What a great 3 days it was at Anaplan Hub 2018. This was the first Hub that the Tridant team attended and it was definitely worth it.
Here are our top 5 takeaways from the event:
1) The attendance:
This was the largest Hub to date with over 1000 attendees. There were well over 120 sessions presented and over 70 of them were delivered by customers themselves. These aren't small customers either, but massive multi national companies including Coca-Cola, HP, Cisco and Tableau who were getting up on stage and talking about how Anaplan and transformed there business planning. This conference really was all about putting the customer first and it really showed as 99% of people who signed up actually attended. The customers were also recognised in the awards session, with Simon Tucker presenting the master Anaplanners for the year.
2) The chance to talk to management, product owners and inventors:
Anaplan really did invest in sending all their management and product owners to the conference. As we went to the sessions and walked the expo hall, we got chance to speak the product owners of the database engine, the excel addin, the dashboards and the workflows - all without needing to book official meetings and all who were more than happy to take the time out to network. There was also chance to speak to Michael Gould, the inventor of Anaplan.
3) The product enhancement news:
There are some major new product announcements all due out in the next few months. The loudest cheer was for the highlighting of cells in grids and Anaplan showing the excel-like sum, average, min, max etc. It may sound small but the customers wanted it and Anaplan have delivered it.
In particular, the two major announcements were for the new workflow and the optimisation capabilities. The workflow looks like it will be a flexible capability that translates into many business scenarios, whereas the optimisation capability integrates the http://www.gurobi.com/ engine, but also allows non mathematical people to easily use optimisation capabilities in their Anaplan models without any coding.
4) The vision:
Frank Calderoni and Sampath Gomatam both did sessions outlining the Anaplan product vision of Connected Planning. The integration of AI, Machine Learning, Mobile Apps and Natural Language were all outlined. Is it ambitious, absolutely, but the level of ambition needs to be there to stay ahead of all the other vendors. Many of the large technology giants like Google, Tableau and Facebook were all presenting their success with Anaplan at the conference and Frank Calderoni also spoke about the huge investment made this year in hiring the engineering teams to bring this vision to market.
5) The speakers:
Sometimes guest speakers at these events can be hit or miss. In this instance, the speakers at Hub 18 were superb. First up was Malcolm Gladwell, the author of five New York Times bestsellers. Malcolm presented how planning and testing systems have evolved over time and the impact they have had - cleverly as a comparison to how the game of basketball has evolved. I will certainly be signing up for his podcast . Finishing off the conference was Geoffrey Moore who was also excellent in outlining how all businesses are facing disruption and what you need to do in your planning process to ensure you succeed.
The Tridant team got immense value from the conference and we look forward to an even bigger Hub next year.