Anaplan (NYSE: PLAN) is a cloud-native enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor headquartered in San Francisco, USA. The company currently employs more than 2,000 people worldwide. Several major investors have financed Anaplan’s growth and global expansion.
The Anaplan platform 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 and performance management products developed with state-of-the-art technologies on a modern software architecture. Anaplan is a purely cloud-based platform using a proprietary 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 corporate finance and operational business departments to connect financial and operational plans to support multiple use cases across finance, sales and marketing, HR and workforce and supply chain in large enterprises and groups worldwide. The goal is to support customers with a modern, integrated platform by joining people together with plans and data. In addition to horizontal use cases, the platform offers industry-specific solutions across a number of verticals such as consumer goods & retail, banking & insurance, telecoms and life sciences. Anaplan’s partner ecosystem, which includes consulting and systems integration organizations, offers a number of such solutions built on the platform.
Anaplan has more than 1,800 customers in over 50 countries worldwide. Implementations range from double-digit to several thousand users per installation. To sell and particularly to implement Anaplan, the vendor has an expansive global ecosystem of more than 175 partners including technology partners with supplementary technical capabilities.
Anaplan provides flexible functionality for centralized top-down as well as decentralized bottom-up planning approaches. With its ‘connected planning’ 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). The vendor’s in-memory database supports detailed planning models with data up to transactional level (articles, stores, employees, etc.). In addition to the ‘Partner Solutions Showcase’, Anaplan offers hundreds of prebuilt apps, solutions, templates and accelerators via the vendor’s App Hub site (e.g., for financial planning, sales performance management and demand management).
User & Use Cases
75 percent of Anaplan users are planning users – significantly above the survey average of 64 percent – reflecting the fact that Anaplan is essentially a planning platform rather than a BI and analytics tool. This is also reflected in the area of planning use cases. Customers leverage Anaplan almost equally for financial planning (74 percent) and operational planning (71 percent). Here, planning takes place at different aggregation levels. Anaplan is used for budgeting (75 percent), forecasting (57 percent) and strategic planning (54 percent). Besides planning, customers mainly use Anaplan for dashboards/scorecards (61 percent) and ad hoc query (50 percent). Many respondents plan to use it for forecasting (40 percent), strategic planning (36 percent) and ad hoc query (29 percent) in the future.
Anaplan targets large and mid-sized companies across all industries. 56 percent of our sample of Anaplan customers come from large companies (more than 2,500 employees) with a median of 72 users (including 50 using planning functionality), but the mean of 214 users (160 for planning) indicates there are also several larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use (planning use cases)
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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