Hub 2013 Europe: Finding the Better Way


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.

There wasn’t an empty seat in the house when it came to the product development showcase. CTO Michael Gould launched the presentation with a demonstration of Anaplan’s new user interface, taking customers through some of the features that will be released in the months to come. Improvements that will be steadily (and automatically) released on Anaplan’s bi-monthly development cycle include:

• New User Interface
• Grid Styles
• Conditional Formatting
• Visualisations
• Action Buttons
• Dashboard Customization
• Links to Supporting Docs
• Email Notifications
• Single Sign On

The session take away was that the evolution of the platform will be as much focused on aesthetics as on power and functionality moving forward. “I want everything to work beautifully,” said Michael. “Not just functionally, but as intuitively and smoothly as possible. If there’s a better way to do something, we’re going to find it – with your help.”
Next, CEO Fred Laluyaux spoke about the new and improved business user ‘Bill of Rights,’ a concept introduced at Hub in San Francisco this past May to underscore Anaplan’s fervent commitment to the business end user experience. The Bill of Rights is both a pledge to every Anaplanner and a set of in-house guidelines for the future development of the product. They were written to ensure that the platform becomes increasingly better at empowering the end user to:

• Focus on his/her job
• Have control
• Understand and trust
• Try, test, and throw away
• Engage and share

But the biggest revelation was when Michel Morel, the newly appointed VP of Applications, took the stage to explain the massive initiative that he has just joined the company to lead. It’s called Anaplan Applications – a model marketplace partly populated by Anaplan and partly sourced from the ever-growing community. The vision is that over time, Anaplan will shore up a library of applications with the potential to bring rapid time-to-value to any business problem and process. The first application will be built around Financial Consolidations.

After the presentation, Solution Architect Moritz Kopf was all smiles. “As a former accountant, I know how painful financial consolidations can be. Putting agility into the financial consolidation process by integrating it with financial reporting, planning, and forecasting is going to revolutionize this process.”

Anaplan Applications continues the radical democratization of the modeling process that has been one of the company’s key goals from its very inception. The first step was to take applications away from IT and put them in the hands of the experts on the front lines of different business groups. With true out-of-the-box applications, business users of every skill level throughout the organization will be able to contribute insights to planning, reporting, and forecasting. “Anaplan already delivers great time to value,” said an attendee. “But this will make them untouchable.”

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