McAfee’s finance and operations team spent 70% of its time collecting and transforming data in disconnected Excel®–spreadsheets and up to 40 Microsoft® Access® databases with only in–business technical support. The team constantly ran into capacity restraints, which led to unreasonably long reporting and review timescales. Even the simplest of changes could take up to 48 hours to turn around. Facing difficulty consolidating, reviewing, and approving commission-related data, it was time for a new sales planning solution.
McAfee’s finance team was looking for a way to completely replace spreadsheets. Not only were they concerned about the integrity of data, but also the team’s ability to scale the operation for growth. The Anaplan platform was able to scale as the business needed while streamlining communication and improving the efficiency of the review and approval process for compensation targets.
With the Anaplan platform, McAfee was able to replace all of its spreadsheets. With everyone on the same cloud-based platform working from the same set of data, McAfee now has global alignment and visibility. The team can also view sales plans at a more granular level-something that never would have been possible with a spreadsheet-based system.
McAfee’s finance team was impressed by the Anaplan platform from the outset. The notion that McAfee could build a single data model to share with the global team was particularly appealing. After working with countless tools and point solutions, Anaplan was the first platform they found that was cost-effective, didn’t require extensive IT support, and lived up to the promise of eliminating spreadsheets.
Director, Go-to-Market Financial Systems and VP, FP&A, explain why McAfee moved off of spreadsheets and chose Anaplan to manage their sales compensation.
Prakash Hariharan: McAfee is the world’s largest dedicated security company, with up to $3 billion in revenue and over 7,000 employees, which includes more than 2000 sales reps.
Jeff Brobst: Before Anaplan, we really were a spreadsheet-driven company, which meant proliferation, taking tons of time, a lack of trust, and really poor execution. Really bad choices and poor use of resources cost us millions of dollars. McAfee has quite a few applications in its stack-we’re an SAP shop, Hyperion Shop, OBIE, Civil Analytics. And all of these systems really weren’t talking to each other, so a big part of our challenge was integrating the data into a cohesive planning and reporting system.
Hariharan: If I am not paying the commissions accurately, there is a 0.5 percentage correction in my commission payments that equals basically half a million dollars.
Brobst: We chose Anaplan in part because it’s a business-driven application; it’s not IT-centric. IT has a very important role in the ETLs, but for actual modeling, we wanted to put that in the hands of the actual subject matter experts; we move much faster and get much better quality and adoption that way. Anaplan has really promoted trust and data-driven decisions, and we no longer have to rely on anecdotal data. And the other part of that equation is that we are much more efficient. We require fewer people, and we spend a lot less time on normal daily processes. At the end of the day, Anaplan has really changed how we think about planning and forecasting.
Hariharan: In order for us to start a commission process within McAfee, we need two weeks. Doing this in Anaplan, just the consolidation itself, has reduced the time required from two weeks to one day-actually, not even one day. But just to be conservative, I’m saying it takes only one day.
Brobst: Anaplan is very powerful. It’s like nothing we have seen anywhere else. We have gigabytes and gigabytes of data, and our models can subscribe to any level of detail. There is no other tool that can handle that and have seamless calculations at the same time. We have both hard and soft ROIs-the hard ones are our processes, which are now take weeks instead of months. We now have measured sales force satisfaction; we have removed 1.5 days out of every month, out of every quota-bearing rep-that’s 2,000 reps, so those are hard savings. Our system maintenance now requires a lot less time, and we use a lot fewer resources than we used in our legacy systems. On pricing: A one-point difference in our discounting generates $10 million-we have seen that for several points.
Before Anaplan, we used to spend most of our time-on average, about 70% of time-collecting and transforming data. We have really flipped that by having everything in the Anaplan Hub. We no longer have to collect data and are spending our time modeling and analyzing.
Hariharan: Now we don’t have to run the process every day-we aren’t running them day and night-everything is automatically done in Anaplan. Analysts don’t have to call us in the night if there is an issue; they know how to go into the system and they can deliver the payroll to the payroll department.
Brobst: You know, Anaplan is interesting because I don’t think it has any true competitors. There is nothing that has the level of detailed reporting power without running calc scripts and other things. The big ERP stacks are part of a stack and Anaplan isn’t-it’s the platform you can do almost anything with.