Smart Enterprise IT Tips – Extending value with Anaplan and Hyperion
McAfee’s Prakash Hariharan, Director of Go-to-Market Finance, shares how his team built an enterprise Center of Excellence that is accountable for target setting, territory alignment, quota management, commissions calculations, FP&A, and more. Learn how Prakash is driving cross-functional planning excellence by harnessing the power of Anaplan while augmenting existing enterprise solutions.
Director of Go-to-Market at McAfee
VP of Product Marketing at Anaplan
Chief Customer Officer at McAfee
Ram Krishnan: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, depending on where you are in the world, and welcome to today’s web seminar, “Smart Enterprise IT Tips – Extending the Value with Anaplan and Hyperion.” I am Ram Krishnan, VP of Product Marketing at Anaplan and I am your moderator today. We just have a few announcements before we begin. This webinar is designed to be interactive between you and the presenters. The webcasting console can be resized to fit your entire browser window. All the components and widgets on the console can be resized as well. They are movable, stackable, resizable and minimizable. The menu doc at the bottom of the screen shows icons of all the widgets that are part of the console. The menu doc allows you to open or minimize a widget. Once again, this webcast is highly interactive and we strongly encourage your participation during today’s event. Please use the Q&A widget to submit your questions to today’s presenters. Simply enter your question into the text area provided and click Submit to send your question.
I am delighted to have with me our speakers for today Prakash Hariharan, who is the Director of Go-to-Market Finance at McAfee, and Simon Tucker, Chief Customer Officer at Anaplan. Our roundtable today will touch upon several high value topics around managing complexity, driving collaboration across finance, IT, sales and empowering business users and so on. I would like to remind you again that this is your discussion so feel free to shape the discussion and ask questions using the question and answer widget.
Before we get further, I want to just give you a word or two about Anaplan. We are a business modeling and planning solution company relatively new in the market. We have been out about three years commercially and we are venture-backed company with some fantastic backers for us. We have more than 100 customers like HP, McAfee, Diageo and several Fortune 100 companies. We are happy to say that we are really the fastest growing business modeling and planning solution in the market right now.
As you can see, we cover quite a broad set of business planning and modeling scenarios around variety of business functions including sales, finance, operations and IT. Anaplan has fundamentally changed the game with four distinct innovations. The first thing to picture in your mind is a spreadsheet like interface. But instead of typing A1 minus A2 or C2 minus F4, this is really based on intuitive business rules. So it will be revenue minus cost of goods equals margin and things like that. It’s really easy to apply business rules. And with that, you have spreadsheet-like immediacy so that business analysts and model builders are using that interface to build essentially whatever model they want. So that’s #1, the very intuitive business user-friendly solution.
The second thing is our patented in-memory calculation engine. This hugely powerful capability is built ground up and that helps you solve very complicated business modeling and planning problems. It combines the three powerful innovations of the past, present and future. It combines the expressiveness of a relational database, flexibility and immediacy of cell-oriented systems like Excel, and power of a columnar in-memory computing. The net effect is that you really have powerful capability and ability to build incredibly multidimensional and complex models with tens of billions of cells. So as we will hear from both Prakash and Simon, you have to almost re-think the art of possibility in terms of modeling with that engine.
The third thing is our Cloud-based delivery, SaaS delivery as a service. It’s less about the Cloud but more about the engine and the interface but the Cloud does enable everyone across the enterprise to engage on the same model and same data. Anywhere, anytime access, across any portable devices as well as in obviously computer, laptops, and it allows the users to interact today with the same set of data. And the last thing is our immediate time to value. With both the Cloud-based delivery and our accelerated delivery methodology using agile implementation, you almost get immediate time to value. So please keep this in mind as you listen to Prakash and Simon, the business user focus, the power of in-memory computing, the Cloud delivery and the accelerated time to value. All these principles make Anaplan a powerful, immediate, connected and trusted business planning and modeling solutions. So instead of me walking through the slide, perhaps Simon, I am going to put you a little bit on the spot, would you be able to demonstrate this in real-time live here today?
Simon Tucker: Well, I will see what I can do. Okay, all right. Let me show you just very briefly some of the power of Anaplan. I am in Anaplan here and I am just going to switch to a completely blank model here. Now I represent that citizen developer as we like to call it, really empowering business people to build models. And we build models, we use Anaplan of course at Anaplan to model and plan for all business operations. And really Anaplan is what you see is what you get. As Ram had said, you can access Anaplan from any browser, any device. In fact, we consume the information on our iPads and other tablets and you can use it on any operating system. So it’s completely Java-based; there are no downloads to do.
So first and foremost, what I am going to do, see I have got a blank sheet here. I will just create a really simple three module model. And as Ram had said, it’s really we have really got to think differently the way that you do things because it really is a spreadsheet type interface but with a huge amount of power, multidimensional power and it’s all focused in these dimensions and line items. So think of dimensions as the structure of your business. And you can see here I have got an organizational structure. I am going to create another couple of lists or dimensions that represent my business structure and I am just going to put in some people and some products because we all have people and products. So those are two dimensions of my company. I am just going to have an all people rollup, so Anaplan will aggregate up there. I am going to have an all products section as well.
So that represents my business structure view. I haven’t got anything in there yet. There are several ways I can get information into my business structures because of course a lot of the time they are housed in different systems but I can also put them in manually so here you can see I can just put in a bunch of business centers that we have across the world. And the other thing I can do with lists, they are very, very powerful within Anaplan. I can make lists work with lists. So for example, I could have my people rolling up into my organization but I can use those two lists separately throughout the model, so incredibly powerful. I am going to be picking these lists from a central library and using them in modules across the model. Other thing I can do with lists as well is I can have them hold attributes for example. So here, I can have an attribute, which is price, and maybe my products have a price and I am going to use that in my model somewhere.
So that’s great, we have sort of set that structure up. I need to put some people in there; I need to put some products into the model here. You can see that this list is working with the organization list because the organization has come down into the people list. I am just going to import some people from another model here and in come my people. And I get a little report that tells me that I was successful and I am going to do the same thing for products here. I am bringing in my products, and again, I am going to get a nice little report that’s telling me that those products have come in. Okay. So great, I have got now my products into categories, I have got some McAfee products here, I have got some people; these people roll up into different regions.
So here is the structure of my business, great. So I have got that setup my central library, I have got time centrally setup, I have got my versions, my budget, my actual, I am now ready to start modeling my business on the fly. So really incredibly powerful, I can just go to my modules section and I am going to insert a module, nice simple module, sales. So here we have a dialog box that just says drag your business dimensions into the box on the right hand side to create the structure of your business. So I am going to put in versions. I am going to have sales by budget and actual and forecast. I am going to plan my sales by people. People are selling things, people are selling products, so that’s great. And I am going to do it across time. So I have got a five-dimensional module here. All I am going to do is track units, I am going to track the price of those units, and I am going to track the total sales. So we will keep it simple for this demonstration. Press Ok. Here is my first module that I have created. So here we are multidimensional module, my people, my products, my versions, my time, and my line items are here. So think of line items as measures, rows in the spreadsheet if you will.
Now the other thing that Ram had said is it’s not A2, B2 or all these cell references that we used in Excel trying to debug those things and trying to audit them. It’s real simple. Although the way you apply it is very Excel like. It’s very simple for me to do. I double click here on total sales and I get my formula, add it all up, really simple. I am just going to point and click, so units times my price equals total sales and there we go. Now this is done across all products, all sales reps, all people, all versions, all time. So I have input at once and you can see here it’s all across that multidimensional array. You do it once and it applies to entire array as opposed to Excel which is completely cell based.
I am just going to put some dummy data in here so we can take a look and see this flow through the model in a little while. So there are my units that I have sold. I have got a price here because I need to make up total sales. I brought price in earlier. It’s contained in my list. So what I can do here is I can just do a lookup. But look how simple lookups are. I can just point back to my products list, go to the property price, it comes back, I say OK, my prices come through automatically, again through the entire multidimensional array. So real simple, in plain English, go and get the products from the products list, the price. So there is my sales. Let’s continue to do a couple more modules so you can see how the data flows across models.
Let insert another module; let’s call this expenses. So I am going to have expenses by people and by versions again so my people are incurring expenses, I am going to have T&E, and of course, everybody likes to golf, we will have general and we will have total expenses across time. So here is a four-dimensional module, nice and simple. Again, I am going to just double click, create my formulas, this time it’s a simple sum of my T&E, golf, and general and total expenses, I have got it by versions again, I have got it by people and here again, I am just going to populate this so I have got some data in here so you guys can see the data flowing through the models, so just some dummy data going in there. Okay, I have got sales, I have got expenses, I want to bring that altogether in a contribution statement because I want to see what my profitability is across my company.
My final module to show you here will show you the power of how quickly you can build and prototype in Anaplan. I am going to insert my final module. I am going to call this contribution where it brings it altogether. Now little subtlety here: I am going to have versions because of course I want to know profit and sales and expenses across different versions, actual budget forecast again. This time I am going to do my contribution by organization. Remember that the sales and expenses were done by people but I am going to do this by organization. So I am going to have my sales, I am going to have my costs which were my expenses, and ultimately, my profit or contribution across time. So that’s my module. Okay, so here I was at profit, I am just going to put my sales minus my costs and pull calculation there, there we go.
What we need to do now is I need to bring sales in and costs in from those different modules that I built. So here we go, here is contribution. Now what I just quickly did then is I actually tore that tab off so I can actually see things side by side. So Anaplan lets you slice and dice. So here, as you can see, I can slice and dice and pivot data around to do the analysis. I can also drag views together so I can see different things together here. What I am going to do here is I am going to link in sales and my expenses to make my profit. So take a look at this. I am opening up my sales module here so I have got my sales and my contribution module. I am going to double click. Bringing data in from other modules is as simple as doing formulas. All I am going to do here is go in link, point to my sales in my other module. Now I have got that formula sales – total sales and there we go.
Next thing I am going to do is do my costs. Again, I am going to double click. I am now going to navigate to my expenses module and I am going to do total expenses and that’s my total expenses. Now look at the subtlety here, okay. Let’s go to the sales module just to finish this demonstration. As you can see here, I have got the contribution by business branch if you will, London, Paris, New York, etc. However, my sales are by people. So look what Anaplan has done is by people and products. Automatically, because of the power of those lists that I set up at the start, I have done that automatic aggregation and allocation from product to people to branch automatically in the background, no select statements in view here at all. It’s very, very, very simple, empowering the citizen developer. So hopefully, that’s given you an idea of how quickly Ram, you can put aside these things.
Ram Krishnan: Wow Simon. Zero to a live model in eight minutes; let’s give a round of applause!
Simon Tucker: Thank you.
Ram Krishnan: So with that background, let’s now turn on to the discussion. I am very pleased to reintroduce McAfee and Prakash. McAfee is an early customer of Anaplan, a reference customer and a charter customer in our advisory board. They have achieved some amazing results with Anaplan. They reduced their cost of sales by 2% reduction. Now think about it for a moment. This is not an easy thing to achieve and this has a very profound effect on the bottom-line and shareholder value. And Prakash here spearheaded and built a Center of Excellence around quote, territory, commissions and quote optimization. And he is not done yet; he is extending Anaplan and the ROI he achieved to further domains, to further dimensions and further disciplines. So in summary, they are the poster child for better ROI and better control. With that Prakash, please give us a context of McAfee. Where you were at the beginning and what started this journey?
Prakash Hariharan: Thank you Ram for a nice intro there. Hello everyone. Little bit of background on McAfee. McAfee is world’s largest dedicated security company. We have $3 billion in sales. We have over 7,000 employees and 2,000 plus sales force. We were acquired by Intel in 2011. After acquisition, there was a new mission. We have to do margin improvements across go-to-market operations. Obviously, it comes with challenges on the margin improvements, right. We have identified the reduced margin due to process inefficiency, misaligned plans and excessive discounting.
Ram Krishnan: So with the acquisition, it looks like the margin pressure increased a lot. What kind of nuances led to this complexity systems, functional, organizational, IT? Perhaps give us some color on how you dealt with complexities and how Anaplan helped in that process.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah, sure. So the complexity is the process inefficiency is due to the fractured systems, right. All this quote setting, quote planning, territory planning, deal desk and commission calculations, these are all supposed to be tied together, right. But in prior Anaplan world, all these applications were built around Excel and Access. Obviously with Excel, we come across challenges like data integrity, data consolidation. Consolidations go through cycle for processing times and obviously, when we move to Access, we get little bit scalability but with McAfee size business, it cannot hold worldwide operations in a single Access database. So we ended up with 40 plus Access database, 13 or 16 spreadsheets, and this is the total enterprise system if I look at it for quote settings and commission calculations and the deal desk processing.
Simon Tucker: So you were in complete database, in Excel hell, it sounds like Prakash?
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah, it is, right. And then it’s all in Excel, it’s all in Access database. When you think about in Excel, obviously people think it’s very flexible but a lot of issues come with it. Data integrity is one of the biggest problems and data consolidations. When an exec is asking for reporting, it takes weeks to produce report because you have to consolidate all these Excel sheets. It takes time, right. And think about the Access database, 40 plus databases. If there is a decision that came across in the middle of the year saying that oh by the way, we have to redo all the comp plans and go back and reprocess, I will be working on 20 plus databases and it’s nearly impossible to do that. So those are the challenges with the systems. You are supposed to have all these systems tied together.
When you do the territory planning, your quota setting should reflect what happened with the territory planning. Then only you can set the target properly. Once the target is set properly, you have to feed the commission calculation and you have to real-time validate where I am standing against my quota settings. Otherwise, there will be surprises, you will be overpaying commissions or underpaying commissions, you will be losing sales force. And then when you come to the deal desk world, you have to have all the products information connecting upfront revenues, because of this all integration needs to happen. If your structure is not there, you won’t be able to produce effective quote on a timely basis. So these are all the challenges we faced prior to Anaplan.
Simon Tucker: And I think it’s worth noting Prakash that it’s amazing to me having been in this business for years now that there are big enterprise companies, right. McAfee used to be in Excel and database world. There are still really large organizations in the world that are still running their business on these fractured spreadsheets across the organization and people I think are trying to get this integrated business planning world up and running and they are struggling. I mean here you are, I mean just to level set where we are in this slide that the audience can see here, you have got five use cases here across 2,000 reps, multibillion company, trying to wrap real-time in an environment, a very tough environment these days, and really not getting the visibility that you need, really planning these different things in complete and utter silos, critical business functions that really need to work in tandem with each other so that you can have that real-time visibility to the business.
Ram Krishnan: And how did Anaplan change your life?
Prakash Hariharan: So when we brought in Anaplan, we got a unified process and we were able to do the territory planning in Anaplan, territory planning tied up with the quota planning in Anaplan. We built compensation system in Anaplan. Quota plan connects with compensation system and we built deal desk in Anaplan. So now, you can see a nice flowing circle, right, if you look at — as you see in the slide. And now all the business users are connected, the end users are connected and there are no surprises, you are real-time planning, right. You can continuously align your goals with the reality, right. I mean you can go check okay where am I sitting in my goals, right. And obviously, traceable crediting rules are there and timely and accurate payments –proactive rate management. What do you mean by that is when the bookings come through and we know where we are doing sales force better rates, that are we paying them better, are they bringing in better business, so we have the visibility. So obviously it reduced lot of overpayment, like we incorrectly set the quota in southern territory and reps brought in like $100 million orders.
Simon Tucker: And you get surprised, exactly, yeah. And it hits above the line, big deal.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah exactly, exactly. And when it come to the deal desk world actually, it’s improved discounting because it’s visibility there and we connect it with our revenue and upfront revenue and SOA, so we were able to connect everything. So when a rep and there is a deal desk, when they try to set the deal together, they can see the whole picture and then they can efficiently quote and get the business going.
Simon Tucker: So that’s what the deal desk is really doing is getting efficient quoting, making sure the discounting is right with some validations rules to make sure they are not doing too deep discounts, that has a big impact on the business. And that visibility to those deals that ultimately affect a lot of these other cycles, a lot of these other use cases that are in this cycle.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah. The other thing I want to point out I think that is the advantage of Anaplan or their sweet spot is modeling, right.
Simon Tucker: Yeah.
Prakash Hariharan: So what they can do right now is they can take a quote and then they can make a copy of the quote and they can see side-by-side okay if I have a year deal, if I convert to three year deal, is it better for the customer, is it better for us, is it overall good deal, win-win situation.
Simon Tucker: So these are all sandboxes that the sales reps can have, the deal desk people can have to do different scenarios and say which one of these scenarios, side-by-side, on-the-fly, can see which, okay excellent, okay.
Ram Krishnan: It’s really fantastic to see how the fractured IT systems had an impact on the business and how with Anaplan you have kind of essentially shortened various time lags and collapsed all the systems to deliver ultimate value. Now in this journey, I am sure you have touched upon variety of organizations including IT; you would have collaborated with variety of organizations including IT. Tell us little bit more about how the collaboration worked, did you get lot of pushback from IT? How did you manage?
Prakash Hariharan: So as we all know, IT is the backbone of any corporate business. Without IT, you cannot run the business. So the first thing we did is IT has built a sales attainment dashboard, okay. And basically, what it does is it will run through our comp plan crediting rules and the sales rep will be able to see their attainment, basically where do I stand with my quota, against my quota. So prior to Anaplan, it’s built in an ETL process within IT and it’s managed by IT. It’s obviously an overhead to IT. You have to maintain all the business rules. Imagine that I see a redundancy there, right. You have business rules sitting in one system and also it’s sitting in the commission system.
Simon Tucker: All on-premise solutions.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah, it’s all on premise and it’s sitting in two places. Obviously, there can be a disconnect happening. So as our first initiative with the Anaplan what we did is instead of putting all those complicated rules burden to IT, we built all those rules in Anaplan along with our commissions system. So now there is a single source of truth for the commission crediting rules and this can be configured and maintained by the business. So the business is happy because they can maintain it and they can change it, IT is happy because they don’t have to maintain that, right. So what happens here is go-to-market changes literally every quarter, and when it’s maintained by IT, they have to go through their release cycle, they are not just taking care of one portion, they have sales, product, they have the whole company. So you have to wait for the releases to get your changes in. It can go from a month to two to get the information ready, the new changes get in place.
So obviously business look at it as delay; IT is thinking you are coming to me almost every release and I am working for you, and then you are unhappy. So with these iterations, it’s a win-win. Business controls it, no waiting for the release cycles, no overhead to IT, but the dashboard is still published, the data is coming from Anaplan, a single source of truth but it’s published in dashboard, sales can see it, IT does all the ETL work and they make sure the data flows nice and easy to this dashboard on timely basis.
Simon Tucker: I think it’s worth noting as well Prakash that I have seen this dozens of times in clients. This IT cue and the burden that the business puts on IT to get things done and put it into the cue, to your point, that they are responsible for a whole raft of different business functions and the systems. I have heard of six month cues and not only does it disrupt the business and disrupt IT, what it also does is it really promotes the behavior in the business of going off and getting their own system, independent of IT. So you actually make the problem worse still, either doing it in spreadsheets or Access databases. I have actually heard of finance teams that go out and buy service and put them under the desk and have their own on-premise solution that IT doesn’t actually know about. So you start creating more and more silos because of the problem you have got in that cue and not empowering the business to change rules but allowing IT to control that system. So I think it has a huge impact on the business.
Prakash Hariharan: Definitely. I totally agree with that.
Simon Tucker: So it looks like a happy marriage between IT and the business.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah of course, of course. It’s a win-win situation, right. Just wanted to — we also did as a second pilot, we did another collaboration with our IT department, is you have to build all our territory rules in a silo and then you have to push it to our CRM for the assignment process. Our CRM is in Siebel. Any system you consider, garbage in garbage out, correct? So when you submit garbage in, you are going to get garbage out. So then you go and complain the system is not assigning. Actually, the rules might be wrong and that may be the reason. But the blame comes to the system. So what we did with this particular process is we built an Anaplan segment go-to-market model, where you can come and house all the territory rules, you can set your territory, you can set your segmentation and basically this is for planning. Currently they are doing for 14, they are planning for 14. You can set that. What Anaplan has provided the business is they can preview the territory upfront well in advance. They don’t have to wait for the territory rules to submit to CRM and then now understand if there is a coverage gap or a conflict.
What Anaplan provided them is a preview of the rules and so now you have really clean rules to deploy to the CRM system. So what it gives is a relaxation in cycle time. It’s basically you are deploying the rules, you know it’s clean rules so it’s being deployed and everything is good. Since it’s connected between — it’s a smooth integration between Anaplan and the CRM, there is no manual touch to that and obviously you will avoid all those manual touch issues. So if you look at this, know you can read the business benefits. It’s basically identifying the rule conflicts and coverage gaps early in the territory setting process. Just to put it in perspective, it used to be they will finish all this territory setting, I believe they submit to CRM in the January, early January timeframe, and then you have to run through the process in the CRM and then the assignment process runs. No, I was talking about the earlier picture. So it runs through and then you have to audit all the rules. So the whole audit will take almost four to six weeks until you get a clean rule. Now what they are doing is they can get a clean rule setup ready to go by end of November and then it’s just a deployment.
Simon Tucker: So five or six weeks earlier basically?
Prakash Hariharan: Yes, you are basically saying early visibly.
Simon Tucker: And the other thing I want to do, I don’t want to downplay you Prakash, how significant that go-to-market model is, how big is that model today? Let’s focus a little bit on scalability. How big is that model that you have got there because you have got lots of reps, lots of territories, there is a lot of data that McAfee has got, lot of historical data that you are crunching. How big is that?
Prakash Hariharan: So this particular segmentation and territory management module we have is almost one billion sales in size. Our order-crediting rule is our biggest model. I bet that’s the biggest model within Anaplan. It consists of 350 billion sales.
Simon Tucker: Okay. So 350 billion sales and that’s hugely significant, it’s a huge chunk of data that Anaplan as a client platform is handling for you guys and crunching in pretty much real time.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah, it’s pretty much real time and then it helps us publish all the information to the sales. It’s just not crunching information, it’s also providing the visibility. That is what’s important. I can crunch all day and not giving visibility, then there is no use. And I can buy a supercomputer and let it crunch but if I don’t give the visibility, it’s not happening, right. So the point I want to make right here is so think about what is the benefit for the IT. They don’t have to maintain this silo SQL Server database just for rule consolidation and formatting. And when you submit efficient and effective rules back to the CRM, it makes it very effective and the systems looks extremely clean and everybody appreciate them. So it’s again a win-win situation for the business and the IT.
Simon Tucker: And the other thing I think to pick up here is how Anaplan is sitting very nicely between systems, bringing information in from systems and taking information out to systems, so a real perfect synergy with the business and IT in existing systems. This isn’t always a rip-and-replace; this is working in synergy with the existing business systems.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah it’s nicely tuck in between the systems and the users.
Ram Krishnan: And how was the collaboration with the rest of the business? We talked about IT but how did the finance team, sales teams and other teams deal with the collaboration here?
Prakash Hariharan: So think about this, so now we have all these systems in one Cloud, single source of truth. So all the business users, the primary business users are sales reps who set the territory and segmentation, sales finance who take care of quota planning and make sure the comp plan commission, crediting is working and making sure that territory is setup based on the planning and then sales comp analyst, they go through and make sure the commissions are calculating and paying accurately, sales obviously, they have to see everything, they need to see their territory so that they can go to their business and then once the business is done, they can see what happened, how much I am getting on that. So as you can see, it’s one single source of truth, everybody is looking at the same picture, transparent to all users.
The one thing I want to bring here is we recently deployed 2014 quota planning system and I was sitting in the UAT session, the users from various parts of the countries flew in, like we have five regions, they flew in and they are sitting in it and I again see they are all talking the same language because they are looking at the same data. So for one particular example though, one person was asking hey, how do we get to this renewal quota, do we use renewal rate? Then before I jump on to answer that question, I see another business user is answering, yeah go drill down and you will see that it’s being connected to the renewal rate. I was like wow, it’s amazing. And the sales reps, if you look at this picture, sales reps, they do the segmentation and territory. But it used to be they didn’t know. Okay if I set the segment and if I set the territory, they didn’t know what happens to the quota planning. So now all users have complete understanding of why I did set this territory and this segment in a specific way. They can see the complete picture and vice versa. The sales comp analyst can see how this arrived, how we arrived at this quota and how I am checking against the actuals.
Simon Tucker: Without that lag.
Prakash Hariharan: Yes exactly, without the lag.
Ram Krishnan: Truly connected, collaborative and real-time enterprise, that’s amazing. As you went through this journey, did you change your charter; was there a change in charter? You obviously lead the Center of Excellence. Why don’t you tell us little bit about your organization and where you are taking it, where you are steer-heading forward?
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah sure. So within MacAfee what we did is we formed Anaplan Center of Excellence. As you can see, I would like to call apps, these many apps being built within the Anaplan. So what is Anaplan’s Center of Excellence? Basically, I consider Anaplan’s Center of Excellence has probably two or three main responsibilities. The number is we have operational applications, we have sales compensation system, order crediting, deal desk. This is what I call operational. It’s a daily process.
Simon Tucker: This is you building those models, maintaining those models, serving the business with the needs, the operational needs of the business, right?
Prakash Hariharan: Correct. So that is what we build. We do the design, development, maintenance, and we make sure it’s providing the business.
Simon Tucker: With best practice and lot of good stuff that you have done over the last couple of years.
Prakash Hariharan: Exactly. And on the other part, what we do is we also enrich the business to do the modeling. What we have done is we have built a Anaplan hub within McAfee and we funnel all the data information into the hub. Now each model builder, they can come and subscribe to this model and start building the models. And as a Center of Excellence, what I have seen being efficiently done is we basically increased the speed of development. We will be able to talk to the business users, setup the metadata and have the model ready for them to start building. Once you set up the metadata and that is the cool thing with Anaplan that you will see it looks like an Excel. So the business users who are very close to particular business, I will use an example here, we have done a product P&L with the product finance team. Product P&L is handled by a product finance team. There is an analyst who is working on the product P&L, very close to that process, completely knowledgeable about that. Here is how I am coming, my team is coming with — I have some ideas about the process, so the way we started our discussion is okay we will ask them, okay what are all the data points that you need to do this. When they come to me and say okay these are all the data points we need, the first thing we do, we go check the hub, what are all the data points we have. And if there is something missing, then we will liaison with IT and we will bring the data into the hub.
Simon Tucker: So can have a catalogue that you make sure is up-to-date, so when that businessperson who knows the business process but not necessarily technology or the platform. You’re empowering them to take that central data and use it in the model, just like you said the list that I was using. That’s what we take down from the central location.
Prakash Hariharan: Exactly. But it will come from the central, along with the primary data. What you showed is the list but we also serve the primary data along. So I would consider three main responsibilities. One is to live and breathe and run what are the current operational processes and continuously make improvements to that. Number two is make sure Anaplan hub is being updated real time with all the information and serves the business. Number three, help the business to rapidly adapt to Anaplan and use it efficiently for their modeling purpose. So I would like to touch on one point there. I was explaining about product P&L right there. Product P&L used to take four weeks in Excel; it’s been reduced to two days with Anaplan.
Simon Tucker: So four weeks to two days.
Prakash Hariharan: And the person who did product P&L, she was able to take a vacation in January. So it’s just not about process efficiency, it also makes the people happy.
Ram Krishnan: That’s amazing journey and lot of excitement. I want to leave some time for audience Q&A. But before we turn into Q&A portion, perhaps we could close with some key takeaways and your advice, your best practices for the audience.
Prakash Hariharan: I would say you should pick one process that you are very close to and do a prototype in Anaplan. Before you are trying to do anything with Anaplan, pick one process that you are very close to and do prototype in Anaplan. That way you will understand all the ins and outs including how to set up the metadata, how do I store the data, how do I connect the data, you will get all the connections. So that is key thing. Second thing is when you go for these new tools, be prepared for change management challenges. I mean any area you pick, there will be change management challenges. But one good thing about that is you can overcome with Anaplan prototyping. I have done several times. One example I can throw in here is when one of the compensation analysts came to me and said I don’t want to use Anaplan, I can pull all these reports quickly in an Excel, I said that’s okay, that’s fine, show me what report you are pulling. She said, okay, I will be pulling reps who changed plan over the period of the year and they need to produce a report of how many reps are changing plans, so that you can look at it, what’s happening, why we are dynamically changing the plans. So she has to produce the report and it will take probably a day for her to do. I brought to her and I said let’s build it in Anaplan. So I built it in Anaplan, I dragged the time scale, I dragged the rep and I set a bullion to check reps changed or not, look at the previous time, this time, whether the plan is different, that’s changed, flat done. And by the way, you don’t have to run this every time, it’s done. So that’s one example. Since you said five, I think I am going through the list. This is very important. Please spend ample time on understanding the metadata setup within the model. It is extremely important. Once that is done, model building will become easier.
The fourth one, I always say to people please maintain the partnership with IT and take the time to understand and explain the advantages of using Anaplan. Again, use prototypes to prove. We have done that within our department and everybody likes it and even from IT, people are taking training on Anaplan. They all love it. IT, they are all smart people, they like tools, so they will learn and they are very interested to do that, so. Actually I don’t have much change management challenge when I go to IT because it’s a new tool, they are all interested. The process is where change management comes in then. Fifth one is my favorite, work hard, be nice.
Simon Tucker: That’s hard thing to do, not for Prakash.
Ram Krishnan: And Simon, you are our Chief Customer Officer; you have seen hundreds of these implementations as well. So feel free to add any bits of advice and best practices to the audience.
Simon Tucker: I would echo what Prakash has said and it’s Anaplan is very forgiving in terms of a modeling tool, and as you saw, it’s very, very simple to model in it. But it’s a really good idea to plan upfront and the most successful implementations that I have ever seen is really where you plan upfront, you get your data, your metadata, you plan the design and then you execute. And really I think what we have done as a company and as a platform; we have taken the complexity and the technical aspect of building a business model out. It’s so, so quick to model that stuff. But what we can’t do obviously is change the business process and we can’t change your data and your metadata but we have managed to make models a lot less complex to build and empower the business across the business to build those.
And we are seeing it everyday with our customers. Traditionally, planning companies or analytics companies are in really the finance area of the business. What Anaplan has done is really broken out of finance and we are connecting all those different business functions, our customers are connecting all those different business functions together. And Prakash is a great poster child of a company that has done a tremendous job of creating a Center of Excellence, empowering the IT organization and empowering the organization to build models, connect the organization across this integrated business planning solution. So I think planning is great and I definitely think work hard and be nice is definitely a good one too.
Ram Krishnan: That’s great. So with that, operator, let’s start pulling in questions from the audience. As a reminder again, please submit your questions through the Q&A widget in your console and hit Submit and we will take the questions. Looks like I have a few questions already. The first question, where do McAfee business rules come from? Are they imported from legacy SOA systems or typed into Anaplan? Prakash, I will let you take that one and Simon, perhaps you can add to that as well.
Prakash Hariharan: So the McAfee territory business rules, it’s being uploaded from the legacy system into Anaplan and then they let you change it within Anaplan. You have two ways to change it. One is you can go and manually change the rules information or you can upload from Excel or any TXT or CSV final format. Once you are done, we are nicely connected back to the CRM, so it will automatically feed to the CRM.
Simon Tucker: Those are the different ways bringing the information in, Anaplan connects, manually uploads this
Prakash Hariharan: So basically you are not starting on a clean slate. In this case, we moved in all of the 13 rules into this Anaplan. Now you can see 13 rules and you can make the changes. Good thing is when you make the changes, real time you see how my territory is doing with my new changes, historical data.
Ram Krishnan: So one other question here, how easy was it to integrate? I think the question is about with your existing legacy and existing systems, like different ERP systems, CRM systems and whatnot.
Prakash Hariharan: It’s actually quite easy to integrate. As you can see on my slides, I am already integrated with all those systems. The best part is Anaplan provides an API and they call Anaplan Connect. You can use that. It’s a Java-based client so you can run that in any machine, any server that has a Java client. You can write a wrapper around that and then you can run the process, either you can schedule using a Windows Scheduler or your own schedulers or you can do an ad hoc run. So we have built in both ways, we did the scheduler, Windows Scheduler runs and we have an ad hoc. We put an HTML page where we can go click and it will start the integration process.
Simon Tucker: I think that’s a good point. Just to build on that Prakash, we have got other customers that just use Anaplan Connect in a very simple way to get information in and out of Anaplan through the API. We also have more people that get into much more sophisticated level of integration like McAfee. To your point, you put a wrapper around the Anaplan Connect and you can dive into databases directly through the API, schedule it completely hands off which is the sort of thing that you have done. So you can really start small and really build upon that depending on your level of sophistication and resource that you have got available to you.
Prakash Hariharan: Yeah of course. That’s where we started. I mean I didn’t start on day one with all — I actually manually imported the file and that’s my style.
Simon Tucker: Exactly, to get you going, right. It wasn’t a barrier to you prototyping and getting those models out.
Ram Krishnan: Simon, perhaps it’s a question for you. Are different models actually different views into a central cube or separate cubes linked by reference that broadcast updates between each other?
Simon Tucker: Good question. Well Anaplan is actually a big multidimensional cube and these modules are views into that big cube if you will. We have actually got four different patterns across the platform, the way that we handle data and the way that we handle aggregations and the way we handle calculations. You have probably seen the term Hyperblock. Hyperblock really relates to how we actually handle these aggregations smartly within the model, which is what allows you to have a desktop type experience with multibillion sale models of the type that Prakash does. Basically it’s a view into a big cube; you are not replicating tons and tons of data everywhere.
Ram Krishnan: That’s great, that’s great. The other question is, what was the support? Probably Prakash, you should answer this, what was the support from Anaplan on this journey of yours?
Prakash Hariharan: It was an awesome support. One example I can throw in, last night, I got a call from my user saying that hey this download is not working, I have various ways to contact my Anaplan support, phones, I can use e-mails, or I can go into the chat window. I prefer to use phone and then it’s being attended and it’s being taken care of within 15 minutes. So that’s only — recent example happened last night. It’s an awesome support. They also have lot of community that will help you for a model builder. The support I am talking about is literally I would say probably I call Anaplan for support probably five times, five to 10 times in a year. And most of the questions come from these builders, like how do I link this module. There is a video, go look at it, if not, Center of Excellence will help you.
Simon Tucker: I think it’s a good point because you are right. I mean the number of times you contact us is minimal to say the least. And I think that’s a great testament to the way that you have done the Center of Excellence and you have that support mechanism internally to feed back to users and you have your own community as well. So that’s one of the things we do for our enterprise customers who want that Center of Excellence is we actually give them their onw community, it’s actually connected to the Anaplan community so they work in tandem with each other but you have got your own private community which is very model and use case specific. So that’s something that Prakash has been running with great success and which is why you only call us five or 10 times a year, so that’s great.
Ram Krishnan: So we are about to end at the top of the hour. There are few unanswered questions, which we will follow one-on-one after the webinar. We will get every question to you individually. Let me just get to close here. Firstly, let me thank Prakash and Simon for sharing their best practices and tips. Secondly, this webinar recording will be available shortly within a week or so for you to share with your extended team. And thirdly, two lucky participants today will get a mini Jambox, so make sure you check it out on our Twitter handle at Anaplan. Feel free to register for a demo at email@example.com. With that, I thank everyone for joining this webinar and wish you a fantastic holiday season. Thank you.