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 more than 1,200 employees worldwide. Several major investors have financed Anaplan’s growth and global expansion.
The Anaplan product began its development in 2006 and was officially released in 2008. The company’s name is a combination of analytics and planning. The product 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 (with 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 (software-as-a-service).
Anaplan targets corporate finance and business departments for financial planning and analysis as well as multiple supported use cases across sales, supply chain, human resources and marketing in large enterprises and groups worldwide. It has no particular industry focus. According to the vendor, it has more than 1,400 customers worldwide. Implementations range from double-digit to several thousand users per installation.
As a cloud-based platform, Anaplan flexibly provides functionality for 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 and operational planning) for an integrated enterprise planning approach (including financial planning). Anaplan’s mission is to “make all planning for all people a reality and connect communities of people with data to enhance decision-making in dynamic environments”, so the goal is to support customers with a modern tool by joining people together with plans and data. The vendor’s in-memory database supports detailed planning models with data up to transactional level (articles, stores, employees, etc.). Moreover, Anaplan and its partners offer more than 200 apps and planning models as predefined content via the App Hub site (e.g., for financial planning, sales planning, financial consolidation, strategy execution, etc.).
User & Use Cases
Besides planning, customers mainly use Anaplan for standard/enterprise reporting (57 percent), ad hoc query and reporting (50 percent), dashboards/scorecards (48 percent) and financial consolidation (48 percent). 62 percent of respondents plan to use it for advanced analysis in the future. Anaplan targets large and mid-sized companies across all industries. 55 percent of our sample of Anaplan customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 50 users (including 50 using planning functionality), but the mean of 114 users (73 for planning) indicates there are also a few larger implementations. 78 percent of Anaplan users are planning users – significantly above the survey average of 65 percent – reflecting the fact that Anaplan is essentially a planning tool rather than a BI and analytics tool. This is also reflected by the rather low percentages for current use in BI and analytics use cases such as standard/enterprise reporting, ad hoc query and reporting, and dashboards/scorecards.
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)
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