“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”– Dalai Lama
Later in January, we will be launching the Planful Solutions Exchange, and in this post we’ll provide a preview for readers of the Planful Blog.
Updated 1/12/18 – Thank you all for the great questions and comments – we’ve updated the post to answer some of your questions.
What is the Solution Exchange?
The Solutions Exchange is a website where Planful customers, partners, and staff can discover, share and deploy Modeling and Planning solutions to specific business problems. It provides an interactive forum of ideas, industry best practices, and proven customer solutions uploaded by experts from the Planful ecosystem.
What do we mean by Solutions?
In the initial release, the Solutions Exchange will include Modeling solutions only, so the solutions will all be various example models built using Planful Modeling. Solutions can be used either as head starts to help you get going quickly on solving a given application problem or simply as educational tools that help you see how others have approached solving a given modeling problem. As Solution Exchange evolves it will go on to include other artifacts such as planning templates or reports.
Are “Solutions” Applications?
While some vendors try to over-represent their solutions as applications, in reality, they are not. Solutions are not supported. They aren’t necessarily maintained and enhanced. The easiest way to think of this difference is via an example. Suppose a friend at another company in your industry shared a Bookings Waterfall model with you. Would you use it as-is? No. Would he provide you with periodic updates? Probably not. Will it have value to you? Absolutely yes. You could learn which drivers he/she is using the model, how those drivers interact, and how he/she has chosen to model things like sales rep productivity, quota attainment, attrition, and over assignment.
What are some examples of Solutions?
With Solutions Exchange, organizations have access to dozens of enterprise planning solutions for use cases from various industry verticals and functional business areas. For example, learn how other retail organizations have addressed same store sales planning and reporting challenges. Discover how members of the life sciences industry have created solutions for supply chain management and profitability analysis. See how other sales teams have built driver-based revenue planning models by customer and product and bookings and revenue waterfall models. Or find out how other marketing teams have designed lead generation models.
Who can upload Solutions?
Planful’ customers, partners, and staff. We have many experts in the Planful ecosystem and we encourage all of them to participate in the Solutions Exchange. More participation means more value for everyone.
How are Solutions Verified?
To be accepted, solutions submitted by customers, partners, and staff would be reviewed and approved by the Planful Product Management team. The team will validate the solution use case to ensure that it’s relevant to the broader community and that it conforms to Modeling best practices.
Does any other EPM vendor have a Solution Exchange?
Anaplan does, though it was over-represented as providing customers with finished applications, which they were not. Adaptive Insights, Oracle/Hyperion, Oracle/Cloud, and most other EPM vendors do not.
What are the benefits for customers of the Planful Solution Exchange?
The Solution Exchange provides the following primary benefits for customers:
- The ability to accelerate their EPM projects by using Solution Exchange to find head-start solutions and learn best practices used by others
- The opportunity to see how others in the same and/or different industries with similar business problems have found solutions to those problems, or to find creative connections between different planning models that share similar characteristics – (e.g., the concept of same-store sales in retail is quite similar to ramped-rep productivity in enterprise sales)
- The opportunity to learn and leverage how peers have automated solutions to tedious and cumbersome activities
- The chance to give back to the community by providing solutions to problems to either promote your brand as a consultant/partner or simply to generate good karma.
Why is the Solution Exchange Important to Planful partners?
For the Planful partner network, the Solutions Exchange enables partners to highlight and demonstrate their depth of industry expertise, bringing forward proven solutions that solve specific pragmatic issues for their clients. In doing so, they reinforce their brand in the marketplace and reach new customers who share the same business problems.
When will it be released?
The Solutions Exchange will be released before the end of January 2018.
How can I hear more about it?
Stayed tuned for our official announcement in January 2018, and if you’re itching to learn more contact us directly.