The Changing Face of Enterprise Planning in Malaysia and ASEAN

Long implementation times and need for IT intervention were the major pain points identified by panelists at Anaplan’s Innovation in Enterprise Planning forum last week. We saw an amazing turnout at the forum, held at Hilton Kuala Lumpur, with 70 attendees from across sectors including consulting, telecommunications, education, and retail. The room was packed, and on two occasions, ushers had to bring extra chairs in to accommodate the participants.

Throughout the forum, speakers and participants-including industry leaders from consultancies and senior executives from multinational corporations in Malaysia related a common story: long implementation times were creating an impediment to gaining insights needed for enterprise planning.

Malaysia and the wider ASEAN region are growth markets with rapidly changing business dynamics. Companies operating here cannot afford to wait months for their data when decisions need to be made now.

To address these needs, Anaplan has made a dedicated commitment to deliver our game-changing platform, wherever needed, throughout the region. Our continued growth and disruption in the ASEAN and Greater China regions is underscored by our appointment of David Padgett as Vice President of Sales for North and Southeast Asia.

During the forum, the need for IT intervention was also called out as a bottleneck. Typically, a business has to choose between a complex solution (managed and error-checked by a single technical expert) or basic spreadsheets, which are accessible to the team but lack the performance and flexibility to handle large-scale calculations. This is simply a no-win situation. The sentiments and perspectives presented at the event directly reflected a recent survey of CFOs across Asia.

The integrity of data is critical

Users across the organization need to leverage a single source of truth for analysis and key business decisions. Business users are asking for the ability to reconcile various sources of data for clean, reliable hierarchy and master data around the enterprise. 

I walked away from the event in full agreement with the panel, that a middle ground is needed – solutions that can marry the ease of use of spreadsheets with the robustness of a database to accommodate complex business challenges and requirements of concurrent users.


Growth markets like Malaysia will experience rapidly growing business complexity, and senior management needs to be ahead of the curve. Last week, we signed an agreement with a major oleochemical company operating in Malaysia, and this was the exact problem they related to me:

Their R&D is constantly innovating and creating new SKUs. At the same time, they are rapidly expanding with each new plant adding a new region to manage. They cannot afford to wait months to scale their ERP to handle their growing complexity, especially not in a world where IT solutions are increasingly branding themselves as “agile” and “scalable” by being in the cloud.

In the words of our CEO, Fred Laluyaux, bad technology in the cloud is still bad technology. As businesses move their ERP to the cloud, they would be wise to consider the Anaplan platform, which delivers immediate insights and connects organizations from top to bottom.

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