The Enterprise Strikes Back

First of all, to be clear, I have a horse in this race.  As a Director of and investor in Anaplan, I am very committed to a new generation of technology designed to redefine legacy notions of business intelligence solutions.  So when I read and hear of the efforts expended by the old guard – IBM/Cognos, Oracle/Hyperion and SAP/Business Objects – to persuade the business user that staying with the tried and true is preferable to moving to a new generation of technology, I am compelled to call BS.

This blue suit crowd is in cahoots with the typical enterprise SW shills that charge you tens of thousands of $ for reports on products that are 20 + years old, intended to inform you of all the investments the old guard have made to mask over their creaking architectures.  And, they send out their storm troopers onto the latest battlefields of social media networks to spin up how cool the latest version of the software – 21.2.05 with service pack 3 installed is.  It really gets the job done, this time, promise.  And, if the business user still resists these assaults on their intelligence, then the marketing apparatus fires up to tell you to be wary of cloud SW companies bearing promise of new technology, disruptive business models and the ability to analyze, model and plan on the fly in collaboration with your business colleagues around the world.

Trapped in their own legacies and funded by your maintenance $ these entrenched behemoths can’t fathom a world in which you don’t need specialized hardware and “appliances” to get the most basic information about your business. Being able to bring on unlimited users to access flexible data models that naturally connect sales with finance, or product planners and managers with distribution, or consulting partners with dozens of projects and resources with their workforce planners  –  forget about that.

They will make you promises and give you assurances that they can do that. Oops,  forgot to tell you about the several application specialists who will be spending the next 18 months producing all the arcane scripts and feeders and cubes to do so.  May I also suggest that when you are walking back to the limo after the Knicks game with your “suit”,  ask him about the “lifetime achievement awards”  you will be making to the consulting army badged by your company so as to keep these cubes and feeders and scripts maintained; or to otherwise update them or change them should your business evolve.  That probably won’t happen though as business never changes, right??

The rules have really changed.  Anaplan and its partners in the cloud are jumping you into hyperspace.  Here, you will find that there is a whole new way for enterprise-class applications to be built, bought, deployed and consumed.  You don’t need to hide in your old desktop preserve of Excel anymore, fearing the old guard and IT will make off with your models taking away your precious flexibility, adaptability and self-determination.

Warning – they will tell you that the software is only a small part of your “investment”.  You need your consultants and dedicated application specialists if you want to do “enterprise” work. These companies promising a new generation of easy to use, collaborative analytics and modeling applications are mere pretenders.

Take the Anaplan challenge and find out who the real pretenders are.  We will bring “the force” to you, liberating you from the “dark side”!!

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