• Neil Doyle

A Lot Can Happen In A Year

It’s been nearly 12 months since I waxed lyrical about the genius of Michael Gould following a wonderful Anaplan 2013 Hub and, wow, have things really moved on since that day. It’s been an amazing year for Anaplan. Our relationship with one of our key strategic partners has flourished – and now we’re delighted to announce Gold Sponsorship of the Hub event 2014.

It’s been a busy year for Anaplan; from new releases, to increased financing, right through to office moves and worldwide expansion. Team Anaplan has not been resting on its laurels! We’ve also seen some big hitters joining the team. The “billion dollar man” (that would be newly appointed Marc Stoll) who recently joined as CFO, is just one representation of a rapidly growing and seriously impressive Anaplan talent pool that’s steadily growing across the world.

So how have these developments impacted us and our clients? Well firstly, let’s talk about the biggest and most fundamental change we’ve seen in Anaplan: the seasonal releases. Anaplan is almost unrecognisable from the product we saw at Hub 2013. The latest platform release has visualisation styles for dashboards, increased chart options and a host of new usability features and functionalities.

The new tile home screen, with customizable images, is a particular favourite of mine. As fellow Anaplanners will know, the pace of change has been truly remarkable. Almost as soon as you think of an improvement, there’s an announcement to say Anaplan has already thought of your brilliant improvement and has integrated it in to the next release. I would even say that I’m almost excited to log on to the home screen every day to see what awaits me on the announcement board (I said almost!)

Rather impressively, I would estimate that Anaplan has changed more in one single year than any on-premise competitor has changed in five to six years. And the most remarkable thing about it is that you don’t even have to install a new version. You just plonk in your username and password and you have immediate access to all of these new features. Who wouldn’t enjoy the flexibility of that?

But what has allowed Anaplan to make such rapid developments? And how is the team making the excellent decisions on what areas of the product to improve? I sometimes worry that Anaplan can actually read my mind. Similar to Santa & his elves in the North Pole, Michael and his team of merry men and women are beavering away in a mystical land of make-believe, making all of our analytical dreams come true. Except there’s nothing mystical about York (Anaplan’s new R&D facility). And the platform certainly isn’t make-believe!

Along with the opening of the new R&D facility in York, there was also an announcement that the development team would double in size in the not so distant future. It would seem the pace of development is not only going to maintain its current trajectory, but also increase exponentially over the coming months and years. The challenge, of course, is to balance the blistering pace with a complete focus on quality. I have no doubt that balance will be managed sensibly up north, and we will see very little lapse in that area.

Now surely this is all costing a pretty penny? Well luckily enough for Anaplan we saw another major milestone in the company’s development this year, with Series D financing of $100m announced in May 2014. I’m not an expert on the workings of the VC industry in San Fran, but I’m pretty sure this accounts for a massive “we believe” from the guys at DFJ Growth who led the funding round. I must say I don’t blame them; it’s very hard to see anything other than a huge upward trend in the fortunes of Anaplan (or Hyper Growth as they like to call it) over the coming years.

There’s no doubt that it’s been a busy year for Anaplan, but what does the next 12 months hold? I’m excited to hear about future developments at the London Hub, of which we’re proud to be Gold Sponsors. Now there’s only one thing left to say: if you haven’t booked your seat for Hub, what are you waiting for?!

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