Anaplan is a US-based software vendor headquartered in San Francisco and founded by the people behind Adaytum (ex-IBM Cognos Planning). The company currently has approximately 700 employees at 16 subsidiaries worldwide, with 150-200 of them in research and development. Several major investors including Salesforce.com, Workday, Meritech (Facebook IPO) and DFJ Ventures (Tesla and Twitter IPOs) have financed Anaplan’s growth and global expansion.
The Anaplan product began its development in 2006 and was officially released in 2011. It represents a new generation of planning platforms developed with state-of-the-art technologies on a modern software architecture. Anaplan is a purely cloud-based product using an in-memory database to store data (patented Hyperblock technology). The goal behind Anaplan’s development was to create a new planning platform with the ease of use and flexibility of a spreadsheet and the scalability of an enterprise planning product in the cloud.
Anaplan targets business departments in large enterprises and groups worldwide. It has no particular industry focus. According to the vendor, it now has more than 600 customers with a total of around 100,000 users planning with Anaplan. Implementations range from double-digit to several thousand users per installation.
As a cloud-based platform, Anaplan flexibly provides functionality for centralized top-down as well as decentralized bottom-up planning approaches. With its platform approach, customers can create various planning models on different aggregation levels (strategic as well as operational planning) for an integrated enterprise planning approach (including financial planning). The vendor‘s in-memory database supports detailed planning models with data up to transactional level (articles, stores, employees, etc.). Moreover, with the APPHUB store, Anaplan and its partners offer more than 150 apps as well as planning models as predefined content (e.g. for financial planning, sales planning, HR planning, operational planning etc.).
User & Use Cases
Anaplan’s company name is a combination of analytics and planning. The product provides functionality for OLAP analysis based on its multidimensional in-memory data model as well as some statistical features. Besides planning, customers mainly use the product for dashboards/scorecards, standard/enterprise reporting and ad hoc query.
Anaplan targets mid-sized companies and large corporations across all industries with an equal split of 46 percent in our sample. Across Anaplan’s customer base, a median of 73 users (with 35 of them using planning functionality) work with the product, but the mean of 185 users (64 for planning) indicates there are also some much larger implementations. 74 percent of Anaplan users are planning users – compared to the survey average of 60 percent – reflecting the fact that Anaplan is essentially a planning tool rather than a BI tool.
Current vs. planned use (besides planning)
Percentage of employees using Anaplan
Planning users (as a percentage of all users)
Total number of users per company
Planning users per company
Company size (number of employees)