It’s far from the sexiest of topics, but data integration remains a crucial requirement for any Enterprise Performance Management solution as we look to connect with underlying ERP, HCM & CRM systems and consolidate financial and operational data into a single platform for reporting, planning and decision-making. At Anaplan, the subject of Data Integration has undoubtedly been a key area of focus over recent times after the release of local connectors for the likes of Boomi, Mulesoft, Snaplogic & Salesforce, however the most exciting headline of late is the release of Anaplan HyperConnect, which powered by Informatica is an integration solution that leverages the technology of Informatica Cloud and provides an additional ETL (Extract Transform & Load) tool for integrating on-premise and cloud applications with Anaplan.
I must concede however, that in the years gone past the words ‘Extraction Transformation & Load’ have struck me with a deep sinking feeling as I recall several endless evenings spent battling with legacy platforms through fact tables, slowly changing dimensions and a methodology from an old pal by the name of Ralph Kimball (remember him?!?). Data Manager, Framework Manager, and even TM1 to a lesser extent. Each a powerhouse of their era, but long since victim to new wave disruptors, and as the Gartner market-share leader in the key iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) or Cloud Integration sector – Informatica Cloud is at the forefront of the technology to connect cloud to cloud or cloud back to an on-premise infrastructure. And as they have so often done, we’ve seen Anaplan team up with the experts in their sector to bring us Hyperconnect, a fully-featured Informatica Cloud license that includes the integration platform and access to hundreds of connectors, including the Informatica Anaplan Connector.
Whether its Anaplan to cloud (Workday, NetSuite, Salesforce, AWS and Box, etc) or Anaplan to on-premise (SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, and Oracle, etc), we now have a seamless and non-technical solution to connect our data. The term non-technical is key, Hyperconnect is a click and drag user interface which brings together different sources and allows you to rapidly integrate data quickly and easily with Anaplan to stay on top of your business. You can leave the Kimball manual at home.
Connect all data sources together into a single version of the truth, Anaplan;
Increase the accuracy of resource management, planning, and allocation;
Improve the quality and reliability of management information;
And increase the efficiency of data management and analysis.
We’ve seen a real shift in the market over recent times as fast-growing companies search for truly integrated systems that support much faster, cleaner business processes. Companies that don’t correlate design and maintenance of ERP and EPM systems are generally struggling to realize ROI and spending far too much time reconciling or redoing efforts because of data inaccuracies between systems. And indeed, one of the common myths of our industry is that by buying into the dinosaur solutions end to end (ehem….SAP & Oracle) you will somehow mitigate this risk. No thanks! In reality, what you will end up with is a myriad of software acquisitions that now fall under the same umbrella company but have zero affinity to each other, meaning you will face the same integration challenges but remain confounded to the dinosaur products.
Data Integration is undoubtedly a question on the lips of every client we meet and it feels like a huge step forward to have this new addition to our artillery. HyperConnect will make it easier to integrate Anaplan not only with SaaS applications, including Salesforce and Workday but also on-premise, SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, and Oracle, etc. and although I may have mocked earlier about us being through the abyss of products gone past, we’ve seen the dark side of integration and are excited to move into the light!