ForeScout case study
ForeScout Technologies improves sales commission accuracy and financial forecasting capabilities with Anaplan
ForeScout enables organizations to continuously monitor and mitigate security exposures and cyber attacks. The company’s CounterACT™ appliance dynamically identifies and evaluates network users, endpoints and applications to provide visibility, intelligence and policy-based mitigation of security problems. ForeScout’s open ControlFabric™ architecture allows a broad range of IT security products and management systems to share information and automate remediation actions. Because ForeScout’s solutions are easy to deploy, unobtrusive, extensible and scalable, as of January 1, 2015, they have been chosen by more than 1,800 of the world’s most secure enterprises and government agencies in over 62 countries. Headquartered in Campbell, California, ForeScout offers its solutions through its global network of authorized partners. Learn more at www.forescout.com.
When you are in a meeting with the CFO or CEO and they ask ‘what if we do this?’, ‘what if we do that?,’ being able to run those scenarios real-time is much better than getting the information, taking a note, walking out of the meeting, and coming back a week later to present the data.
All of ForeScout’s initial planning processes prior to Anaplan were Excel-based. As a global company, they have multiple entities and multiple currencies, which was a level of complexity Excel struggled to handle. Additionally, managing a large number of sales employees’ quotas and commission payments was very complicated and time consuming.
Sales commission payments were a recurring pain point for the organization. “On the commission side, we had issues where we were finding errors in employees’ commission’s calculations,” said Kevin Cerutti, senior finance director for ForeScout Technologies. “And sometimes, the errors were not found right away.”
Initially, ForeScout was looking for two separate solutions: one for financial planning, and another for sales commissions and quota planning. “We were looking for two different types of solutions,” said Cerutti. “However, after being introduced to Anaplan, and really being able to see the flexibility of the product, it was actually a pretty easy decision to move forward with the platform, knowing that we would be able to meet both of those needs with a single product.”
Implementation and Deployment
ForeScout’s first Anaplan implementation focused on sales commissions, which took only a month from design through implementation. And they were able to quickly identify and deploy enhancements to their initial application. “Once you roll it out, then you come up with new ideas, new approaches,” said Cerutti. “The flexibility to continue to modify and update and improve the reporting was great. “
Since deploying Anaplan, ForeScout has enhanced their ability to accurately forecast, create effective budgets, and accurately pay commissions, thanks to real-time access to up-to-date data flow to and from the field.
“The data is immediate, it’s available real time,” said Cerutti. “Our sales teams have the ability to go on a daily basis and see where they are at on their commissions for the month. And from a Finance standpoint, it’s much easier to do scenarios. We are now doing long-term planning as well as bottoms-up short-term detail budgeting with Anaplan, and have found that it’s much easier to run long-term scenarios using financial metrics and drivers.”
Cerutti also noted how the access to real-time data has improved his ability to give accurate, real-time updates in executive team meetings. “When you are in a meeting with the CFO or CEO and they ask ‘what if we do this?,’ ‘what if we do that?,’ being able to run those scenarios real-time is much better than getting the information, taking a note, walking out of the meeting, and coming back a week later to present the data.”
Next on ForeScout’s Anaplan road map are implementing full quota management and quota territory assignments on the platform. Also on deck is using Anaplan to manage their marketing budget. “We’ve started moving down the road with marketing since that’s just such a big area of expense,” said Cerutti. “I’m looking forward to being able to integrate the marketing program spend and need with our long-term sales strategy and growth goals.”
- Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting
- Sales Forecasting
- Incentive Compensation Planning
- Manual, spreadsheet-based planning process
- Difficulty integrating data and plans across multiple entities and using multiple currencies
- Formula errors on commission calculations
- Maintain single data repository in Anaplan
- Create detailed bottoms-up, high-level tops-down, and financial plans
Results at a Glance
- Quick and accurate commission calculations and collaborative detail financial plans
- Timely sales rep access to detailed quota attainment and commission calculations
- Improved collaboration, across time zones, and at all levels of the organization