UPDATED 09:00 EST / SEPTEMBER 22 2020

google-cloud CLOUD

Google brings Anaplan’s business planning tools to its cloud platform

Google LLC said today it’s teaming up with the business planning software provider Anaplan Inc., in a partnership that will help that company’s customers take advantage of its unique cloud capabilities.

Anaplan sells an enterprise platform of the same name that’s used for business planning. Its platform is centered on an in-memory database and calculation engine called HyperBlock that enables customers to organize and analyze disparate sets of data quickly from finance, human resources, sales and other business operations.

One key advantage of Anaplan’s platform is its Excel-style functionality, which helps make it more accessible to ordinary business workers. The software includes modules to help make data-driven decisions in key areas such as budgeting, demand, quota and workforce planning, planning and forecasting, commission calculation, financial consolidation and profitability modeling.

By running its platform on Google Cloud, Anaplan will gain better performance and more scalability, and benefit from more secure infrastructure, Google said.

In addition, Google Cloud will help provide a boost to Anaplan’s data storage and analytics capabilities via integrations with BigQuery and Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning services. The integrations make it possible to blend Anaplan data with third-party information to provide more in depth analysis, for example.

Ana Pinczuk, senior vice president and chief development officer at Anaplan, told SiliconANGLE that the integrations would enable customers to innovate more by going up the stack and leveraging the value of Google’s AI and machine learning capabilities. For example, a retailer in Asia Pacific could look at broader economic and consumer data behavior to optimize its supply chain and intelligence forecasting, she said.

Besides that, the partnership enables Anaplan to extend its global reach, so customers can use its platform at closer proximity to their business operations to comply with local and industry-specific data residency and compliance requirements.

“We have a global footprint but this leverages the power and reach Google Cloud has,” Pinczuk said. “We can offer [our platform] much more locally now, in countries where we don’t have a presence.”

Google said it can vouch for the effectiveness of Anaplan running on its cloud. That’s because it’s a customer itself, having used Anaplan to orchestrate financial planning and analysis, sales and operations planning, call center forecasting and more, across multiple business units, teams and geographies, since 2016. All of Google’s Anaplan workloads run on Google Cloud, it said.

Pinczuk said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed several ways in which enterprise’s business planning strategies can be improved. She said companies that typically relied on quarterly or annual plans have now shifted to monthly or weekly plans to account for rapidly changing economic dynamics, for example. Meanwhile, enterprises have realized that simple things such as spreadsheets simply won’t suffice anymore when people are working remotely.

“What used to be annoying before is just not possible in a remote pandemic world, and so we’re seeing an influx of digital transformation,” Pinczuk said. “Customers are demanding this foundation of enterprise planning that’s all digital. Things are changing so fast that the connection between finance and sales or finance and supply chain is much more important.”

Siddhartha Agarwal, Google Cloud’s managing director of software-as-a-service partnerships and co-innovation, told SiliconANGLE that it was this trend that brought the two companies closer together. He said Anaplan’s customers need more compute capacity and better performance, and they need the ability to do things remotely.

“Change is constant and accelerating,” Agarwal said, who added that change is happening across all lines of business, HR, supply chain, finance and more.

Agarwal said Google is working with a number of global systems integrators to help customers deploy Anaplan on its cloud, including Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., Accenture Plc. and Wipro Ltd. These GSIs can help customers better plan their migrations to Google Cloud and work out the best way to leverage BigQuery and its AI and ML tools, he said.

“System integrators love this opportunity, and it can bring thought leadership to the C-suite,” Agarwal said. “All have significant Google Cloud practices and all use Anaplan.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: Google

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