform that hosts and connects all kinds of operational plans across the organization, creating a single version of the truth”. Companies used different solutions in the past to manage processes such as Inventory Planning, Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Incentive Compensation Management.

Polestar is an end-to-end Anaplan partner, and we have delivered planning solutions for Fortune 1000 clients in the areas of Financial Planning, S&OP Planning, Workforce Planning, Demand Planning, and Incentive Compensation Planning. Anaplan can enhance your investments and maximize your returns by drawing on our extensive expertise

What else? Please get in touch if you recognize any of the topics discussed above in your organization or if you are interested in Anaplan Consulting services for your company.

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