SaaS provider ServiceMax establishes a firm foundation for integrated business planning
ServiceMax, based in Pleasanton, California, provides field service management software that helps keep things running—from lifesaving medical equipment in hospitals, manufacturing machinery on a production line, and urgent repairs to the roof of a residential property, to a host of other areas where downtime causes inconvenience, disruption, and loss of earnings. By providing the only complete cloud-based, social, and mobile field service suite, ServiceMax helps their customers grow revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and improve efficiency.
However, providing end customers with rapid service response is not enough. That’s why ServiceMax also provides predictive and proactive services (e.g., preventive maintenance) that are increasingly reliant on large amounts of data from what is commonly called the Internet of Things (such as sensors built into equipment), which minimize expensive downtime.
Prior to Anaplan, ServiceMax had an array of spreadsheets that were populated with bookings data from the Salesforce CRM system, and P&L data from the Netsuite ERP system. Planning and forecasting involved manipulating various versions of the model used for planning recurring revenues that are at the core of any software-as-a-service (SaaS) business. The revenue planning and forecasting models were used in conjunction with other models for headcount planning and budgeting general expenses. All of that complexity meant most of the FP&A team’s time was consumed by the mechanics of maintaining these models and laborious planning cycles that went on for weeks instead of value-adding analysis.
The horsepower of Anaplan is huge in that you can truly see the potential of this being the standard across the organization for many different functions.
By the time Jordan Kamhi, Senior Manager of FP&A, arrived at ServiceMax, the company had already been through an aborted implementation of another cloud-based planning and budgeting solution that struggled to meet their expectations. Consequently, one of Jordan’s immediate priorities was to select a different vendor. Jordan and the team systematically set about evaluating most of the available cloud-based planning and budgeting solutions. Anaplan was selected because it was the most capable of meeting ServiceMax’s immediate needs for modeling complex recurring revenue streams, and has the ability to scale and accommodate the large volumes of data that will be created as the company expands around the globe.
Implementation and Deployment
With pressure to roll out the implementation in time for the FY17 planning and budgeting cycle with limited resources, Jordan retained two Anaplan partner consultants from locally based Resource Torrent to help with model building. Implementing Anaplan on a tight schedule while simultaneously learning it meant Jordan was on a steep learning curve on all fronts. But with the help of Resource Torrent’s comprehensive documentation of the solution, all the deliverables were met within the 10-week deadline.
In place of disconnected spreadsheets, ServiceMax now benefits from an integrated solution that covers bookings, revenue modeling, headcount planning, and budgeting. Any changes automatically update the cash flow forecast, P&L, and balance sheet in real time. Having this unified process in place for FP&A has already reduced the cycle times in the planning and budgeting process by up to 25 percent in just the first year.
ServiceMax has already started to expand their use of Anaplan beyond finance with a capacity planning model for their professional services organization, as well as a marketing programs model. Eventually, with the help of increased interactive executive dashboards, Anaplan will continue to displace the various functional spreadsheets still floating around.
- Financial planning and budgeting
- Revenue planning and modeling for software subscriptions
- Headcount and capacity planning
- Replace a myriad of complex inter-related spreadsheets
- Find a cloud solution suitable for complex modeling
- Full implementation and rollout in 10 weeks
- Real-time integration of previously siloed FP&A processes
Results at a Glance
- Up to 40 percent reduction in cycle times with first run through
- Firm foundation for working towards fully integrated business planning