Technology and Data News and Events

Anaplan releases Third Quarter financial results

Anaplan launches its AI-powered predictive sales planning system

by Mike Jones 15/01/2020

Leading connected planning business Anaplan has confirmed the release of a new AI-powered system for Predictive Sales Planning, supporting companies in managing their overall design and execution of sales and revenue strategies. The goal is to enable businesses to grow revenue at a quicker rate and create a competitive edge within their selected market.
As we move into 2020, sales professionals are facing a rising level of urgency to deliver quicker and more efficient rates of revenue growth in the circumstance of a reduced buying rate.

Anaplan’s Predictive Sales Planning technology provides sales professionals with the potential to measure accounts via AI-focused information, including company growth trends, business partnerships, hiring trends and buyer intent. All of these predictive tools support companies in enhancing their sales performance and the opportunity to select specific accounts with the best ability to buy.

Jason Loh, the Global Head of Sales Solutions at Anaplan explains that in a complex selling market, revenue leaders tend to find it difficult to select the best areas to focus on to deliver their commercial goals. The Predictive Sales Planning capabilities enhance the power of AI and ML to support sales professionals with the intelligence that improves overall growth and development. The Anaplan platform will allow sales professionals to make quick and efficient decisions about new markets, opportunities to invest and the ability to streamline revenue operations.

The predictive sales planning technology is available in four sections:

Predictive Account Segmentation and Scoring – combining internal data with predictive tools related to profile and buyer intend to define certain accounts with a better opportunity to buy.

Predictive Territory Planning – defines certain sales areas across selected factors such as industry, geography and product. It enables users to create a territory plan based on a combination of historical details and predictive insights.

Predictive Sales Capacity Planning – enhances coverage models along with sales factors and buyer insights with the aim of delivering revenue targets.

Predictive Quota Planning – enables allow sales leaders to create fair and realistic targets, goals and quotas by implementing predictive insights, buyer signals and intent-related information.

Robert Munoz, the research director of sales operations strategies at Forrester explains that sales leaders anticipate a potential slowdown in buying, spurring the need to drive revenue growth further. Munoz believes that sales professionals who focus on their sales intelligence capabilities, combining predictive AI solutions will deliver a higher level of productivity and sales.

The Predictive Sales Planning potential is now available on the Anaplan platform.

Read more
Enterprise Resource Planning Finance System

Protecting your data in the SaaS market

by Mike Jones 08/01/2020

SaaS is continuing to expand as businesses of all sizes integrate the software-as-a-service model to meet their application requirements. Studies suggest that the use of SaaS within business increased by 68% between 2017 and 2018. Innovative companies are implementing the benefits of SaaS, offering subscription pricing options to their customers and enabling software to be used as a service, reducing overall management, maintenance, and cost. The benefits are clear but there is also an important area that needs to be considered with the rise of SaaS in business and this relates to the storage of data and protecting this information for the future.

Recent reports indicate that nearly 50% of businesses are depending on their selected SaaS system to protect their data, and a further 25% have no protection plan in place at all for their SaaS data. Whilst most SaaS vendors are investing significantly in data protection, their focus is placed on major data disruption rather than accidental removal of certain fails. Nearly all SaaS licenses available today require the customer to share the responsibility of data protection. What this means is the provider will take ownership of certain parts of the data, but the customer also has responsibility in other areas. This tends to mean that the vendor provides a secure platform and service but the data involved in the process belongs to the customer and so is their responsibility to keep safe.

Potential Issues with SaaS and Data Protection

Let’s take the scenario where certain files at your business are accidentally deleted and are left for a period of time resulting in being permanently deleted from your system, with no precautionary measure to back up the files. Many SaaS clients make the assumption that vendors are creating backups of your data, and generally, they do. However, this backup is nearly always a complete backup of the entire platform, enabling a full recovering in the case of a significant security breach or in a scenario where all your data is destroyed. What this means is data is protected at a service level but specific granular information cannot be recovered. For example, the system won’t be capable of recovering a particular email or a critical sales file sheet required for a report. Whilst this may be an extreme example, if any situations like this develop, it is prudent that a business has taken precautions and used an external backup system.

Maintaining the security of SaaS data

With large data volumes, it is good to manage and prioritise your information and create a backup plan. This enables a business to classify the most important data sources and ensure you remain compliant with current regulations. If your business intends to apply a SaaS model then it makes sense to deliver a SaaS solution service to protect it. Implementing the SaaS approach doesn’t mean you have to let your data protection focus slide. With the number of options available today, there should be no reason why a business should leave their data open to potential risks. Organisations should acknowledge that SaaS data requires a similar level of protection as applied to other major data sources.

Read more
Enterprise Resource Planning Finance System

Integrating AI with the rise of SaaS tools

by Mike Jones 18/12/2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing at a rapid rate and advancing systems are becoming more efficient at adapting to new scenarios and performing in ways that are similar to the human brain. With further technological advancements, there is great potential for AI to transform large businesses in the coming years. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools have had a significant impact on how businesses operate and perform today. Artificial Intelligence will potentially reshape the next wave of this software, enabling companies to not just collaborate on innovative software, but also to gain a deeper insight and share further information and knowledge.

This generational transition means digitally-focused individuals are becoming more dominant in the workplace. For these employees, support from AI will become a regular part of workplace activities, providing additional support and enabling people to learn new skills. The businesses that implement intelligent use of AI will likely have a greater chance of attracting and retaining employees for longer. Industry experts believe AI strategies will be an essential part of business competitiveness.

The concerns surrounding the rise of Artificial Intelligence

The common concerns related to how AI could eliminate jobs across multiple sectors, to issues about the potential threat of creating an uber-intelligent system and its impact on our planet. For every investor in artificial intelligence, it is critical to ensure we remain focused on using AI as a technology to support humans and not to replace them.

AI has the potential to empower people, to increase the sharing of skills and knowledge. Revealing the insights with AI from thousands of human brains could dramatically enhance intelligence levels. For business leaders, it is clear that AI has a positive impact on productivity and efficiency, increased workplace happiness and improved workforce retention.

The potential challenge for the future is ensuring businesses utilise AI in a positive manner. Aside from supporting human knowledge and skills, AI could be implemented to measure employee performance and identify employees underperforming. If businesses implement AI in this manner may eradicate trust within a business. When considering how AI can be used, businesses should carefully consider the impact new technology will have on trust and reputation.

The rise of data and innovative workplace software systems mean businesses have significantly higher access to information than ever before, however, a large proportion of data and information remains stored in our minds. Businesses and innovative solutions that are capable of revealing this information are likely to rise efficiency levels significantly. Moving forward, businesses will need products and services that let employees discover and share skills and knowledge and Artificial intelligence will be vital to unleashing business productivity for the future.

Read more

Developing success in the SaaS market

by Mike Jones 18/12/2019

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a common technique applied to the operations of many businesses today. Studies suggest that by next year, over 70% of all enterprises will operate nearly completely on SaaS. In short, SaaS is an applied approach offering software and charging customers to use these services on a subscription model. The systems generally include a number of benefits such as a simplistic platform, reduced costs, access to multiple functions and a remotely available tool.

As far back as the 1960s, SaaS services have continued to expand, leading to a number of leading businesses in the marketplace. One notable business is Slack, the cloud messaging platform. In fact, Slack offers more than just messaging, enabling users to send and store files, make video calls and generate work channels. The platform has become a very popular option for many startup companies, offering a very user-friendly, affordable and aesthetic system. Slack now has over 10 million users and this is forecast to continue rising into next year. Many industry experts believe that the success of Slack boils down to the product and a carefully created software service that people are genuinely looking for, and more importantly, willing to pay for.

Another highly-regarded platform is Shopify, a targeted e-commerce system enabling any user to create and manage their very own online store. Their popularity has grown significantly and has become the 3rd most popular site worldwide. Shopify has been particularly clever in its approach, providing a multi-channel approach, enabling high volume traffic and engagement for each customer.

One of the most established companies in the SaaS market is Google, offering in excess of 135 differing SaaS products including productivity systems like Google Docs to popular advertising tools like Google Adwords. Google is regarded for creativity and innovation and this represents an essential part of its mission. Innovation requires ensuring you are one step ahead of competitors in your industry, thinking of new concepts and products that have the ability to transform the customer experience.

As proven by Google and other leading businesses, success in SaaS boils down to creativity, innovation and delivering a service that people are willing to pay for. Creating a product that is user-friendly, simplistic and ultimately creates a clear benefit to the user is more likely to succeed in the marketplace.

Read more
EPM

OneStream selected for the Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice Award

by Mike Jones 10/12/2019

OneStream Software, the market leader in corporate performance management solutions for mid to large businesses has been chosen as the Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice for Cloud Financial Planning and Analysis Solutions. 

 

Tom Shea, the CEO of OneStream Software explains that the finance industry is experiencing an era of digital transformation and today is really focused on strategy and creating a quicker and efficient set of business decisions. Financial planning and analysis techniques that can be applied across business and aligned with other financial procedures are vital to support this transformative stage. Shea believes this latest award and recognition from Gartner supports their wider missions of generating 100% customer success and creating a scalable platform that can support a number of planning, reporting and analysis requirements. Shea is proud of the value Anaplan provides to customers as highlighted by the number of reviews gathers on the Gartner Peer Insights.

Aligning and simplifying vital financial processes, including financial consolidation, reporting, planning, forecasting and analysis on a singular platform means OneStream is supporting an increasing number of businesses in replacing conventional applications and allocating more time on strategic planning and analysis. The software is designed in a manner to support larger cloud or on-premise systems and can be expanded to meet other requirements via the OneStream XF MarketPlace, offering over 50 business and productivity solutions.

Peer Insights is a rating and review platform consisting of IT software and services managed by IT professionals and technology leaders. The aims to support technology professionals make insightful purchasing plans and help technology providers enhance their offerings through constructive reviews and feedback. Gartner Peer Insights includes over 200,000 verified reviews spanning 340 markets.

 

Read more
Adaptive Insight and Workday Deal

Rise in large-scale customers is driving further expansion at Anaplan

by Mike Jones 10/12/2019

In recent reports, Anaplan displayed an increase in earnings through a significant rise in subscriptions.

Customers are expanding their use of the Anaplan platform, and the business is securing a number of larger record deals, highlighting the success of its connected planning technique. Recent financial results reached a level beyond expectations by Wall Street and market experts believe that Anaplan is likely to experience further growth moving into next year.

Anaplan explains that in today’s world, the pace of progress continues to accelerate and as a result, we are experiencing a significant shift in the way businesses plan and make decisions. The leading companies out there clearly understand that in order to stay ahead of their competitors, they must ensure they remain connected via one singular platform that enables simplistic data analysis and the ability to make informed decisions within a challenging marketplace. 

The platform footprint has expanded and Anaplan today provides services to 324 customers with recurring revenue exceeding $250,000 each year. This figure emphasises that Analplan is supporting considerable change within businesses by focusing on connected planning. The number of processes and analytics being implemented on the Anaplan platform is continuing to rise and Anaplan remains focused on ensuring customers have the best and most innovative technology available.

Read more
Data Analytics

The rise of the data management market

by Mike Jones 03/12/2019

Businesses investing in innovative digital platforms is on the rise, transforming how companies operate today and for the future. Industry is shifting from a functional basis to a more process-focused approach and now further towards a digital platform basis. Digital platforms are altering businesses and data represents the core of these systems. 

Data is the key to business transformation

Companies are progressively becoming more data-focused and those that tackle and master the application of data are the ones generating the benefits. Five of the leading Fortune 500 businesses are platform companies and studies suggest that the worldwide data and analytics markets will reach $135 billion by 2025. It is also predicted that data management and analytics will form one of the most important services and a priority function for generating business success for the future.

How business management is changing

A process-applied approach focuses on the tangible results of business activity. In order to remain competitive, businesses need to consider the experience of their customers and the entire business chain. Digital platforms have enables companies to improve the entire experience, something that businesses need to consider to enhance their operations. Transforming from functional to process thinking was a significant process and today, the transition from process to the platform is another giant step. It is difficult to measure what time and investment companies will require to allocate to manage, secure and apply data in the most efficient manner.

The rise of innovation is encouraging increased automation and shifting the business’s approach towards the process. The increased availability of analytics represents a great opportunity for businesses to gather insights on both customers and their employees. For businesses moving to a platform focused perspective, the importance of data management becomes more challenging. The business must consider how to capture and clean data, how it develops and stores data to ensure it can be readily accessible.

The results of data services

Rather than arranging a business around general processes, companies are now focused on data capture, management and the application of data across the range of platforms they are developing. This creates a significant change in where companies invest their money. Data has risen in terms of its importance to business and continues to grow. As a result, the number of money businesses will spend on data management is likely to continue rising in the near future. Unfortunately investing in data management and analytics in order to deliver a quality and power service is expensive. 

Data has evolved into a critical part of business processes and companies are quickly trying to establish a strong understanding of data management and utilising the platform to its best ability. One of the challenges facing many companies in a clear shortage of available talent in data management and analytics. Many businesses are targeting investment in this market in an attempt to attract the best talent available and position themselves in a rising market for the future.

Read more
Maximising your business potential with real time data analytics

How data is transforming the role of finance professionals

by Mike Jones 03/12/2019

The significant rise of data has created a number of new opportunities and as a result, the role of finance professionals is expected to change. In order for the industry to be continually viewed as a value-added service, finance professionals must continue to change and maintain pace with changing technologies. Laura Timms, representative of MHR Analytics highlights a number of significant changes we are likely to see in the years to come.

Rise of business consultancy in finance
Finance professionals have conventionally had to rely on historical data to generate insights. This technique created certain limitations and lacked a clear insight into how our decisions would shape the future. Predictive analytics has enabled finance teams analysis to progress from a stage of asking ‘why did it happen’ to focusing on ‘what will happen next’? The availability of richer insights has allowed finance professionals to monitor customer information in real-time and progress further than just maintaining records to deliver in-depth data analysis. The role of finance professionals has progressed beyond the days of working on numbers in the background. The future of the finance role is likely to see more individuals using new systems and analytics to position themselves in a more strategic and stronger position within a business. The power of information will enable finance teams to measure and interpret anomalies and patterns within a business. This information can be communicated within internal management to enable important decisions to be made.

Remote Working
The rise of cloud computing has significantly transformed opportunities for finance professionals. Traditionally fixed to the office space, the cloud has enabled more flexible working and remote work opportunities, creating a number of benefits for employees and further cost savings for businesses. Further security within cloud systems will allow finance teams to measure and share insights from any location without having concerns about handling sensitive information outside of core office locations. In the not so distant future, finance teams will be capable of sharing and analysing information with their colleagues simply by clicking a button and generating a real-time portrayal of business activities to multiple locations.

Implementing Non-Financial Data
For years, financial data has been the core focus of finance activities. This represented the data where patterns were identified, reports were generated and general observations were made. In reality, financial data only represents one part of a business. As data availability continues to rise, there will continue to be other sources of information capable of using to expand on financial data. For example, customer data on behaviour patterns can be used to identify fraud and suspicious activities. Finance professionals can use other data sources such as employee performance data to assess the ROI that each individual can provide for a business.

Implementing this type of data into the general assessment of business supports revenue generation and provides greater value for financial information. Studies have proven that finance teams that use non-financial data sources with their standard financial data are able to create forecasts with accuracy levels exceeding 90%.

High standard of service
The continued rise of data analytics is enabling an augmented work environment, enabling simpler tasks to be completed by machines rather than people. Augmented analytics will enable many administrative duties that have traditionally been part of a financial position to be replaced and swapped for other important duties, creating a more efficient way of working. This will enable finance professionals to work closely with data, generate leads and insights for their business. Data will leverage the skills of finance teams, allowing them to focus on creating a high-value service. Overall, data analytics will enhance industry performance, with both businesses and clients recognising the influence these roles can have on business profits.

Developing data-focused positions
Augmenting traditional positions will lead to the creation of data-focused alternatives to conventional bookkeeping and accounting jobs. As data becomes more important and embedded in finance, businesses will become even more reliant on financial insights to improve their strategy and the relationship between finance and data will become even more clear.

In the future, most finance professionals are likely to require to have some understanding of data analytics. Before this transition occurs, we will likely experience a rise in data science roles, created out of demand for data specialists in the business. Finance professionals that are training to become more skilled in data analytics are likely to be the type of talent in demand over the next few years.

Read more

Exploring core business strategies at Oracle

by Mike Jones 26/11/2019

Valued at over $26 billion and ranked as one of the most valuable global brands, Oracle has established itself as one of the largest businesses in the world. Oracle is dedicated to ensuring people view and use data in different ways, discover insights and create new opportunities. The business creates, manufacturers and sell innovative hardware and software products to multiple sectors. Acquisitions have played a major part in developing the Oracle brand and delivering new technological solutions.

Business Progressions with Acquisitions

During 2018 Oracle completed a number of acquisitions, ensuring the business remained at the forefront of technological progression in the industry. Earlier this year, Oracle acquired Zenedge to integrated a market-leading cloud application and network security services, providing an added protective service for its users. In April, Oracle acquired SparklineData to combine its PaaS services to support customers moving to big data solutions. Oracle also signed a deal to take over DataScience.com, supporting the management of data science tools, projects and infrastructure in the workspace. 

Most recently Oracle acquired DataFox and goBalto in October, in a move which Oracle believes will enhance their cloud applications, enabling customers to generate better decisions and business outcomes. 

Improving Services with stronger partnerships

During 2018, Oracle created a strong partnership with FireEye, creating the first Oracle cloud solution for FireEye. The collaboration supports customers in moving to the cloud environment, offering a flexible, cost-effective, secure and simplistic offering. At the beginning of 2019, the US-based technology company confirmed another partnership with the VANTA network, focusing on expanding its reach to both consumers and enterprise customers. 

A strategy for introducing new technology

Oracle is continuously looking to introduce the latest technology with a goal of enhancing business operations. Oracle is exploring methods to support the migration of infrastructure to the latest cloud platform services. This will involve all corporate applications being hosted on the oracle next-gen cloud. A move like this will reduce overall infrastructure costs and reduce both space and power consumption worldwide. Cloud migration, or data centre consolidation is moving ahead and will support the reduced requirement for physical data centres and the increased demand for flexible infrastructure services.

Introducing emerging and disruptive technologies

To ensure businesses are equipped with the tools to utilise innovation, Oracle has confirmed a continued focus on emerging technologies in Oracle Cloud, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, IoT and other human systems. Oracle is dedicated to ensuring emerging technologies are available and readily accessible across its cloud services. To support its customers and ensure they can utilise new technologies, Oracle has implemented a number of innovative technologies into its services and generate new products into its platform to allow customers to take advantage of each service.

Oracle has integrated machine learning and AI into its cloud services. The Oracle CX application includes embedded AI tools that improve better predictions for selected services, automating answers and providing a more personal service. Oracle also integrated machine learning into its security services to support the detection of potential security threats. 

Research and Development Focus

Oracle continues to make a significant investment in research and development to ensure the business delivers innovative solutions. Net investment for 2019 is believed to be just over $6 billion USD. The company in-house R&D facilities are constantly exploring a range of new products that are applied to global business operations. The technology combined with other applications creates a competitive advantage for its product offerings.

Supporting Industry Transformation

The market is experiencing significant transformation, supported by a considerable rise in new technology services. Oracle is investing heavily in new technology, delivering insights and solutions for digital customers. Oracle’s dedication to innovation is a driving force that ensures it remains an industry leader. Their continued investment plans in research and development and focuses on providing the highest quality service has enabled Oracle to support customers in meeting their goals. Their new products and services are supporting industry transformation, utilising the potential of disruptive services and successfully meet rising regulatory demands.

Read more

Anaplan listed as one of the fastest growing companies on Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500™

by Mike Jones 26/11/2019

Anaplan, leading business in connected planning has confirmed it has been named on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, an established list of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecoms, life science and energy tech companies within North America.

Frank Calderoni, chairman and CEO of Anaplan believes it is an honour to be recognised by Deloitte for the third year running. Calderoni states that as businesses try to manage their performance during economic uncertainty, business leaders are utilising the Anaplan Connected Planning platform to execute informed and real-time decisions with confidence, providing them with a competitive advantage within their selected market.

Sandra Shirai, the vice chairman of Deloitte and US technology, media and telecoms leader explains that this is the 25th anniversary of their Technology Fast 500 awards. Shirai highlights that once again the list included considerable innovation, with software businesses continuing to dominate the top ten. Shirai stated that it was very positive and inspiring to see how each company was influencing and transforming business activities within the world we live in.

With continued technological innovation, it comes as no surprise that software businesses continue to dominate the winning list again this year. Mohana Dissanayake, a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP believes it is exciting that we have 25 years of innovation stories to reflect upon, including businesses that are pushing innovation, supporting organisations in becoming more productive and efficient. 

 

About Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500™

 

Now in its 25th year, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 includes a rank of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies across North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2015 to 2018. 

About Anaplan

Anaplan is a market leader in  Connected Planning. Supported by Hyperblock™ technology, purpose-built for Connected Planning, provides dynamic, collaborative, and intelligent planning. Big global enterprises use our solution to connect people, data, and plans to enable real-time planning and decision-making in rapidly evolving business environments to provide customers with a competitive edge.

Read more