Open Source Planning - The Hyperblock

Written by Jon Pause

ANAPLAN DOES MORE! 

  • Moves freely between levels of dimensionality and levels of detail down to transaction level data.  

  • Pulls information in real time. 

  • Allows you to bring together adverse data sets --Anaplan is equal parts data piping engine and process.  

  • Works well with agile methodology and iterative modeling.  

  • SAP: BPC/SAC has a rigid account-based architecture that limits modeling functionality and capabilities. This gives the user limited/defined dimensions and an inflexible model.  

  • Old BPC experts are choosing Anaplan. How does that weigh on your decision? 

  • Allitix has data piping and process experts.  

During a lunch with a customer the question was posed, “what is it about Anaplan that makes it so special?” After a little thought and swallowing my bite of Chicken Pad Thai, it came to me -- the patented Hyperblock technology stack of Anaplan allows you to take diverse data sets and pipe them together.  In all my years of experience, I have never seen a tool able to handle such diverse data so efficiently. Anaplan is an “open source” planning tool, you can literally do anything with anything (with a little expert help).  

Per Anaplan’s own technology data sheet, Anaplan provides:  

  • Versatility through the world’s most powerful modeling engine.  

  • Scale for granularity of insight to help you predict and optimize analytics, reporting, and planning.  

  • The power to connect plans and collaborate seamlessly across the entire business.  

  • Foresight using predictive analytics and “what-if” scenarios.  

  • Self-service capabilities to build and manage your own models on a single source of planning truth. 

 

This all sounds great, but what does this mean in the real world? I have a couple of my own observations that relate to the benefits outlined above.  

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Anaplan can handle diverse data sets ranging from millions of transaction records, to side data sets that don’t perfectly fit in your past planning architecture. These records can be loaded with speed and ease, and require very little transformation work from your IT group to get started. Once your various data sets are in the DataHub, we can quickly evaluate data issues such as blanks or duplicates based off your core dimensionality design. This process enables you to rapidly hone in on problematic data. Then, we use those same datasets to build and automate your core list structures.  If your IT group is overburdened, we can build out systematic fixes that may otherwise take weeks or months to resolve. Once your data is in the system and your core lists have been assembled, your “plan” can seamlessly shift vertically through levels of granularity or horizontally through various slices of a given data set.  I constantly marvel at the real time computation engine syncing data between layers of a product hierarchy or between misaligned regional data sets. Anaplan is a technological wonder of the planning age. 

To gain further technical insights I have included both a basic architecture diagram above and a link to the CIO white paper. In this white paper, you techy folks can gush over multitenancy, application lifecycle management, data center overviews, authentication, authorization, encryption, integration, and advanced analytics.  This is a very powerful resource to use when starting a discussion about a platform shift at your organization.   

[Insert link to CIO whitepaper] https://www.anaplan.com/papers/cio-guide-becoming-strategic-business-executive/ 

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If you have worked in BPC for any length of time, this must sound like a pipe dream. BPC’s rigid account architecture forces you to make dimensional decisions too early. This ultimately limits your flexibility in modifying a deployed solution to adapt with your business.

After many years implementing SAP EPM, I can confidently assert that Anaplan is a superior platform. In short, Anaplan DOES MORE, COSTS LESS, AND IS EASIER TO MAINTAIN. BPC consultants recognized this immediately and have been flocking to Anaplan platform. People who have been implementing SAP EPM solutions for over a decade are also moving to Anaplan.  How does that weigh on your platform choice?  

 

Time and time again, Allitix has shown that through expert data piping techniques, your team can conquer any objective and ultimately improve any process.  Call us, your bottom line is waiting patiently…

Allitix Marketing