Hub 2013 Europe: Disrupting Your Day Job (In a Good Way!)

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Couldn’t make it to Hub 2013 Europe? Fear not; our reporter on the ground took down every detail. This four part series relives the day and recalls some of the key points that came out of the conference.

It’s one thing for a company to claim their technology is “disruptive”; it’s quite another to hear from Anaplanners whose day jobs have been transformed by their encounter with a product. Following the keynote speech, representatives from two major enterprises joined Fred on stage to testify to the disruptive powers of the Anaplan platform.

First up was Darren Craddock, Director and Planning of Forecasting at Aviva. His presentation outlined a predicament familiar to any large enterprise – the struggle to balance agility and financial control. Historically, Aviva had sacrificed speed to attain the levels of accuracy they needed, but their dream was always to have it both ways. They wanted to rapidly build scenarios, generate multiple plan versions, and optimize those plans, without sacrificing accuracy. By implementing Anaplan, Darren explained, that’s exactly what they’ve done. He highlighted the speed of their global roll-out, the product’s ease of use, and the incredibly detailed audit trial functionality as examples of how Anaplan had given them “the best of both worlds: agility and financial control.”

Following Darren, Vittorio Sanvito, Hewlett-Packard’s EMEA EG Sales Productivity and GTM Director, got up to talk about how Ananplan is enabling business transformation and improving sales productivity worldwide. Without a doubt the extraordinary revelation from Vittorio’s presentation was the levels of scalability Anaplan is enabling at HP. To date, the biggest model they’re running on Anaplan for their territory and quota plans has 71 billion dense cells (a new record for us). That’s not just scalability – it’s another order of magnitude. It means that for the first time, the world’s largest organizations can model enormous plans without the usual granularity-sacrificing assumptions. Managers working with multi-billion cell models can drill down to work at the transaction level; this is truly a first for the world of enterprise planning and modeling.

During the coffee break, Tim Straatsma of Business&Decision, Anaplan’s first Dutch partner, summed up his takeaways from the morning: “I came into this conference thinking that Anaplan was just a souped-up version of Excel in the Cloud. After what I’ve just seen, I’m ready to say that it’s clearly much much more. These guys are doing things that nothing else on the market is even capable of.” More than the technology, what really had Tim impressed was the feeling in the room: “To be honest, I was expecting to sit through some marketing speeches. I was completely surprised to see how genuine everyone’s passion for the product is, both on the leadership side and with the customers. They got me really excited.”

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