Accenture Strategy, EMEA

Leaders at Accenture Strategy share how Anaplan is helping their clients become more agile by enabling the ability to analyze and interpret data more effectively, resulting in faster and more accurate forecasts.

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Sarah Santoro: My name is Sarah Santoro. I am the EPM strategy lead across the UK and Ireland, and I work in Accenture Strategy.

Marco Limito: My name is Marco Limito. I am part of Accenture Strategy, specifically Capability Network.

Tim Kelly: My name is Tim Kelly. I am an MD in the digital finance practice within Accenture Strategy.

Sarah Santoro: In the EPM strategy division, we focus on planning, budgeting, and forecasting solutions, as well as management reporting solutions for our clients. Some of the key challenges that our clients are facing right now is being able to analyze and interpret the data that they have in order to come up with some insights to help their business make better decisions. They need to forecast more quickly, and they need to get answers to these questions to support the strategy of their business.

Tim Kelly: In our experience over the last few years, what we have seen in the market place is a reliance on some agility. Customers are no longer looking for a long, drawn-out implementation of a planning solution. What I see is the demand for agility, for the here and now, and for the ability to cope with change as clients go forward. I think Anaplan gives us that.

Marco Limito: Anaplan is one of the most agile solutions in the marketplace—and on top of that, it was one of the first movers into the cloud space. These two characteristics allowed us to engage with new clients that were looking for speed-based certainty of an EPM solution development.

Sarah Santoro: Anaplan is a great tool for our clients because once the solution is in place, they are able to make changes to their models and make changes to their reports very rapidly as their operating model, organization, and the competitive landscape is changing. It offers flexibility, agility, and scalability.

Marco Limito: Three benefits of Anaplan for our customers are, firstly, speed of the implementation—we are not talking about years anymore. It is for sure flexibility; it doesn’t especially need to fix everything in the first place. You go away from very long design timeframes, and this gives you the ability also to change things along the way. And the third thing is the fact that it is really transparent, so if I am an end-user I can see what the solution is calculating. I don’t need to trust something—I can simply read what the result is going to be. We had a very successful story implementing Anaplan at one of our clients. They had very specific requirements of being able to calculate and forecast asset management amounts coming from analysis on a daily basis. They went through a software selection and nothing else was capable of doing such analysis. They were using hundreds of different spreadsheets—it was a bit cumbersome, not very user-friendly, and leading to a lot of mistakes. We were able to, in just a few months, implement an Anaplan solution that effectively enabled the client to go away from that spreadsheet nightmare and have a single version of the truth—real-time calculated, and the basis of their forecast. At Accenture, we have quite a big practice on Anaplan; the practice itself is growing every day. We started partnering with Anaplan back in 2012, and since then, we have been growing constantly every year—growing in terms of people certified on Anaplan, in terms of projects delivered, quite often in a joint manner with Anaplan. And we are growing significantly also today. Our future is to expand across multiple geographies—we are doing this throughout Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific—and to be a successful partner of Anaplan.

Tim Kelly: The reason why Anaplan is key to us and the reason why we partner with Anaplan is because they offer the adaptive agility and effectiveness for our clients.

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