1000s of spreadsheets??

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Everyday I learn of horror stories about the number of spreadsheets crawling around an org – in the finance dept of one larger business 400,000!! Yesterday it was 100’s of workbooks on a single desk top and wasting 10 minutes to find the required version. A $100m business outsources to India its weekly management forecasting process – 8 spreadsheet jockeys employed full time just to manage a core business process. wow.

When I was CEO of Adaytum one of my ‘bigger’ mistakes was investing $1m+ in Siebel, the CRM system of the day. I was sold the vision of ‘one view’ of the customer and the ability to ‘automatically’ deliver weekly sales forecasts, rep performance, quota planning, territory planning, commissions, sales contribution… Sure, and we ended up employing additional folks on spreadsheets to do this. I could never find out what was happening in our business in Australia, the UK, the South – ‘we’ll get you a spreadsheet’, ‘sorry wrong spreadsheet’ – next week…

10 years later nothing has changed. Salesforce has replaced Siebel. Its a system of record, NOT a forecasting solution. Mr Softy from Redmond remains the king of workbook silos that don’t connect or share with his 30 year old technology. I wonder how many millions of people are employed around the world writing macros for some mindless task?

We designed Anaplan to be a platform to rapidly build connected apps that support business processes the spreadsheet shouldn’t. Our first app was designed as a direct consequence of my Adaytum experience managing a complex sales process – nothing has changed and its time for a better way. Let me know of your spreadsheet horror story….

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