Sky’s planning team can now adapt forecasts using real-time information to make real-time decisions.

Damian Scaccia, Head of Planning Engagement at Sky, discusses his team’s excitement with Anaplan. “In a planning role it’s difficult to make things sexy, but I think Anaplan does that,” he says.

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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. So 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 of where the peaks and troughs were.

We didn’t think we were serving our internal customers or our external customers. So getting something in right away as quickly as we could was probably the big thing. It just had to be easy to implement, easy to use, and that everybody from a super user to kind of an executive that’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 just 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 I our time with Bedford Consulting was done—is that 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 kind of in it, they’ve already been 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 kinda 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.