AMA with Frank Calderoni: The Future of Anaplan is Clear

DennisL
edited December 2022 in Spotlight Series

In our latest Ask Me Anything session, Anaplan CEO Frank Calderoni talked about the future of the Anaplan platform and answered your questions in an exclusive week-long event. Frank shared his excitement about the new user experience and mobile interface, platform connectors, and AI and predictive planning capabilities.

**Our live Q&A window is now closed. Please see @frank_calderoni's answers in the comments below.

 

 

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Comments

  • Great video, Frank, and thanks for taking the time to chat with the Community!

    I am new to the concepts of AI, especially as it becomes more integrated with connected planning. Do you view Anaplan's business model pivoting even further into AI by allowing companies to leverage custom interfaces to meet their planning needs?

    In other words, model builders currently have full flexibility to design solutions for each of their business's use cases. Is that level of company-specific AI design something you envision will be a capability within Anaplan over the coming years?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks!

  • Hey Frank,


    My first question is about Anaplan's workflow.  Are there plans to create a workflow in the New User Experience?  This is critical for some implemenations.  

     

    Cheers,

     

    Kevin Beltz

  • Hi Frank, thank you for the video. I'm wondering how Anaplan intends to increase the number of people who know how to use Anaplan in 2020. Outside of the partner network, it currently would be difficult to learn Anaplan on your own if you wanted, what plans do you have to open this opportunity up to more people? Do you ever see Anaplan going more towards the Trailhead model of a public learning management system? 

     

    Thank you!

     

    Kevin Murphy

    Anavate Partners

  • Hi Frank - thanks for your leadership and for opening up an AMA.

     

    You mentioned a future state with an app store of sorts targeted at offering countless API connections and integrations to source and target systems outside of Anaplan. I am wondering if the road map may include opening this up to be an exchange where 3rd party developers can build custom tools and integrations and then offer them on a system-wide app store? Perhaps even building in functionality on top of Anaplan itself (as some have already done with things like Chrome add-ins)? My thought is that it could encourage innovation around the platform, but that it is a large undertaking that may present risk to proprietary information....

     

    George Heiler

    Anavate Partners

  • Hi Frank,

     

    Thanks for giving us an opportunity to interact directly with you. Would like to take this opportunity and ask a question about NUX. Since we are moving away from classic UI and inching towards full fledged NUX how confidently should we advocate New UX to our clients, considering there are a lot of things that are yet to come in NUX including drill down feature on Cell value and ALM functionality. Is this is time when we say we completely do away building UX in a classic way going forward?

     

    Thanks,

    Misbah

  • What an amazing opportunity to visit with you Frank. Thank you for opening up an AMA.

    First, I just want to thank the Community leadership at Anaplan - this has got to be the best led Community Site I've ever worked with.

    @emilydunn is amazing. And my understanding of Anaplan would be sub-optimal if it wasn't for @DavidSmith @rob_marshall @nathan_rudman @LipChean_Soh @ChrisMullen .

    I seriously don't know how they find the time to answer so many questions but they do and the answers are super detailed. 

    So thank you Frank for building and leading that team.

     

    My question to you is whether the Anaplan sales team would ever consider building a CoE around a specific vertical like retail, wholesale, and e-commerce?

    Right now, these types of implementation tend to fall under the supply chain horizontal but there's so much more than just supply chain.

    I realize it's super competitive in the retail planning solution space but having implemented practically every planning tool for this industry I've found Anaplan to be the best-suited long term, particularly when you factor in the connected planning.

    Seems there's a lot of room to grow in the retail industry in North America.

     

    Thanks Frank. Keep up the good work and thanks again for building such an awesome Anaplan Community!

     

     

  •  

    Hi Frank - thanks for opening up the community and taking the time to interact - very cool!
     
    In the video you speak about the mobile UX and "planning at the edge", which is really aligned to the trend of democratization of analytics and planning.  It is outstanding that Anaplan is focusing in this area.
     
    However, there are two other areas I would be interested in understanding Anaplan's Point of View / Roadmap:
     
    1.  Autonomous Planning / "Lights out Planning"
    2.  Extending "connected planning" across an entire ecosystem / value chain - from suppliers through manufacturing through distribution and finally to end customer.
     
    Thanks!
     
    David McCarty
    Anaplanner "Wanna-be" 😉
  • Thanks for putting this together, really great stuff.

     

    What are the biggest challenges that Anaplan faces in the next 1-3 years? How can Anaplan partners help address these challenges? 

     

    Looking forward to hearing back!

  • Hi Frank, where and when did the term "connected planning" get coined at Anaplan? I believe it was shortly after you joined but I've aways been curious, many thanks!

  • Frank,

    Thanks for joining the AMA.

    Could you share your thoughts on the following topics :

    - Market ****
    It's been a pleasure seeing how quickly Anaplan has grown so far, globally. Can you spend a few words on this, by geographical locations?

    - Licensing offering
    Is there anything particularly interesting happening behind the scenes in this area?

    - Workflow
    I thought the new Workflow would have been released and pushed together with the New UX and Mobile app. What should we expect for this ?

    Thanks!
    Alessio Pagliano
  • Hi Frank,

     

    Thanks for the inspiring video and giving us the chance to communicate with Anaplan brain directly:)

     

    My first question is about the Anaplan overall strategy, what position do you expect to see Anaplan in the market among the competitors in 5 years time? We all know how fast the technology is developing, what plan does Anaplan have in general to keep itself competitive?

     

    Second question is about the integration of AI and advanced analytics, in what type of form will this be integrated with the platform itself? Will there be ready-to-use packages for users to choose, or will there be possibilities for model builders/developers to develop their own solutions?

     

    Thank you,

    Mutong

  • Hi Frank,

     

    As we kick off our Lloyd's Syndicate Business Forecast model we look forward to using the NUX for the first time.

    I have just one technical question for you - is there any plan to increase the 130GB Workspace maximum size ?

     

    Thanks,

    David Foley

  • Hi @frank_calderoni,

     

    Thank you for sharing the platform roadmap.

     

    My question is related to our Talent Management strategy. Some employees have aspirations to work in functions of which they have no prior experience. But they have the passion, and the ability and willingness to learn. What is our plan to help these employees get the roles which they aspire for?

     

    Best regards,

    Jawwad

  • I truly appreciate this chance, thanks Frank for your time and Community for arranging this.

     

    As a partner and model builder, there are 3 questions that I would love to ask Frank:

    1. Workspace allowance. We were told in the last CPX that the data limit of 130Gb per workspace is going to be extended in the short term. Is is happening any time soon? Can you give us a clue of what the new limit will be? 

    2. Integrated Machine Learning or AI. Since Anaplan acquired Mintigo, I am wondering if we are going to see integrated ML / AI functionalities in the platform soon? And, if Yes, how are they going to look and feel for the workspace admins.

     

    This third one is just out of my curiosity: I have been using Anaplan since early 2015 and I have always wondered why there have been so many functions for Call Centres since the early stages of the tool????

     

    Thanks a lot again and looking forward to watch you on-line.

     

    Alex.

     

  • Thanks for the question, @KBeltz. Please see my response above to @Asslam on the topic of workflow.

  • Thank you for your support and I appreciate your questions, @davidmccarty. We are exploring many ways to incorporate automation capabilities as part of our Intelligent Anaplan strategy and logical repetitive tasks seem like a natural place to start. That could be a gateway to even deeper levels of automation like intelligent recommendations, which is key to human-machine augmentation. Our vision is to take it beyond the enterprise to deliver a connected ecosystem, which includes customers and suppliers where everyone collaborates in real-time to deliver better, faster decisions.

  • Thanks for the question, @Misbah. Our New UX has been built with a lot of user research that involves customer and market feedback. Our goal with the New UX is to make it intuitive, collaborative and engaging for all our users. End users have been our initial focus for the New UX, followed by model builders. We have a robust roadmap to deliver much more than just parity with our classic UX and we are on our way to achieving that in the near future.

  • Thanks for your willingness to connect and share your vision for the future! Do you envision that eventually the classic UX will be formally retired and all models/customers will migrate to NUX? If so, what's the timeline

     

    Very excited to hear about the work being done to advance API capabilities.  Will this include Anaplan Connect (or another native API) or is the focus primarily around third party connectors?

     

     

     

     

  • Hi Frank,

    Thank you for the video and participating in this forum with the Community!

    My question to you revolves around one I see quite often as a Partner.  Where do you see Anaplan can grow as it pertains to creating PDF-style reports?  I know there are some solutions Anaplan has partnered with but wondered if there is an appetite to take this on internally.

     

    Thank you again!

    Shea Baker

  • In prior years, new functionality being introduced at the annual conference were little more than proofs of concepts (the collaboration feature and Google Sheets integration were the highlight of Hub 2015!) and it's been very encouraging to see real features with real timelines being shown off at the last couple conferences since you've joined Anaplan. However, as an experienced model builder already committed to the platform, I feel many of the non-product sessions at CPX are still geared towards telling, not showing. I would love to see more customers demoing actual models that they used to solve their problems rather than just talking vaguely about the benefits of connected planning. Has there been any consideration towards making sure sessions are adding unique perspective and substance to the Anaplan pitch?

  • Hi @frank_calderoni 

    Thank you for the video and for interacting with the community members.

     

    My question is as follows:-

     

    What would be the roadmap for Anaplan with respect to AI and advanced analytics? We have been hearing a lot about this and wanted to know what Anaplan’s role would be in disrupting this domain since we have such a powerful integrated connected planning platform! Do you see advanced algorithms and deep learning programs driving the planning with our connected planning platform soon and still be able to retain the essence of the platform?

     

    It would be great if the team could come up with some use cases explained in the community for the larger audience soon.

     

    Regards

    Adithya

  • Thanks for the question, @gheiler. Delivering a rich API and micro services framework in the Anaplan platform will enable our customers to seamlessly extend Anaplan with their current enterprise applications. This will also open up opportunities for next-gen App Hub.

  • @JaredDolich, thanks so much for this great question. Retail is absolutely a key vertical for us and we are fortunate to be working with several global brands. A couple of weeks ago at NRF (National Retail Conference), we had Carter’s and L’Oreal join us for a panel discussion on how they view Anaplan as a key enabler of their digital transformation. Our industry go-to-market team is focused on building on this momentum by helping articulate the various ways Anaplan can add value for retailers. You are absolutely right that processes such as merchandising are inherently cross-functional and need to be channel agnostic – that is how we are approaching it as well, from a decision flow standpoint rather than disparate ‘modules’ that we see in the market. A key component of our industry GTM is our partner ecosystem – our partners bring deep industry knowledge and experience that we as a vendor are not always able to. We will continue to work with our partners to develop and take to market more such industry-specific offerings. Last year you probably heard me talk about some of these offerings – like the Commercial Planning solution for CPG we did with Deloitte – we look forward to executing more of these offerings this year with a lot more of our partners. If you have ideas or are interested in developing a joint industry offering, please reach out to Ara Gopal ([email protected]) who heads up our industry solutions team.

  • Thanks for reaching out @DavidEdwards. As a part of our AI- and ML-enabled platform strategy, we plan on delivering an intelligent user experience with guidance and recommendations. We are very interested in the potential value of automation capabilities in the platform, as you can see in my response to @davidmccarty's question below on AI possibilities. Also our product roadmap includes a completely redesigned and intuitive modeling experience. You can see the importance of the evolution of our UX to our strategy in my response to the question on the new UX below. Stay tuned!

  • where do you want to see Anaplan in next 5 years from your perspective?

     

    Thanks

    Ravi

  • Hi Frank,

     

    What are some of the key trends for planning that you are hearing first-hand when talking to leaders of large companies?  

     

    Thanks,

     

    Charles Passauer

  • Hi Frank,

     

    It's a great pleasure to talk with you through this AMA session.

     

    I have fee questions about some expected features to improve even more the plateform in the future.

     

    - Are you still investigating on collaborative chat features?

    - Are you still investigating on ad-hoc reporting features?

    - When could we try the new workflow process in the new UX?

    - Does the workspace size limitation (130G) will be increased in the future?

     

    Thank you

  • Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the video and giving us the chance to ask questions.

    I am curious to know whether there's a strategy to extend Anaplan functionality into some of the traditional datawarehousing and analytics domains.

    All the best,

    Tristan