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Anaplan Reviews

FP&A, or Financial Planning & Analysis, is where finance and corporate management meet, helping make all the important present and future decisions in the company.


More and more finance teams are turning to FP&A software solutions to help them handle financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, scenario modeling, reporting, and analysis—all in one place. This post dives into the reviews of Anaplan, a popular FP&A software. We'll give an overview of its features, AI integrations, and user feedback on how effective it is.


Let's get started.


Overview of Anaplan


Anaplan revolutionizes how businesses visualize, plan, and operate. It allows users to contextualize real-time performance data and predict future outcomes, facilitating quicker and more confident decision-making. It's a game-changer for FP&A teams, allowing them to create countless scenarios with unlimited dimensions.


The platform supports connected strategy and planning across the enterprise, driving business advancement. Headquartered in San Francisco, Anaplan collaborates with over 175 partners and serves over 1,900 customers globally.


Anaplan's customers are mostly enterprise companies with large finance teams and massive amounts of data.


In 2022, Anaplan reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm. The all-cash transaction was valued at approximately $10.7 billion, and offered $66.00 per share. Following the acquisition, Anaplan transitioned to a privately held company.


Key Features:


1) Enterprise-wide Connected Planning

Seamlessly synchronize planning across organizations using clear, collaborative formats and dashboards.


2) Scalable, Intelligent Architecture

Leverage Hyperscale computing to enhance operational insights, forecasts, and business strategies.


3) Good Time to Value

Rapidly model scenarios, collaborate with stakeholders and make swift decisions from a unified user experience.


4) User Experience

Empower your entire workforce to access continually updated information in real time across devices.


5) AI

Convert complex inputs into actionable recommendations with built-in optimization, predictive algorithms, and AI. Machine learning accelerates decision-making across various use cases.


6) Planning & Modeling

Simulate even the most intricate business scenarios with multi-dimensional modeling and unlimited constraints, ensuring 100% consistency across all model changes.


7) Extensibility

Consolidate data collection and analysis in one location for comprehensive insights. Facilitate data-sharing with stakeholders using APIs, ETL connectors, and built-in integrations.


8) Security

Top-tier security and compliance measures, including BYOK, role-based access control, user management, SSO support, and data encryption at rest.


AI Integrations


Anaplan serves as a source of business truth for customers, and those who have adopted its AI features have seen notable improvements in predicting future performance and increasing revenue.



Here are some AI-powered features introduced into the Anaplan platform so far:


PlanIQ  

PlanIQ really amps up forecast accuracy, a must for solid business planning. By using advanced statistical forecasting tricks, companies can nail down precise predictions by looking at both inside and outside influences. You can try out different scenarios, spot connections, and catch new trends to keep tweaking sales and demand forecasts.


Predictive Insights  

This feature lets companies create strategic sales plans using deep customer insights and buyer-intent data. It helps pinpoint the most profitable segments and target accounts by collecting tons of insights and buying signals from businesses globally. This makes it easier to find new growth areas and prioritize market strategies.


Optimizer  

With predictive analytics and advanced linear optimization algorithms, Optimizer makes it easy for companies to find optimal solutions for tricky problems in just one click. By adding user-friendly optimization features to the Anaplan system, businesses can use data to make top-notch decisions.


Anaplan Integrations


  • SnapLogic

  • Boomi

  • Salesforce

  • Microsoft Office

  • Tableau

  • MuleSoft

  • Informatica

  • And many more..


Pros and Cons Based on Users’ Reviews


Pros


Gaining 4.6 out of 5 Stars Review from G2, users love that Anaplan offers flexibility in implementation, which is important in a business world that's always changing. The platform is relatively user-friendly compared to its size The New User Experience pages in Anaplan come with handy features like filters, pivot tables, and search options, giving end users some room to customize their analyses. 

Anaplan can be used across different sectors like supply chain, FP&A, and tax, covering a wide range of operational and reporting needs. This flexibility lets clients streamline their business processes with just one tool. It simplifies data integration and updates. It brings data together from different systems into one hub, so everyone's on the same page with real-time updates – providing a Single Source of Truth. It also has great auditability, tracking all edits from both the front and back ends.


Overview of Trustradius' Reviews of Anaplan


Business Applications:

  • Supply Chain Forecast and Simulation

  • Tax Provision

  • Human Resource Management

  • FP&A (Forecast Revenue and Expense)


Additional Benefits:

  • Easily integrates data to multiple downstream/upstream systems via REST API

  • Handles complex real-time calculations on large datasets, including optimization and machine learning algorithms

  • Offers multi-level security options for precise access control

  • Provides a fully customizable, user-friendly interface

  • Cloud-based architecture

  • Flexibility to handle varied business use cases such as FP&A, supply chain, manufacturing, personnel planning, and sales territory management

  • Built-in scheduling and automation features

  • Supports complex workflow process management

  • Capable of handling thousands of user inputs simultaneously

  • Suitable for monthly, daily, and quarterly forecasting based on business needs

  • Offers excellent customer support

  • Adheres to AGILE implementation methodology, allowing for continuous user feedback during implementation


Cons


Users highlighted several areas where Anaplan could improve from a development perspective. They noted that providing a summary view of the following information would greatly assist technical leads in reviewing and refining models: identifying which NUX page a module or saved view is used in, recognizing which actions utilize saved views, pinpointing where filters are applied in views or NUX pages, and determining where DCA is applied to line items.


Additionally, users found the cost of data volume to be a significant disadvantage, particularly for large, multi-dimensional sparse datasets; they suggested considering the POLARIS feature to mitigate this issue. 


The initial implementation phase also poses challenges due to the need for defining and testing specific business requirements. While the reporting capability is commendable, it is sometimes limited by the cost of data storage, restricting its use to necessary planning timescales.


Users also experienced frustration with Anaplan's limited storage capacity, which impacted their ability to manage large amounts of data efficiently. The pricing structure is another point of contention, as some feel it is expensive, making it less accessible for smaller businesses. Lastly, interface glitches have been reported, causing disruptions in workflow and decreasing overall efficiency.


Many users also express frustration with their expensive pricing structure as one customer was quoted $40k annually and $100k for a 16 week implementation for a "small 125 person company."


Anaplan Pricing


Anaplan hasn't shared its prices on the website, but different forums show it to be an upper- mid range to expensive pricing and implementation. That being said many of their customers are large enterprises with loads of data so that pricing structure makes sense for them, but less so for mid size or small businesses.



For Anaplan, these are the plans you can choose from to find the best fit for your company's needs:


Basic

Essential capabilities to support basic planning and modeling.

  • Dashboard Design & Interactivity

  • Platform APIs

  • ETL Connectors

  • User and Model Management

  • Mobile Access


Professional

Enhanced capabilities to meet advanced planning requirements.

  • Application Lifecycle Management

  • Audit

  • MyPages

  • DocuSign Integration


Enterprise

Cutting-edge optimization capabilities, data connector bundles, and world-class support.

  • Additional Hyperbyte Allowance

  • HyperConnect

  • HyperCare


Final Thoughts


Anaplan's FP&A solution really sets itself apart by using AI and advanced features to shake up financial planning and analysis. It not only boosts forecast accuracy and strategic planning but also ensures smooth integration across different business functions. With its flexibility and user-friendly interface after implementation, it's a handy tool for large and enterprise companies looking to up their game in efficiency and growth.


Anaplan keeps evolving and packing some serious capabilities, making it a key player in today's business world with instant and long-lasting benefits.


However, based on user reviews, Anaplan is not the greatest fit for midsize or small businesses. Check out our 2024 top 5 FP&A software comparison for a detailed review of other FP&A software.


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