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After 20+ years in the Enterprise Planning space plus running a business unit of a public company and advising hundreds of companies, I believe that Anaplan’s vision of Connected Planning is a badly needed fresh view on how to streamline forward looking decision making for the following reasons:

  1. Utilizing a platform approach, Anaplan can be used for more comprehensive planning needs connecting finance, sales, supply chain and other use cases. Think of all the spreadsheets or other systems that feed your budgeting system.  These tools can be integrated into your planning system for real time sensitivities and analytics.  This also brings stakeholders much closer to the overall process and into the planning platform itself.

  2. Anaplan’s sales planning capabilities breaks down siloes on the revenue side of the business. Classic budgeting tools typically focus on the cost side of the equation with limited capabilities around detailed demand and sales forecasting.  Anaplan aligns these capabilities into the planning system.  The planning cycle moves from a linear process to a continuous process.

  3. Connected Planning as a strategy is superior to the classic EPM strategy of combined budget and close processes. Close is certainly an important process, but it does not need to be more than a source for your budget or plan.  Designing your budget around your close account structure will provide limited value for the business and field.  Decision makers rarely think in accounting terms, especially as our world gets more and more complex.  Integration tools have also improved dramatically, creating an opportunity to leverage best of breed technologies without concerns around the care and feeding of multiple platforms.

  4. Anaplan is built on a modern platform. The platform is multi-tenant architecture to drive further innovation.  Salesforce has shown this is the superior platform strategy.  The platform is also enabled for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  The Connected Planning strategy is critical to take advantage of these innovations for comprehensive sensitivities.  It is hard to run meaningful scenarios if driver details are in disjointed spreadsheets.  Also, please remember that just being in the cloud does not make technology “modern.”

At Spaulding Ridge, we continue to study new entrants to the planning space.  Please feel free to email me directly with comments or questions.

Founded in 2018, Spaulding Ridge is a top management consulting firm, dedicated to client success and helping organizations implement and adopt best-in-cloud technology to solve their most pressing challenges. We provide the office of the CFO financial clarity to Sales and Operational complexity by integrating financial and sales SaaS Platforms.

We help:
• Finance gain control ” Increasing financial effectiveness, insight and impact
• Sales increase Productivity ” Hitting quota more quickly, consistently and efficiently
• Operations increase Competitiveness ” Through productivity rates, customer service outcomes, and efficiency

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Jay Laabs
CEO, Spaulding Ridge
About the Author

Jay Laabs is a noted technology and professional services entrepreneur, executive, early-stage investor, and advisor to many Fortune 500 CFOs and CIOs. Jay founded Spaulding Ridge in February 2018 after being inspired by a humanitarian trip to Nicaragua he took with his mom. Watching the women who built and ran the community center and their commitment to the good of the community drove Jay to found a company with the same principles. Under his culture-first leadership, Jay has scaled the firm to more than 350 consultants globally in just over three years. These principles have led to workplace recognition from major media outlets, including Consulting Magazine, Inc., and Gartner.