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Easy data blending, intelligent reporting leveraging Google Cloud to extend Anaplan Planning

All around the globe, organizations have had to re-evaluate their enterprise planning needs to keep up with changing demands while dealing with point solutions and data scattered across disjointed systems and sources. This re-evaluation has become even more pressing with the unprecedented levels of disruption over the past 18 months.

Connected planning makes enterprises agile and resilient by delivering continuous models and forecasts. Anaplan’s enterprise planning platform runs unlimited multi-dimensional scenarios to identify ideal plans of action that pivot business strategy from reactive to proactive. Any function within an organization can model the impact of change and easily visualize its effects. For example, identifying the impact of sales headcount on quota and compensation. In a nutshell enterprise planning allows enterprises to have a living shareable representation on how the business actually works.

Google Cloud and Anaplan are redefining how planning practitioners will use Enterprise Planning within these organizations to unify and align planning across all departments, and address the following challenges: 

Predicting what customers will need, when and where requires planners to blend external data — such as search, POS, macroeconomic factors, and social indicators — with their internal data — such as volume forecast, shipments, and orders. This data blending can create, speed up reconciliations to increase velocity, decrease inventory days on hand and improve service levels. However, blending internal and external data across disparate data sources has been hard, especially in real time.

In order for financial planners to capture monthly budgets, they need to submit vendor and spending plan information to their financial analyst as part of their financial planning and budgeting process. Having to manually copy and paste data into Anaplan, as opposed to seamlessly uploading information from familiar spreadsheet and productivity tools, introduces errors, challenges auditability, and reduces productivity.

Anaplan Connected Planning Platform provides cloud-based technology that fundamentally transforms planning by connecting all the necessary people, data, and plans to accelerate business value through real-time planning and decision-making in rapidly changing environments. Google Cloud is extending the core capabilities of Anaplan Connected Platform to address these challenges for planners.

Deeper integrations, greater capabilities

Since announcing the partnership between Google Cloud and Anaplan, our two teams, including the ISV Center of Excellence, have successfully completed the implementation of Anaplan Connected Planning Platform on Google Cloud.

In parallel, our product and technical teams have collaborated to deliver additional capabilities to extend Anaplan with Google Cloud, including:

Google BigQuery integration with Anaplan CloudWorks 
Anaplan CloudWorks now provides a self-service capability for planning practitioners to easily import/export data into/from Google Cloud’s BigQuery to blend first-party data within Anaplan with third-party data outside Anaplan without needing technical expertise. BigQuery is a highly scalable and cost-effective multicloud data warehouse designed for business analysis. Enriching the Anaplan first-party data enables end-to-end visibility across critical business processes such as those in the supply chain.

The BigQuery integration makes it easy to aggregate data from multiple sources and automate processes within a single source of truth. Analyzing data, modeling dynamic scenarios, and developing projections and forward-looking strategies with large amounts of data becomes faster and easier. BigQuery integration with CloudWorks connects to the customer’s BigQuery environment in their Google Cloud project to export/import data into their Anaplan Model. Customers configure a connection to their BigQuery environment by specifying service account details, Google Cloud project and BigQuery data set information.

In addition, planners can easily leverage Google’s AI capabilities with their planning information in BigQuery. For example, companies in the consumer goods domain can reduce inventory and increase revenue by using Google Vertex AI to improve the accuracy of their demand forecasting at a more granular level by analyzing every SKU, combined with other data streams and demand signals (e.g. marketing and sales plans, consumer insights, weather, etc.). 

CloudWorks lets business planners schedule data-flows from BigQuery, amplifying the power of their forecasts across channels, geographies, and product lines. Customers can save time by scheduling import/export integrations to run hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. 

The BigQuery integration with Anaplan CloudWorks will be available in Q3 CY 2021.

Anaplan Add-on for Google Sheets within Google Workspace
Anaplan users can avoid spending countless hours every month/quarter exporting Anaplan dashboards into Google Sheets by using the Anaplan Add-on for Google Sheets. This seamless connection between Google Sheets and Anaplan enables planners to keep Anaplan as the planning source of truth.

Bidirectional integration of Anaplan and Google Sheets enables bringing source data from Anaplan into Google Sheets, and updating analysis from Google Sheets into Anaplan. In addition to enabling ad hoc analysis and executive reporting, this add-on also enables bulk data load and data reconciliation. It dynamically tracks inputs and adjustments, allowing quick, iterative analysis of planning data. Accuracy and auditability are systematic, rather than manual. During critical strategy meetings such as performance, headcount and financial planning, enterprises can extract high level summaries to make agile decisions. 

Planners can access this add-on via the Add-ons menu in Google Sheets. The add-on prompts users to sign-in using their Anaplan login details or Single Sign-on. Users can then choose to create a “read-only” or “read-write” connection to link data from an Anaplan module to a Google worksheet. This video provides a short demonstration of using the Anaplan Add-on for Google Sheets Add-on. 

Expanded reach and scale with global deployment. 
Anaplan’s Connected Planning platform is being deployed in additional regions across Google Cloud’s global network. Anaplan customers are benefiting from improved data proximity and in-country model data storage.

Regional banks in countries with specific requirements for storing model data in-country can take advantage of Anaplan on Google Cloud for finance, human resources, and sales use cases while meeting requirements for storing model data in-country. 

Expanded partnership = Exceptional possibilities for planning

Our expanded partnership brings exceptional possibilities for how Anaplan and Google Cloud customers can plan. Merging the enterprise planning capabilities of Anaplan with Google Cloud, and seamless integrations with BigQuery and AI/ML capabilities, gives business leaders more ways to blend their data sources for dynamic, highly informed, and real-time business insight. 

A fully managed SaaS service, Anaplan on Google Cloud enables elastic scale in new regions and drives greater productivity and performance by bringing data closer to where organizations reside. Anaplan on Google Cloud is now available for the United States region. 

Learn more about the technology partnership by visiting our Google Cloud partner page, reaching out to your Google Cloud and Anaplan account teams, or emailing [email protected].

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