Prior to implementing Anaplan, Sky did 100-percent Excel-based planning. The finance team manually created up to nine forecasts using spreadsheets for numerous partners across the business, and it quickly became a cumbersome and counterproductive process. Sky’s finance team was unable to effectively serve its internal customers, and that’s when they realized that they needed to begin the search for a different planning solution.
Sky wanted to find a new financial planning solution as quickly as possible. It had to be quick to implement, easy to use, and something that employees of all skill levels would find intuitive. After the initial implementation, Sky wanted to ensure that the finance team could fully operate the tool on its own with only limited outside management thereafter. The team found all of this and more with the Anaplan platform.
Before Anaplan, Sky’s finance team spent roughly 90 percent of their time going through the process of gathering data and validating that the information was accurate. The team now sees Anaplan as a cure for all of the issues it used to face in Excel, including manual errors and reporting issues.
Anaplan was among the fastest speed to market that Sky had ever seen. Sky also loved the idea that with Anaplan, everyone on the team could be super users, and nobody would have to rely on IT to do the work for them.
Damian Scaccia, Head of Planning Engagement, discusses his team’s excitement about Anaplan.
Hi, I’m Damian Scaccia. I’m the Head of Planning Engagement and I work for Sky. Basically, we were doing everything in Excel, so 100 percent Excel-based planning. And when you’re trying to do seven, eight, nine different forecasts for many different business partners across the business, it can get quite cumbersome when it’s all done in Excel.
We spent roughly 90 percent of our time just going through the process. Taking the information from the business partners, turning the handle, going through the process, validating the information at the end, just to make sure it made sense-and then only probably 10 percent of the time going through and really challenging what was coming out of the models, and requiring evidence from our business partners for where the peaks and troughs were.
We didn’t think we were serving our internal customers or our external customers. Getting something in right away, as quickly as we could, was probably the big thing. It had to be easy to implement, easy to use, and everybody from a super-user to an executive, who’s just going to be looking at a dashboard, would find it very, very easy.
[The Anaplan platform] is up there with probably the fastest speed to market that I’ve seen. I’ve done two different technologies that were more process-based-workflow management, things like that-which all took a significant amount of time, were significantly more expensive, and were altogether a lot more difficult. What we want is for our own team to be super users, and we don’t want to have to rely on somebody else to do the work for us.
We’ve been using Bedford Consulting to help us with that. The key thing-what we wanted was to make sure that when our time with Bedford Consulting was done, we’d be able to fully operate the tool on our own and have only very limited interaction afterwards. Literally, the first day of getting people into it, they’re already able to see all the benefits that they’re going to get from it.
Not just the stuff that we’re telling them they’re going to get, but as they’re building stuff, as they’re doing the e-learnings and as they’re working through it, they can go, “Oh, I’ve never been able to do this in Excel, and now I can do this in Anaplan.” In a planning role, it’s difficult to make things sexy, but I think Anaplan does that. And it’s a cure for all the issues that you get with Excel: manual errors, reporting issues, all that kind of stuff.
I think the great thing about what Anaplan brings in, in its nimbleness and its adaptability, is that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want-today, right now, push it through instantly-to give you real-time information to make real-time decisions.