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Next steps & approach: Take Aways from Inaugural Nordics User Group event: Stockholm 2019-Sept-12

Thank you to all Nordic Anaplanners who joined the inaugural Nordics User Group event: Stockholm 2019-Sept-12.  

It was very nice to meet you and learn from your diverse solutions and experiences in the Anaplan platform.  Really great that there was such range of experience, from customers who have used Anaplan for 4-6 years, to those just starting the first implementations.

 

Thank also for allowing us, the Anaplan Customer Success team, the opportunity to provide information about the Anaplan roadmap, services and best practices. 

 

We were pleased that the meeting ended with a conversation that the attendees are enthusiastic to continue and build the Nordic User Group community, with additional / regular events.   We noted all your preferences on how you could envision this community action progressing.  Please see the detailed ideas on topics, approach, venues here below.   

 

The attendees / users are interested in continued discussions / sharing experiences on best practices concerning

    • Solutions (concrete presentations of how customers’ planning solutions: dashboards, activities.  Note, as necessary, data cleansing to not share sensitive data)
    • Challenges encountered and solutions used to address them
    • Model maintenance – how to keep an optimal solution as business develops and new use cases are implemented
    • Implementations – such as the level of detail desired when documenting user stories to be implemented
    • Center of excellence: how to determine appropriate model builders and the time requirements
  • Additional topics of interest:
    • Tips on new functionality that can be used to simplify models that may have been developed before that functionality existed
    • Nordic companies’ ideas for future roadmap: if many attendees share the same desire for new a new functionality, and all vote in Anaplan’s Idea Exchange, the additional votes will increase the likelihood that the Anaplan team prioritizes the idea.
    • In addition to presentations from Nordic customers, invite a non-Nordic customer (UK, Benelux…) to present one of their use cases
    • Anaplan Customer Success present latest updates on functionalities and Anaplan news

Meeting Approach.  In general the attendees agreed with the approach described by Benelux User Group Chairman Philip Erkinger (TATA Steel), although a few variations are needed to adapt to the specifics of the Nordic region

    • Cadence: 2 meetings per year would be welcome
    • The attendees had less availability in Q4 and in summer, so suggested that a September and March timing would be ideal
    • The team prefers Face to Face meetings  
    • The team would prefer full Nordic events – to have common meetings including Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish customers.  Given Nordic’s large geographical market we understand this is more challenging.  One suggestion was that 1x per year (example: March) the User Group events are for all Nordic (which means traveling for the team) and the other time per year (example, September) be country specific (so that most attendees are relatively local). 
    • For those events where travel is concerned the team prefers that this be a full day event (09:00 – 16:00, example) – to have enough topics to justify the travel.   For those events that are country specific, pontentially half day events would be preferable (example: 12:00 – 16:00), like the Benelux region does.
    • Preference to rotate location, like Benelux, to see / experience other companies’ locations.
    • The idea of having the Nordic User Group meeting at an Anaplan CPX (like London) was discussed.  Some attendees preferred not to do this approach as it would prolong the number of days away in that one week from their other responsibilities.

User Group Collaboration outside meetings

    • The attendees appreciated the Benelux approach, which has a core executive team of a few companies, who have calls (approx. 1x month for 30 minutes) to discuss next meeting 
    • The attendees also liked the idea of leveraging the Anaplan User Groupportal, to share ideas – we recommend that all Nordic Anaplanners register to share discussions.

 

Next steps

  • The attendees’ vision is that the Nordics User Group shall be run by users, for users.  Not by Anaplan.  However the team at this first event asked the Anaplan Customer Success team to help organize the next meeting (March 2020), with the hope that after that event the user community will be ready to take ownership. 
    • Anaplan will discuss with customers to see who could host the next event.
  • The Anaplan team will post all presentations to the User Group portal
    • We encourate Nordic Anaplanners to register to share the discussions!

 

We look forward to our next discussions and hope additional Nordic Anaplanners will be able to join, benefit from the team’s expertise and share your own experiences!