There are many Anaplan partners, each with their own unique experience, bespoke services and methods. Working with a partner puts their best knowledge and extensive experience of Anaplan implementation within your grasp, without the need to use significant internal time and resources to build the skills and experience required to ensure success.
Here are the most crucial features you should focus on in your search for the right Anaplan partner.
1. A FULL SERVICE OFFERING
Anaplan is designed to intuitively build models in a quick and reactive manner. However, implementing the software often takes time and expertise, covering the cornerstones of process, data, model and deployment. Partners with deep knowledge of the software and extensive implementation experience are best placed to take the reigns for these foundations.
Let’s explore some brief explanations:
- Process: This is the wider business process that Anaplan supports.
- Data: The data components needed for the model, comprising of master, meta and transactional data.
- Model: This is the design, build and test of the Anaplan model.
- Deployment: Covering the adoption of Anaplan, this plan ensures the model works business-wide.
Each of these key aspects of your project requires effort and expertise because Anaplan cannot be deployed in an unstructured manner. Fortunately, an Anaplan partner will also be educational, leading you in the ‘Anaplan Way’.
While Anaplan themselves are the experts in the software and its development, a partner is the expert on implementing it in the real world. They have the skills in implementing a range of use cases from the Anaplan honeycomb - for finance, supply chain, HR, IT, sales and marketing - as well as other areas.
They’re there to work for you and configure the software to your business needs. Anaplan Partners give you much more than technical know-how. They know the terrain of your industry, as they are architects with deep knowledge of best practice in key processes that you need help to automate and improve with Anaplan.
To achieve maximum efficiency and value from your Anaplan solution it is really important to align business processes with all of the new capabilities of the software. After all, the reason to choose Anaplan is precisely that it enables value that you’ve not been able to achieve in the past. This means that replicating what you had before is not an option. As such, process improvement is essential to success.
Your Anaplan Partner will help you assess the impact of new business processes too. For example, roles & responsibilities are likely to be changed by new technology like Anaplan. They will also consider the potential future impact of connecting future planning applications. Getting the right design at the outset will limit the need to revise existing models and processes to connect new planning models, as the honeycomb of connecting planning expands.
Anaplan will interact with data sources and other systems. Your Anaplan Partner will ensure that the model design gives full consideration to the data available, where this will come from and what other systems Anaplan will interact with - be they on-premise, cloud and even the very prolific MS Excel.
This may sound obvious, but it’s common for a great model design to fail because the data simply isn't available to populate it. Working with a Partner means that you can avoid such pitfalls.
Having implemented similar applications many times over, they have experience that is difficult to emulate with internal resources, at least in the medium term.
2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE USING THE ‘ANAPLAN WAY’
Alongside a full service offering, the best partners will guide you along the path of Anaplan best practice.
The Anaplan Way is an agile methodology for implementing industry-leading customisable software platforms like Anaplan. Look for a partner that teaches you the best rules of engagement, has exceptional communication practices and explains strategies that will help you make your implementation a lasting success.
3. DEDICATION TO THE ‘HONEYCOMB’ OF CONNECTED PLANNING
Wherever you decide to start on your journey to connected planning, be it finance, sales or operations, the benefits realised often create further demand for collaborative planning across the business - the key driver for developing the 'honeycomb' of Connected Planning. When this happens, planning is tightly interrelated, like the chambers of a honeycomb. They rest upon, structure and support one another.
Inventory planning is inherently connected to demand planning which rests upon sales and operational planning (S&OP). These facets are connected to budgeting, M&A modelling, workforce planning and a host of other key strategic processes carried out within a business.
The best partners recognise this, going the extra mile to help you go from ‘siloed’ planning - the spreadsheets of old - to Connected Planning. Partners that recognise the individual needs of these honeycomb chambers, understand how they fit together and have the capabilities to make the right connections are the partners you need to consider.
Wherever you start your journey with Connected Planning, be it Finance, Sales, Marketing or Operations, your Anaplan Partner will ensure that process and model designs are future proof. That they are connectable as you expand across the honeycomb of Connected Planning.
4. EXPERT KNOWLEDGE ON CONNECTED PLANNING
Similarly, partners must demonstrate that they know what they’re doing, showing quiet confidence and evidence of their wins. Most partners have a deep understanding of and experience in a wide range of industries. They’ll be well-versed on employing Anaplan for a variety of use cases and will have solved several problems along the way.
For example, the right Anaplan partner will enhance and improve collaboration and transparency in the following areas:
- Finance and performance management.
- Sales and operations efficiency.
- Demand and supply planning.
The best Anaplan partners are those who strive to improve the very industry they’re collaborating with through development, conversation and scrutiny.
5. PARTNERS THAT PRODUCE INNOVATIVE ECOSYSTEMS
Legacy planning systems are being phased out. They lack the speed, dynamic response capabilities and integrated functions that allow for real-time reactions to real-life market changes.
Much like the honeycomb describes interconnected business processes, the right Anaplan partner connects those business teams and departments that may once have been siloed. Through this, teams have a deeper insight into planning across the board.
The Anaplan platform is an ecosystem in itself - one that’s scalable, reliable, architecturally sound and holistic. The best partners recognise this, acknowledging the possibilities and benefits that come with the software. They aren’t simply business advisors, but ecosystem advisors. They’re not builders - they’re architects.
Working With Profit&
Here at Profit&, we work towards each of these key features, employing and developing them to create the best possible outcomes for your business. We’ve provided quality Connected Planning solutions for a range of clients across Europe.
Through a well-defined Connected Planning implementation, you’ll find yourself adapting more quickly to market changes, making better-informed decisions and increasing the confidence of your shareholders.
We realise that transforming the way you plan and collaborate as a business may seem daunting at first, but we’re here to help...
Get in touch with us today to find out who we can help.