In the recent webinar “Enterprise IT Tips – Extending the value with Anaplan and Hyperion,” I had the pleasure of speaking with an industry pro who is a concrete example of the good that Anaplan can do for a business, a team, and an individual. Prakash Hariharan, Director of Go-to-market Finance at McAfee, joined Anaplan’s Chief Customer Officer Simon Tucker and myself for a candid conversation. He shared practical tips on how business units and IT collaborated together to mitigate the margin pressure they faced after their acquisition by Intel. Historically at McAfee quota, territory, commissions, price, and quote had been managed by fractured infrastructure made up of 40+ databases and innumerable spreadsheets. With Anaplan, Prakash transformed the infrastructure to a single immediate, powerful, connected, and trusted system that drove process efficiencies, organizational and process alignments, and discount containment.
Net result: Anaplan helped reduce cost of sale by 2%.
Furthermore, he pulled this off with win-win collaboration between IT, sales and Finance. And he is not done yet! Prakash and the team are extending Anaplan to further disciplines.
In this lively discussion, Prakash explained how Anaplan helped McAfee orchestrate a unified process that empowers business users to create real-time – yet water tight – models to manage their businesses. Now, when the bookings come through CRM, they know where they are getting better rates, paying better, bringing better business and better managing discount levels with full transparency and traceability. Instead of IT taking the burden of maintaining complex rules, business users now build them in Anaplan. This also eased out IT release dependencies, which relieved their burden as the planning middlemen.
Another great bonus? And with Anaplan’s cloud delivery, this is deployed to scale: one of the modules has billions of cells and Anaplan crunches this enormous data set in real-time providing, full visibility with no business lag.
In closing, Prakash shared 5 practical tips that every sales and finance professional should take note of:
1. Start with a single process in Anaplan and scale later
2. Overcome change management challenges with Anaplan prototype
3. Invest ample time in understanding meta data setup upfront
4. Maintain close partnership with IT
And the last, which is our favorite:
5. Work hard, be nice