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Anaplan Unveils Planning and Modeling for Business Users

Update includes new user interface, more powerful analytics, and new applications.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

Anaplan has released its Spring 2013 product update of its in-memory modeling platform.  The update includes the first phase of a new user interface designed to expand use of Anaplan to business users and new modeling capabilities that will increase the breadth of applications developed on its cloud-based platform.

Anaplan has helped analysts with complex business planning scenarios in sales, operations, and finance departments.  The modeling environment features drag-and-drop hierarchies, intuitive metric syntax, and built-in functions for financial and operational analytics.  Business rules are managed in one intuitive and collaborative worksheet called the Living Blueprint.  An in-memory HyperBlock architecture supports extremely large models analysts require to perform detailed planning with live operational data.  This combination of capabilities makes Anaplan well suited to agile and intelligent planning in dynamic business environments. 

The update includes the foundation of a new user interface designed to allow a wider audience of business users to share models in support of better planning decisions.  A new forms capability makes it easy for non-experienced users to plan, analyze, and execute important business transactions in use cases such as quote, configuration, and price optimization.  Additional enhancements include a customizable home page, streamlined model navigation, a contextual actions panel, and new visualization tools.  Among the previewed features were map charts that render geolocation data to enhance the sales territory and quota planning experience. 


The update also brings new levels of scalability to Anaplan’s HyperBlock architecture through an innovative feature called Dynamic Lists.  Dynamic Lists provide every-day business users the ability to add transactional data and update hierarchies without concern for scalability limits imposed by other platforms.  Providing transactional data management capabilities on an analytic platform enables users to plan using the most current operational data, instead of having to rely on old data for making decisions.

As an example, this new capability has enabled hundreds of brand managers at a global consumer goods company to manage complex trade promotions all the way down to the individual product (SKU) and promotion.  They have the ability to add and analyze new promotions on the fly, giving them insight into which promotions are most effective and enabling them to improve profitability of their trade investments.

“Innovative and forward-thinking companies across virtually every major industry are already connecting finance, operations, and sales with Anaplan,” said Anaplan CEO Fred Laluyaux.  “By expanding the power of modeling and planning to more users, companies dramatically cut planning time, empowering employees with better insights and improving their ability to change course quickly.” 

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